Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.

Donate

To misunderstand Rashida Tlaib’s remarks on the Holocaust, you’d have to be stupid — or worse

Rep. Rashida Tlaib
REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Rep. Rashida Tlaib is asking reasonable people to acknowledge the obvious truth that the creation of Israel has not been a blessing for her own ancestral group, the Palestinian-Arab Muslims.

There’s lying. There’s demagoguery.  And perhaps there’s a quality that we might call willful, deliberate misunderstanding that allows you to take something kind and humane that a person has said and intentionally misinterpret it as evil and hateful so that you can condemn the person.

And why would you do that? Maybe because you’re stupid, or you heard it wrong. But if that’s the case, once it was explained to you, you would apologize for misunderstanding and retract your premature condemnation. Or maybe because you are evil and hateful yourself and will twist anything that comes along in order to feed your need to stoke hatred.

I’m talking about the latest effort by the Trumpocracy, up to and including the Great Trumpeter himself, to willfully misunderstand the remarks of U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., so they could accuse her of anti-semitism, anti-Israelism and, bizarrely (even though it is the opposite of what she said) of sympathy for the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews.


They already did something like this to Minnesota’s freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, but the criticism of Omar wasn’t nearly as delusional. That’s because Omar had actually said some things she shouldn’t have said, that played on anti-semitic tropes. I’ve expressed my view on that before. And she clearly believes that the creation of the Jewish state of Israel (out of territory that had for centuries been inhabited primarily by Arab Muslims) was an  injustice. She’s entitled to that view. The history of Israel’s birth is susceptible to that interpretation. But she should be cautious, accurate and respectful about how she expresses it.

The second round of attacks on Omar, for different remarks that the Trumpers twisted to make it sound like Omar wanted to minimize the 9/11 attacks, were much more clearly rooted in the instinct that because Omar is a Muslim and has some sympathy for the suffering of Muslims around the world, the truth-and-logic-challenged Sean Hannity is empowered to use anything she says rooted in her sympathy for Muslims to portray Omar as an America-hating Islamic jihadist anti-American. I wrote about that one too.

But while Omar was skating on the edge — especially in the first case — Tlaib was doing the opposite.

To anyone who has any interest in listening to or reading her full remarks, which are below, Tlaib was clearly and unambiguously expressing sympathy for the horrors visited upon the Jews by the Holocaust. She is expressing a clear understanding that the 1948 creation of Israel as a predominantly Jewish was undertaken to provide safety and a homeland for a people that Hitler had tried to eradicate. If she means that the Arabs of Palestine were trying to help create a Jewish state, that would be hard to reconcile with the history as I know it.


At the same time, Tlaib is asking reasonable people to acknowledge the obvious truth that the creation of Israel has not been a blessing for her own ancestral group, the Palestinian-Arab Muslims. Views can differ about how much blame might be assigned to which in the many failures to bring about a two-state solution. Books have been written and more will be to argue about that.

But Israel has turned into a rich and powerful (mostly) Jewish state. The Palestinian Arabs remain a stateless and oppressed people, in part because of the creation of Israel as “a national home for the Jewish people.”

Tlaib is not endorsing that aspect of the tale. But what she is clearly and unambiguously saying is that when she thinks about the tragedy that befell the Palestinians, it gives her a an offsetting, “calming feeling,” because she believes it was done to create a safe home for another people, the Jewish people, who had just been through the horrors of the Holocaust.

If you can read the four paragraphs below and think that Tlaib is in any way glorifying the Holocaust, or saying (the Trumpers seem to want to read it this way) that the history of the Holocaust gave her a “calming feeling” because she’s glad the murder of six million European Jews happened, or that the Jews had it coming or whatever rubbish the Trumpiverse wants to think, I don’t know what you are using for a brain, or a heart, or what kind of glasses you are wearing. Here’s what she said:

There’s always kind of a calming feeling, I tell folks, when I think of the Holocaust, and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors, Palestinians, who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, have been wiped out, and some people’s passports…

I mean, just all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post- the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time.

And I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right, in many ways. But they did it in a way that took their human dignity away, right? And it was forced on them. And so when I think about a one-state, I think about the fact that, why couldn’t we do it in a better way? …

I want a safe haven for Jews. Who doesn’t want to be safe? I am humbled by the fact that it was my ancestors that had to suffer for that to happen, but I will not turn my back and allow others to hijack it and say that it’s some extremist approach because they’re coming from a place of… division, inequality.

