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While a variety of Democrats are defending Rep. Rashida Tlaib for comments she made about the Holocaust, the Michigan Democrat now also can count another, more unlikely, defender: Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera.
Tlaib, in what Republicans clearly hope becomes a rerun of controversies which have enmeshed fellow Muslim Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), has come under fire for recent remarks on a podcast about “a calming feeling” she gets when thinking of the Holocaust.
Those who are attacking Tlaib clearly are purposefully mischaracterizing what she said.
Rivera jumped to the freshman lawmaker’s defense during an on-air debate with fellow Fox personalities Sean Hannity and Dan Bongino.
“I’d rather talk about Congresswoman Tlaib who has been victimized in a way that is unmistakable. There’s no way you can read her remarks on the calming effect as Dan Bongino has done as being related to her feelings about the Holocaust,” Rivera said. “It’s an obscenity to try to make that argument. He was not suggesting that, you know, the killing of the Jews was something that calmed her. She was saying the fact that the Palastinians suffered so much. The Jews had a home to go to after the destruction of the Nazis. I think it’s very — she said it in an unartful way. I’ve been reading Israeli newspapers and seeing what they’re saying here in the United States. They’re saying that she’s being taken out of context in a grotesque why. You know how I feel about you, Sean and Dan. But you’ve taken a step too far. There’s no way Tlaib was saying the Holocaust calms her.”
What Rep. Tlaib said on that podcast was: “There’s a kind of a calming feeling, I always 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, had been wiped out,” Tlaib said about at the halfway mark on the nearly hour-long podcast. “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 horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time.”