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One-time Democratic vice presidential candidate and former Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut said on Monday that Rep. Rashida Tlaib had her history wrong when she suggested the Palestinians permitted a “safe haven” for the Jewish people following the Holocaust.
“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,” said Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat, on the Yahoo News podcast “Skullduggery” on Friday.
“And, 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 and it was forced on them.”
Both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer defended Tlaib’s comments about Israel.
The speaker tweeted on Monday that House Republicans and President Donald Trump owe the freshman representative an apology for trying to “smear” her by labeling her remarks anti-Semitic and anti-Israel.
In contrast to Pelosi and Hoyer, Lieberman, former Vice President Al Gore’s running mate in the 2000 presidential election, responded to Tlaib’s comments Monday on Fox News’ “Your World With Neil Cavuto,” saying that of all the statements he ever heard about the Holocaust, he’s “never heard one like that.”
“It’s obvious she’s angry about what happened to the Palestinians as a result of the creation of the state of Israel,” Lieberman said. “The implication, although she didn’t say it, is that the Palestinians voluntarily provided that safe haven. Obviously not.
“During the Second World War, the mufti of Jerusalem, the Palestinian leader, openly allied with Hitler,” Lieberman said.
— Neil Cavuto (@TeamCavuto) May 13, 2019
The Palestinian region was under British rule between 1917 and 1948, which was preceded by the Ottoman Empire for hundreds of years. There has never been a country of Palestine.
In November 1917, as World War I entered its last year, the United Kingdom issued the Balfour Declaration calling for the creation of a “national home for the Jewish people.”
The declaration was endorsed by the principal Allied powers in the war and approved by the League of Nations in July 1922.
The Jewish people, in fact, had been returning to the region in significant numbers since the late 1800s as part of the Zionist movement. Jews have had a presence in land of Israel at various population levels since biblical times.
“In 1947, the United Nations kind of offered a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians and the Palestinians rejected it,” Lieberman recounted. “There was war and the Israelis achieved their independence as a result of fighting that.
“To say somehow [the Palestinians] created a safe haven is not true,” he added.
Tell us Rashida Tlaib, did the Muslim grand mufti of Jerusalem meet with Hitler in 1941 to convey his strong opposition to the Nazis and his passionate desire to protect the Jews from being murdered? I’m eager to hear the progressive revisionist take on this episode of history pic.twitter.com/9Aqpzqc9ls
— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) May 13, 2019
Lieberman advised Tlaib — the first Palestinian-American woman to serve in Congress — to stay away from subjects related to Israelis and Palestinians and focus on her constituents’ issues in Michigan.
Lieberman, the former chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, left the Democratic Party in 2006 after losing in the Democratic primary while running for re-election to the Senate. He ran as an independent instead and won his seat anyway.
He left the Senate in 2013 but has remained active in public affairs. He attended the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem in May 2018, which was snubbed by prominent Democrats.
Also Monday, CNN’s John King pointed out that Tlaib was wrong about her history concerning the creation of Israel.
“She ignored the fact that Palestinian leaders at the time allied themselves with Hitler and that total war is how the Arab world reacted to the declaration of Israeli independence.”
CNN Fact Checks Dem Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s Comments On Israel
John King: Tlaib "ignored the fact that Palestinian leaders at the time allied themselves with Hitler and that total war is how the Arab world reacted to the declaration of Israeli independence." pic.twitter.com/mvSa7gTn4P
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) May 13, 2019
“She can’t rewrite that history, and you can’t project revisionist history, so why?” King asked former State Department official Aaron David Miller.
Miller, like Lieberman, noted the Palestinians were collaborating with Nazi Germany.
They “were considering extermination of the entire Jewish community there as well,” he said had the Allies not been able to stop the Germans in North Africa.
“Most of the institutions of the current state of Israel were in place before Hitler started killing Jews,” Miller said. “The Holocaust added urgency and international support, but I suspect with or without it, the state of Israel would have come to be.”
Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948, as the British governing mandate came to an end.