I’ll say again what I said above. You can’t read that with an open mind or heart and think it’s an endorsement of the Holocaust. But some Trumpers decided they could spin it that way. And their leader couldn’t restrain himself from endorsing that view: Here’s what Trump tweeted:

Democrat Rep. Tlaib is being slammed for her horrible and highly insensitive statement on the Holocaust. She obviously has tremendous hatred of Israel and the Jewish people. Can you imagine what would happen if I ever said what she said, and says?

I don’t have a clue about the Twitterverse. I’ve never tweeted. And I should shut up right now before I say something that demonstrates my cluelessness. But for those who might enjoy it, after I read Trump’s tweet above, I also read the replies that showed up on top when I was reading the tweet. Immediately below the presidential tweet at that time I read the several replies below, all of which came from the same guy, and he’s razzing Trump more hilariously with each reply, which go:

We don’t have to imagine you saying something “horrible and highly insensitive” you do that every day!

In addition to calling Nazis very fine people— You derided Mexicans as rapists and murderers!

You also called people protesting police brutality SOBs…

Remember the time…. Rashida Tlaib called African Countries sh*tholes… Oh wait… That was someone else!

Rashida Tlaib fabricated a Claim about the first Black President being born in Africa…. My mistake… That definitely wasn’t Rashida….

Rashida Tlaib put out full-page ads in several major Newspapers to encourage the death penalty against innocent black men (Central Park 5)? Nope… Wrong Again.. That wasn’t Rashida.

@RashidaTlaib openly encouraged violence at her campaign rallies and offered to pay the legal fees of someone if they attacked another person… Oops… There I go again… That wasn’t Rashida either..

Remember the time… @RashidaTlaib said bullies don’t win and that she would impeach you! Yep— Looks like she actually did say that, and I hope she’s right!

Comments (55)

  1. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 05/15/2019 - 10:12 am.

    Eric, I was ready to read what I hoped would be an interesting article about Rashida Tlaib… but then you veered off into another attack on Omar and that was it. Buh bye.

    The problem with your previous articles about Omar is that YOU fail to place Omar’s comments and statements in an appropriate context and end up attacking Omar the way you accuse others for attacking Tlaib. Where is YOUR apology for complaining that Omar referred to terrorist as “some people” when in fact she was referring to Bush officials?

    If your not going to take the time to find out what Omar is actually saying and why, maybe you should stop writing about her? At the very least a guy could actually try to practice the standards he appears to be advocating.

    • Submitted by Brian Simon on 05/15/2019 - 11:24 am.

      I think what Paul means is: “To misunderstand Ilhan Omar’s remarks on the AIPAC, you’d have to be stupid — or worse.”

      I hate to question others’ motives, but it seems to me that many critics of these women are less concerned about anti-semitism than they are about advancing their own political and/or religious agendas.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 05/15/2019 - 01:18 pm.

        “…it seems to me that many critics of these women are less concerned about anti-semitism than they are about advancing their own political and/or religious agendas”

        Yes, these attacks only make sense within a context of ongoing efforts to undermine or discredit “progressives”. What worries me is that at a time of increasing anti-Semitism the very concept of anti-Semitism is being obscured by these political agendas. The LAST thing we need is confusion regarding the nature of anti-Semitism and our ability to recognize it. This has a problem with the Israeli lobby but I fear it’s being exacerbated to dangerous levels by Republicans and “centrist” Democrats.

      • Submitted by Richard Steuland on 05/16/2019 - 06:27 pm.

        I agree. The extremist and ignorant grab unto any chance to spread their misguided message of exclusion. Giving the blind eye to crimes committed against Palestinians as if God does not include them among the beloved. Religion is often used as a weapon to marginalize and discriminate against minority populations. The gain is short term for the extremists as life is constantly changing and creating new alliances. All too soon the oppressor becomes the oppressed. It’s wise to become aware of what one is putting out there as all things return to their source. Karma, if heeded, becomes a guide as to how to create harmonious lives. Often repeated until the lesson is learned. Over time it becomes obvious that the greatest joys come from loving and accepting people regardless of their station in life.

    • Submitted by Jackson Cage on 05/15/2019 - 11:51 am.

