Caroline Glick: Why Democrats Keep Defending, and Promoting, Rashida Tlaib

Rashida Tlaib (Win McNamee / Getty)
Win McNamee / Getty

As Democratic congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Steny Hoyer (D-MD) rush to defend Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) for inventing a bigoted, alternative, antisemitic history of the Holocaust, it is important to consider Tlaib’s actions in the context of anti-Jewish bigotry on the one hand, and the galloping transformation of the Democratic Party into an anti-Jewish party on the other.

But first, it is important to make clear just how mendacious Tlaib’s fake history of the Holocaust is.

Tlaib made three key claims in her podcast with Yahoo! News. First, she claimed that Israel was established because of the Holocaust. Second, she claimed that the Palestinian Arabs in Mandatory Palestine/the land of Israel provided “safe haven” for the Jews in the aftermath of the Holocaust. And third, she claimed that the Jews repaid the Palestinian Arabs for their kindness by dispossessing and destroying them.

All of these claims are false from beginning to end. The Jews have had a continuous presence in the land of Israel for three-and-a-half millenia. Despite the destruction of the Second Jewish Commonwealth in 70 A.D. and mass Roman expulsion of the bulk of the Jewish people, Jews have continuously clung to their homeland, and Jewish exiles have returned to the land of Israel at every opportunity. Large Jewish returns occurred in the 15th century and the 17th century. Beginning in the mid-19th century, communities of Jews began returning in significant numbers. The advent of modern Zionism, in the late 19th century, which sought Jewish return to the land of Israel for the purpose of establishing a Third Jewish Commonwealth, led to the founding of large Jewish settlements and the creation of all the national institutions that formed the backbone of the Jewish state of Israel, which declared independence in 1948.

In 1922, the Zionist efforts won the approval of the League of Nations, which recognized “the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country,” and ordered Britain, then ruler of the Holy Land, to “secure the establishment of the Jewish national home.”

All of the institutions that were to grow into the state of Israel were formed before the Holocaust. If there had been no Holocaust, Israel would in all likelihood have gained independence even more quickly. Rather than declare independence with a Jewish population of 650,000, the leadership of the pre-state Israel would have declared independence with a Jewish population of several million.

This, then, brings us to Tlaib’s second falsehood. Tlaib presented the Palestinian Arab population of the land of Israel as guileless victims who provided a “safe haven” to Jewish Holocaust survivors out of the goodness of their hearts. This is a fiction.

As I documented in my book, The Israeli Solution: A One State Plan for Peace in the Middle East, the founder of the Palestinian national identity and the first leader of the Palestinian Arabs, Amin el-Husseini, was a Nazi and an active participant in the Holocaust. He modeled Palestinian Arab society after Germany Nazi society. His followers greeted each other with Nazi salutes. Husseini instigated a terror war against the Jews of the land of Israel – otherwise known as the Palestine Mandate — and the British mandatory government in 1936.

In 1937, Husseini and his followers began receiving direct financing from the Nazi regime. They used the funds to expand their operations. During three years of organized terror attacks, Husseini’s followers killed 415 Jews. Husseini was forced to flee in late 1937 after his men killed Lewis Andrews, the British Commissioner of the Northern District  (Galilee).

Husseini made his way to Baghdad. In May 1941, he organized a pro-Nazi coup in Iraq. Before the Husseini and his associates were defeated by British forces, they carried out a mass assault against the Jews of Baghdad in June 1941. Hundreds of Jews were murdered. Thousands of Jewish homes and businesses were razed to the ground in the worst massacre of Jews in Iraq in history.

Just before British forces entered Baghdad, Husseini fled to Germany via Iran and Italy. He met with Hitler in November 1941. During their meeting Hitler promised to appoint Husseini leader of a Nazi-controlled Arab world and enable him to annihilate the Jews of Israel and the greater Middle East. Setting up shop in Berlin, Husseini spent the rest of the war lobbying the Nazis and their allies to prevent Jews escaping to their safe haven in the Jewish homeland.

In his memoirs, Husseini boasted of his success in preventing Jews from “Italy, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria, Turkey, and other countries” from escaping.

Husseini set up a Waffen SS Division of Bosnian Muslims. They carried out the annihilation of Bosnian Jewry. Husseini gave daily short-wave radio broadcasts from Berlin, which were broadcast throughout the Arab world, calling for the annihilation of world Jewry. In his broadcasts, Husseini melded Nazi ideology with Islamist jihadist ideology.

