Democratic leaders support the Muslim parliamentarian after commenting on the Holocaust


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US Democratic leaders on Monday gathered behind a new lawmaker on Monday after President Donald Trump and other Republicans attacked for comments on the Holocaust and the Palestinians.

PHOTO FILES – United States Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) listens at a House Oversight hearing and government reform on the "Trump Administration Response to the Drug Crisis – Part II" on Capitol Hill, Washington, USA, May 9, 2019. REUTERS / Leah Millis

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and majority leader Steny Hoyer have both made statements on Twitter that Trump and the other Republicans should apologize to representative Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian American from Michigan and one of two Muslim women in Congress. The presidential candidate and Senator Bernie Sanders also intervened.

On the Yahoo News podcast "Skullduggery" last week, Tlaib was asked about his support for a solution to a state of conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

In a rambling answer, he said: "C & # 39; is a kind of soothing feeling that I always tell people when I think about the Holocaust and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that they were my ancestors, the Palestinians, to lose their land and some have lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, have been wiped out and some people's passport.

"I mean, everything was just in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-Holocaust, post-tragedy and the horrible persecution of Jews around the world at that time, and I love the fact that they are "It was my ancestors who provided, just in many ways. But they did it in a way that took away their human dignity, right, and was forced by them," he said.

Congress Republicans attacked Tlaib over the weekend, with House Republican Whip Steve Scalise labeling his anti-Semitic comments. "More than six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust; there is nothing" soothing "about this," Scalise said.

Trump joined them on Monday with a tweet that recalls the remarks of Tlaib "horrible and highly insensitive".

"Obviously he has a huge hatred of Israel and the Jewish people," the president said.

Pelosi and Hoyer said that Trump and House Republicans had taken Tlaib's words out of context. "They should apologize to Rep. Tlaib and the Americans for their gross misrepresentations," Pelosi wrote on Twitter.

Their rapid defense was at odds with the internal dispute of the Democratic Party at the beginning of this year on the opportunity to reproach another Muslim parliamentarian, Representative Ilhan Omar, for remarks that were also considered anti-Semitic by some when he suggested that Israel's supporters have "loyalty to a foreign" nation.

At that time, some Democrats warned that party leaders were playing in Republican hands. In the end, the Democratic Chamber approved a broad resolution condemning anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim discrimination and other forms of bigotry.

The Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, on Monday described Tlaib's comments as "grossly #emantiks and ignorant".

"You should take some time to learn the story before trying to rewrite it," he said on Twitter.

Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall

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