      Paul, you’re wrong for attacking Eric for his Omar comments. Tlaib’s comment was clear and unequivocal. He was merely contrasting that statement with past statements made by Rep. Omar. Omar has expressed some legitimate sentiments in awkward and embarrassing ways. She’s left herself open to honest criticism for her hamhandedness. To then state that someone writing something you don’t agree with should “stop writing about her” really shows the true weakness of your argument.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 05/16/2019 - 11:14 am.

        Yes Mr. Cage I can see what Eric is trying to do, but the truth is his attempt to contrast Omar and Tlaib (if that’s what it is) is even worse than simply attacking Omar.

        In the contrast scenario Eric is establishing himself as the arbiter of “acceptable” political speech and deciding which woman’s speech is legitimate and acceptable. This has nothing to do with Omar or Tlaib and everything to do with toxic masculinity, privilege, and prejudice.

        The contrast scenario establishes Eric as an enforcer, very much like those that enforced Jim Crow in the south… who “explained” to blacks that if they didn’t want bad things to happen to them, they needed to know and stay in their proper place.

        If Eric is trying to “explain” the difference between a “good” Muslim woman and “misbehaving” Muslim woman… I would recommend he just go back to attacking Omar.

      • Submitted by Charlie Quimby on 05/16/2019 - 07:42 pm.

        As someone who wants Ilhan Omar to succeed, I must say that she is not quite ready for prime time as a communicator.

        Her statement about 9/11 at the CAIR event was poorly expressed and lifted out of context. But it shows poor homework and staff work to stand up there and say CAIR was founded in response to 9/11. It was founded in 1994, after the first attack on the World Trade Center.

        Knowing the organization you’re addressing is basic stuff.

        • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 05/17/2019 - 09:30 am.

          Charlie, I provide a link to Omar’s entire 20 minute speech further down in the comments. Watch that and come back and tell us if you still think Omar was endorsing terrorism or minimizing the nature of terrorist. Tell us if you had trouble understanding her meaning.

    • Submitted by Kurt Anderson on 05/15/2019 - 11:54 am.

      I appreciate Mr. Black’s ability to make well-founded distinctions instead of joining one or the other barricade in the face-off over these remarks.

    • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 05/15/2019 - 01:22 pm.

      Where is YOUR apology for complaining that Omar referred to terrorist as “some people” when in fact she was referring to Bush officials?

      What??!?

      lol. Where in the world did you dig that one up?

    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 05/15/2019 - 03:00 pm.

      Omar’s words:

      “Here’s the truth. For far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen. Frankly, I’m tired of it. And every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it. CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”

      To say that this quote references “some people” as being the US Government and not the terrorists is revisionist history at it’s best.

      And that is my primary issue with Omar: energy that should be spent ending the Trumpocracy is diverted to irrational defenses of ill-timed comments by Omar.

      Sorry to say…

      • Submitted by Henk Tobias on 05/16/2019 - 08:27 am.

        I have to agree with some of the criticisms of Eric’s Omar. Honestly, if you read her comments to CAIR, as posted above, before having heard all the criticisms I doubt very much that you would have noticed the “some people” comment. Personally I would have preferred that she were more accurate and said Saudis (15 of 19) did some things, but that’s just me. As we are finding with these criticisms of Tlaib there is nothing either of these women could say and no way they could say it that would prevent them being attacked by Right Wing Zealots. Again, ANYTHING they say can be twisted, so stop blaming the victims.

        On another note, earlier this week Donald hosted Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán a real honest to god anti-Semite. The uproar from rightwing protectors of the Jewish community was underwhelming.

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 05/16/2019 - 01:50 pm.

          Well….
          Orban is a ‘friend of Bibi….’

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 05/16/2019 - 04:29 pm.

          Orban is adroit at paying both sides. His party and his follower are rife with anti-Semites, and he does not hesitate to use anti-Semitic tropes whenever he needs to. On the other hand, many in the Jewish community in Hungary regard him as a friend and protector.

    • Submitted by lisa miller on 05/15/2019 - 11:05 pm.

      Actually Omar was quoting what Bush said-‘some people did bad things.’ The article rightfully in the eyes of many points out that Omar as an elected official needs to be more mindful of communication that does not explore the more nuanced areas and instead does what Trump does–making vast clumsy statements that add fuel to the fire. Whether she meant it that way or not, it at least gives the perception.

  2. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 05/15/2019 - 11:20 am.

    Is there any doubt what Trump’s intent is?

    Orban at the White House…

    “You have been great with respect to Christian communities,” [Trump] told Orban, seemingly alluding to Hungary’s efforts to keep refugees from Syria from entering the European Union. “You have really put a block up, and we appreciate that very much.”

    When a reporter asked Trump about “democratic backsliding” in Hungary, where Orban has imposed restrictions on the press and on universities, Trump praised Orban as “tough.”

    Critics of Orban say he peddles anti-Semitic tropes in his attacks on George Soros, the Hungarian Jewish billionaire and liberal donor, and that his government has distorted Holocaust history by seeking to shift full blame for the fate of Hungarian Jews on Germany.

    https://www.jpost.com/American-Politics/Trump-praises-Orban-as-tough-defender-of-Christians-589623

  3. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 05/15/2019 - 11:21 am.

    Well Eric we agree, some really hateful or ignorant folks out here with that Machiavellian nature, what ever it takes no matter how ugly or morally reprehensible. And to have it start at the country leadership level, is extremely disturbing, and worse, almost 1/2 the countries voters supporting that corrupt leadership!

  4. Submitted by joe smith on 05/15/2019 - 11:45 am.

    Other than the fact that the leader of the Palestinian people at the time, the Grand Mafti, was an ally of Hitler and all in on exterminating the Jewish race, I don’t think she was being anti Jewish. It appears she is trying to romanticize the part the Palestinian people played in the creation of Israel. Revisionist history is different than anti Israel talk.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 05/15/2019 - 04:29 pm.

      “Other than the fact that the leader of the Palestinian people at the time, the Grand Mafti, was an ally of Hitler and all in on exterminating the Jewish race, I don’t think she was being anti Jewish.”

      Talk about your red herrings. Or is it a strawman?

      FYI–the Grand Mufti was installed by the British to act as a spiritual leader. He was pro-Nazi, but he was not “the” leader of the Palestinian people.

    • Submitted by Raj Maddali on 05/15/2019 - 07:53 pm.

      Was the Grand Mufti elected by the Palestinians to represent their views. If your’e going to hold the Palestinians people to that standard then could all Americans to the same standard of guilt if i point on that there were far more prominent pro-Nazi sympathizers stateside than a single Mufti.

      So were all Americans also guilty then ?

  5. Submitted by Karen Sandness on 05/15/2019 - 12:33 pm.

    Deliberately misunderstanding a person’s remarks and attacking things he or she didn’t say is a long-standing tactic of right-wing propagandists.

  6. Submitted by Pat Terry on 05/15/2019 - 12:41 pm.

    I agree – I don’t think Tlaib was excusing the holocaust. But what an awkwardly worded statement. If you are going to talk about these things, you have to very careful about how you say them. And Tlaib, and especially Omar, have not been careful at all. And the result of that is that the message gets lost.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 05/15/2019 - 08:47 pm.

      Pat, this is how the 2020 campaign will be. Dems can say nothing wrong, and their words will be twisted all out of proportion, and the reactionary right will lie unashamedly.

      I wouldn’t try to hard to avoid controversy.

      • Submitted by Pat Terry on 05/16/2019 - 10:57 am.

        That’s not true at all. What you are saying is that it doesn’t matter how the Democrats speak. That nuance and facts don’t matter, so why bother.

        The Democrats should not avoid addressing controversial topics. What they should avoid is doing so poorly. They should avoid saying things that are fantastically stupid. Omar means well, but she’s a horrible advocate and a gift to Trump’s re-election campaign.

        • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 05/16/2019 - 12:14 pm.

          Pat, not pick on you but once again the guys who thought they could get HRC into the White House with no message at all are the ones pontificating about the importance of the Democrats have a message?

          The only candidates that have no clear message are the “centrist” candidates, and you can’t lose a message that doesn’t exist. Omar’s message isn’t getting lost, you guys just don’t like her message. If you want to know what Omar’s message is I’d be happy to tell you, it’s actually very clear and obvious. The truth is that most of us have always understood what Omar was saying, and most of us agreed with it.

          • Submitted by Pat Terry on 05/16/2019 - 01:22 pm.

            Clinton had a very clear message. Its that, unlike Sanders, she was honest about what could be accomplished and did not rely on fantasy economics. You’d think after 2018, where centrists won back congress for the Democrats and the lefties running in swing districts mostly lost, people would understand that.

            But the real point isn’t about the message itself, but how you deliver it. And Omar is a terrible messenger. Her message is re-elect Donald Trump.

            • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 05/17/2019 - 09:21 am.

              Dude, even Clinton acknowledges that she had no message and couldn’t connect with voters in her own book about the the election. Her failure to message and develop a clear agenda beyond simply getting elected is documented history. Those who didn’t and don’t see that fact, are not the “messaging” experts in the room and should not pretend to be.

              • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 05/17/2019 - 07:15 pm.

                First of all, ‘message’ is a noun.
                Second, her problem was too many messages — she had detailed policy statements.
                Her failing was in not having one clear slogan.
                But then, she did score three million votes more than Trump, so someone heard her.
                (I know: people voted for her because she and they were Dems, not because of anything that she said).

                • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 05/18/2019 - 09:09 am.

                  Paul, all you’re doing is describing a candidate that has no clear message as if your description refutes the fact that Clinton had no clear or durable message. That doesn’t work. When you’re reduced to pointing to “nouns” as a description of political messaging it’s time to say goodnight Gracie.

                  Again, the only relevance HRC has here is the fact that Clinton supporters are the loudest Democratic critics of Omar and the progressive caucus. The fact that THESE Democrats keep complaining about Omar’s messaging is kind of funny on one level, but generally absurd given their absolute lack of credibility.

                • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 05/18/2019 - 12:18 pm.

                  It’s not about slogans. It’s about having two or 3 ideas that are simple to understand and explain.

                  Build That Wall.

                  Trump Digs Coal.

                  “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

                  Which works of those better in a campaign?

            • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 05/17/2019 - 07:47 pm.

              Pat, Clinton was a terrible politician. She spent months only meeting with small, tightly controlled groups of supporters. As good as a retail politician as Bill was, she was that bad.

              A leader needs to inspire, to give people a vision of what they didn’t think was possible. Can you imagine HRC in JFK’s shoes, inspiring us to men walking on the moon? Yeah, kind of funny, isn’t it?

              For the umpteenth time, let’s look at her approach to the minimum wage. After Sanders came out full force for “Fifteen bucks an hour!!!”, Clinton, after too long, said she’d go $12. Like Obama and healthcare, she compromised right out of the gate. Do conservatives EVER do that?

              She inspired no one, and gave no one a reason to vote for her, other than the centrists whose support she already had any way.

  7. Submitted by Jon Parritz on 05/15/2019 - 01:14 pm.

    Eric, why the intolerance? Your words: “If she means that the Arabs of Palestine were trying to help create a Jewish state, that would be hard to reconcile with the history as I know it.” It is exactly that absurd proposition that has people riled up. The well-known and indisputable fact is that the Palestinians and surrounding Arab states violently opposed Jewish settlement and rejected the UN partition plan, choosing decades of war over peace. People are understandably outraged by the suggestion that the Palestinians helped to create a haven for Jewish refugees. Many people have distorted other remarks of hers about the Holocaust. But not this.

    • Submitted by Raj Maddali on 05/15/2019 - 07:19 pm.

      Well Mr Parritz, if i were a semi competent lawyer which i’m not and i don’t play one on TV either, could i ask who represented the Palestinians at the UN while their land was being seized ? What happened to the self determination aspect of the UN charter when it came to the Palestinians on their land ?

      Also since you claim Palestinians “choosing decades of war over peace”, an honest question would be; Did the other side not instigate violence either. Also are you claiming the other side did not plot to subvert the UN Mandate then and ever since with endless settlements ?

      There has been more lies and propaganda from the other side as compared to the statements by Mss’. Talib and Omar.

    • Submitted by Raj Maddali on 05/15/2019 - 07:47 pm.

      “The well-known and indisputable fact is that the Palestinians and surrounding Arab states violently opposed Jewish settlement and rejected the UN partition plan, choosing decades of war over peace. ”

      To add Mr Parritz, your statement does not represent a “well-known and indisputable fact”. It actually represents, in my opinion, a well known and indisputable pattern of falsehoods and propaganda by several pro-Israel organizations and their supporter. Many of which i’m sure you are very familiar with.

      These are the same organizations that promote unconstitutional free speech laws like the BDS law in Minnesota and elsewhere being struck down by the courts.

      • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 05/16/2019 - 02:05 pm.

        The question is not whether there was violence on both sides — there was (I’d recommend the mildly revisionist historian Bennie Morris).
        The question is whether there was any alternative solution to the fate of millions of European
        Jews who had no place else to go in the thirties and forties.
        To a large extent this can be laid on the U.S. Congress of 1922, who set draconian limits on immigration for all but Northern Europeans.
        Jewish immigration to the U.S. dropped abruptly from the hundreds of thousands per year to less than 20,000. Given a choice, many European (mostly Polish) Jews would have preferred joining their friends and relatives here, rather than going to Palestine, which was somewhat short of milk and honey at the time.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 05/16/2019 - 12:46 pm.

      “It is exactly that absurd proposition that has people riled up.”

      Not exactly. Rep. Tlaib is a Muslim woman of Palestinian descent. The right-wing starts with being riled up by her very presence in the United States, let alone her membership in the House of Representatives.Any statement she makes about the Middle East is going to be parsed and dissected in minute fashion, in order to extract a series of phonemes that can somehow be regarded as offensive.

      Bear in mind that the man the President has chosen to represent the United States in Israel has said publicly that Israel is “on the side of God.” This is the mindset that is defining discussion of the Middle East today. Naturally, anything that could even be suspected of negativity is treated as an outrage.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 05/16/2019 - 02:14 pm.

      ” The well-known and indisputable fact is that the Palestinians and surrounding Arab states violently opposed Jewish settlement and rejected the UN partition plan, choosing decades of war over peace.”

      Again, this old narrative of a besieged Israel surrounded by enemies is severely outdated. Israel was recognized as a nation state in 1948. By 1973 the matter of Israel’s existence and continued existed was settled, and there has been no credible existential threat since then. Furthermore, while Palestinians did fight Israelis from 1948 to 1949 they were not open conflict for the next 20 years, which Palestinians refer to as the Lost Years.

      For the last 45 years, out of its 65 years of existence, Israel’s security as a nation has well established. The ongoing conflict with the Palestinians is not part of the “Arab Wars”. During the last 45 years the issue of determining who’s choosing conflict over peace is much more difficult to resolve. This a history that has long since been updated.

  8. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 05/15/2019 - 02:12 pm.

    Without ruling out the “stupid” part, I think we can nonetheless safely assume the “…or worse” part.

  9. Submitted by Stan Hooper on 05/15/2019 - 02:34 pm.

    Not about this article but the last three or four of yours that I’ve read, Mr. Black. You need a proofreader.

  10. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 05/15/2019 - 03:35 pm.

    Here’s a link to Omar’s entire 20 minute speech. When she refer’s to those who did something around 20:27 She’s talking about the post 9/11 environment and the fact that Muslim civil rights were being violated, which prompted the creation of CARE. She’s referring to the “those people” who’s prejudice had provoked the rise of CARE, and she’s talking about responding to those people, not terrorists. She’s not talking about terrorists or terrorism at all, she’s talking about civil rights. Look for yourself, watch the entire speech and note the context. https://splinternews.com/conservatives-have-predictable-freakout-after-ilhan-oma-1833545595

  11. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 05/15/2019 - 08:05 pm.

    Trump and his henchmen lie about everything, including pretend stories about everyone they hate. Why express surprise or bother to refute the slanders? Only fools believe them.

  12. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 05/15/2019 - 09:58 pm.

    You know, this is the sort of liberal self-gnawing angst that is counted on by the GOP.

    The GOP throws a PC-bomb into the crowd, some die, others scurry around in outrage and anger, the zombie hunger devours others, and many leave the scene…

    It works time after time. That’s how 2020 will be played.

    Grow up, get tough.

    No-ones perfect –yet no-one is as bad as Trump.

    I repeat, grow up and get tough.

    Don’t eat your own.

  13. Submitted by Raj Maddali on 05/16/2019 - 06:51 am.

    “I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right, in many ways. But they did it in a way that took their human dignity away, right? And it was forced on them. ”

    Eric, read the words “And it was forced on them”. Then Eric writes “… the Arabs of Palestine were trying to help create a Jewish state ….”. Where does Ms. Tablib come anywhere close to your assertion. She clearly stated that it was forced on them. So why twist her statement.

    Oh, B.T.W when are you Mr Black going to analyze the propaganda put out locally by the JCRC and its leadership ? They’re all for peace Eric, but have never condemned apartheid. Why is it always Ilhan Ohmar ?

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 05/17/2019 - 07:20 pm.

      If you are equating the Israeli treatment of Palestinians with apartheid, you had better read some history. While Israeli treatment of Palestinians is inexcusable, it does not approach the facts of apartheid.

  14. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 05/16/2019 - 10:55 am.

    The old narrative of an Israel surrounded by Arab enemies intent on Israel’s destruction is a long since defunct narrative. Israel hasn’t faced any kind of existential threat since 1973, and most of the Arab nations have now accepted Israel as a legitimate State. You can’t blame Arabs for abandoning the Palestinians AND continue to claim that those same Arabs are still trying to destroy you.

    Israel has long since established it’s military superiority and the Israeli people no longer live in fear of annihilation… unless Iran gets the bomb, which Trump appears to be promoting.

    Anyone who tells you they think Hamas, who inflicts 8 casualties (4 dead 4 wounded) after days firing 700 rockets into Israel, represent some kind of threat to Israel’s existence is either lying or incredibly ignorant. At that rate Hamas would need millions of rockets and hundreds years to destroy Israel. Meanwhile Israel responds by killing 23 Palestinians and wounding dozens more.

    The fact is that the defunct narrative of a vulnerable Israel surrounded by enemies was abandoned by nearly everyone in the world except the US and Israel by the mid 1980s. This defunct narrative is the essence of the bi-partisan consensus that Israeli supporters often refer to. For decades now several observers have been pointing out the fact that the US and Israel have become increasingly isolated while clinging to a defunct “consensus.”

    This “consensus” of two didn’t start breaking down in the US until the first Intifada when even US media outlets couldn’t suppress the images of Palestinian teenagers trying to drive off Israeli tanks with sling shots. Nor can the US media any longer hide or distort the facts on the ground regarding casualties. Of the 16,000 people killed in the conflict since 1990 13,000 were Palestinians and 3,000 were Israelis. Since 2005 the numbers are even more stark- of the 4,000 people killed 170 were Israeli and 3,800 were Palestinians. The United Nations has calculated that today, a Palestinian is 15 times more likely to die in this conflict than an Israeli.

    When you factor in the illegal settlements, annexations, blockades, and a plethora of de facto apartheid policies the narrative of an Israel under siege is simply untenable.

    All fatal conflicts are moral catastrophes and these are horrid metrics no matter how you look at it. Nevertheless the fact remains that the longer this conflict continues the more untenable the old bi-partisan fallacy becomes. With fatality and casualty ratios of 20 to 1 it’s impossible to maintain a narrative that establishes Israel as a vulnerable country merely defending itself from Palestinian aggression. The recent attack is a perfect example; 700 rockets is an alarming number, but people will note in the end how few casualties so many rockets inflicted, and they will also note how many casualties the IDF inflicted by comparison.

    I can’t speak for Omar and Tlaib but progressives and the rest of the world have recognized the illegitimate nature of the 1970s-80s bi-partisan consensus for decades. And although the progressive perspective has been and still is a minority perspective in the US, worldwide it’s been a majority perspective for decades. This is why Israel has such a hostile relationship with the U.N.

    None of this anti-Israeli, it’s simply a recognition of facts. The historical fact is that the creation of Israel was a catastrophe for the Palestinians. That doesn’t mean it was “wrong”, but it does mean that some kind of dignity and sovereignty needs to be restored for the Palestinians. The world hasn’t abandoned a defunct bi-partisan narrative because the world hates Israel and is anti-Semitic, most of us just want an end to the conflict and justice and dignity for both Israel and the Palestinians.

    However there is no denying the fact that the Israeli government has never been invested in the two state solution, which is in the end only solution that can bring about peace. It’s been clear for almost three decades now that the Israeli government has decided that permanent low level conflict is an acceptable trade off for territory. The Israeli policy has basically been modeled on the US example of Indian reservations, wherein Palestinians will be relegated to dependent territories with limited sovereignty. The problem is that unlike the US in the 1800’s, the Palestinian conflict in on TV, and the worlds news organizations report what’s going on. One also has to note that while it’s not violent at the moment, the conflict with American Indians is still ongoing, as is their continued fight for dignity and sovereignty. We can expect the Palestinians will not walk quietly into THEIR reservations anytime soon, if ever.

    No conversation about Omar or Tlaib and Israel can proceed without recognizing these facts. Any conversation that uses a defunct narrative as a starting point can only be incoherent.

  15. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 05/16/2019 - 11:41 am.

    Just one more observation for anyone who’s interested. What we’re seeing here among Omar detractors is classic expressions of privilege and colonial mentalities.

    Throughout these conversations and accusations the same mental thread keeps winding itself around Omar. Basically the point of departure is that if Omar wants to be understood, she needs to conform to her critics expectations. This is an absurd expectation. If her critics misinterpret her speech, or fail to comprehend a perspective other than their own… it’s Omar’s fault? She needs to speak more carefully, no one needs to listen more carefully or consider a perspective that challenges their own perspective.

    This expectation is not “normal” discourse. In “normal” discourse we accept the fact that all dialogues involve an exchange of speech wherein a the receiver of speech shares an equal responsibility for listening. This constant insistence by Omar detractors that they share no responsibility for their own failures to correctly perceive Omar’s speech is NOT normal. In the REAL world we talk about active listening, and expect people to listen to what we’re saying and trying to say… that is in a REAL world where we’re to talking people we respect and treat like equals. It’s only when you abandon the concept of equality that you can start demanding someone else meet YOUR expectations.

    Meanwhile, Omar has pledged to speak more carefully, and has done so. And it’s important to remember that her detractors are actually a minority of her constituents. I personally have never had a problem with anything Omar has said, and I encourage her to continue to speak out.

    I am a little disappointed that some writers at Minnpost are so willing to keep digging out excuses to attack Omar rather than clarify her remarks. I don’t see Klobuchar or Walz getting this kind of treatment.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 05/16/2019 - 02:09 pm.

      Klobuchar and Walz are more experienced politicians, and better at avoiding accidental ambiguity.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 05/17/2019 - 09:15 am.

        “Klobuchar and Walz are more experienced politicians, and better at avoiding accidental ambiguity.”

        OK, I’ll say this ins a slightly different way one more time, because I think this important.

        A) I’ve never found anything that Omar has said to be even a little bit ambiguous. I’ve always understood exactly what she’s saying, and I don’t recall disagreeing with anything she’s said. Furthermore, I don’t think very many people have ever actually been confused by Omar’s comments, critics are simply attacking her for making those comments.

        Frankly I think these admonishons to be more “careful” are just thinly veiled prejudice. These are demands that Omar take responsibility for those who deliberately misconstrue her positions. The people making this demand would never think to make that demand of Klubuchar, or Franken, or Walz… and they certainly didn’t make that demand of HRC. What’s so special about Omar? Why is Omar the only Democrat on the planet that needs to have a crystal clear message?

        Repeatedly in these comment threads regarding Omar her critics have said (I’m paraphrasing): “She MY representative… I expect her say what I think she should say the way I think she should say it… or she should find a different job”. Have you ever or could you ever imagine these people saying the same thing about Kobuchar? Did they ever say it about Franken, or Dayton? Again, what’s so special about Omar?

        B) Ambiguity is the language of politics. Omar is actually no more ambiguous than Klobuchar. Have you seen Klobuchar try explain why she thinks she’s “progressive?” The difference between Klobuchar and Walz and Omar from a political perspective isn’t their experience or level of ambiguity, it’s their perspectives. Omar says things that Kolubuchar would NEVER say. Klobuchar would never criticize AIPAC… period.

        Clearly Omar (and other progressives) sit outside “centrist” comfort levels, and perspectives, and their bi-partisan “censensus”. I wrote a lengthy comment describing the progressive perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in an attempt to clarify a perspective that Omar probably shares. From THAT perspective Omar’s comments make perfect sense. It’s the progressive perspective that “centrists” can’t abide, this isn’t a language problem.

        To the extent that Omar is controversial that controversy is driven by her attempts to speak the truth. The truth is frequently a risky business and there are always those who will seek to silence it. Omar has been very clear about this, she will continue to speak, and she will not be silenced. I think the majority of her constituents support that and applaud that fact.

        Obviously Omar isn’t the white-bread politician that some people seem to admire so much. But that fact, while unavoidable, betrays another fact that this isn’t about language and messaging, it’s about efforts to control Omar’s speech from a perspective of toxic masculinity and privilege. All you have to do is look at those who keep issuing these demands, not only are their differences with Omar obvious, but so are the similarities they share.

Leave a Reply