As Prof. Jeffrey Herf documented in his book, Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World, Husseini’s broadcasts were listened to by millions of Arabs throughout the Middle East and North Africa. They played a key role in transforming hatred of Jews and rejection of Jewish nationalism and self-determination in the land of Israel into a foundation of Arab nationalism and modern Islamism.

Husseini wasn’t alone in his efforts. The violent riots organized by Husseini’s enthusiastic followers in the Palestine Mandate cowed the British mandatory authorities into breaching their international legal obligations under the League of Nations Mandate. They blocked Jewish immigration to the land of Israel, thereby sealing the fate of European Jewry on the eve of the Holocaust. Contrary to Rep. Tlaib’s false claims that the Palestinian Arabs provided oppressed Jews with “safe haven,” they spent the 1930’s and 1940’s fighting to prevent Jews from reaching the shores of Israel, while engaging in murderous violence to convince the Jews already living in the Holy Land to flee.

Following the war, when the dimensions of the Holocaust were clear, Palestinian Arabs continued the campaign of violence. Palestinian Arabs continued to oppose the entry of Holocaust refugees into Israel, and Husseini returned from Berlin to take leadership of the Palestinian Arab struggle to block the emergence of any Jewish state. Far from offering a “safe haven” to the Jews, Tlaib’s ancestors insisted that Jews be forced to stay in post-war Europe. Her ancestors initiated open war against the nascent Jewish state the day after the UN General Assembly’s November 29, 1947 vote endorsing the establishment of a Jewish state and an Arab state in the territory of the Palestine Mandate. The expressed goal of the war was the annihilation of the Jews in the land of Israel, blocking the emergence of a Jewish state, and preventing the entry of Holocaust survivors to the country.

Tlaib’s third lie, that in establishing Israel, the Jews caused great suffering among the Palestinian Arabs (“My ancestors, Palestinians…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”), is another atrocious fiction. Palestinian Arabs didn’t lose the state offered by the UN in 1947 because of the Holocaust or Holocaust refugees. They rejected it outright. Husseini refused any Palestinian Arab state that was to live alongside a Jewish one.

Husseini, together with the rest of the Palestinian Arab leadership, turned Palestine’s villages into the camps of a guerrilla war intended to destroy Israel. Many Palestinians were harmed in the course of their war of annihilation against the Jewish state of Israel. But many Jews were also harmed. Indeed, following the war, 850,000 Jews from Arab countries and Iran were expelled from their homes, dispossessed of their property, and thrown out, penniless. Most made their way to Israel. Blaming Israel for the Palestinian suffering brought about by a war the Palestinian Arabs started with the expressed aim of committing genocide against the Jews of the State of Israel is no mere distortion of history. It is an invention of fake history.

Tlaib’s behavior is not unique. Her fake, anti-Jewish history of the Holocaust is of a piece with the long history of anti-Jewish behavior.

Jew-haters through time share common traits. One of them is their employment of fake news, or fake facts, or fake history, to justify their bigotry.

You don’t often hear Jew-haters state openly that they hate Jews and believe they should be persecuted or annihilated. Rather, from the Grand Inquisitors to the Crusaders to the Russian Czars to the Nazis, to the modern Palestinians and Iranians, Jew-haters have framed their hatred for Jews and their desire to persecute them in the context of lies about otherwise observable reality. Through the use of fake news, fake facts, and fake histories, Jew-haters present Jews as avaricious evildoers who intend to destroy the very foundations of the societies they live in, and the peoples with whom they come into contact. Persecuting Jews is then presented as a noble act of self-defense and self-preservation by a victim.

Consider Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s recent anti-Jewish diatribe.

Farrakhan insisted that he is not an antisemite. Rather, he quipped, “I’m anti-termite.”

Farrakhan’s message was clear. He doesn’t hate Jews, per se. He hates people who destroy the foundations of society. Jews, as termites, destroy the foundations of society. And therefore, reasonable man that he is, Farrakhan finds it necessary to defend himself by attacking Jews. He isn’t the aggressor. He is the victim and all he is trying to do is protect himself from further Jewish destruction.

Tlaib’s invented history follows the same age-old practice. She presented a fake history of the Holocaust and the Palestinian role in carrying it out to advance a specific end. She seeks the further persecution of Jews through the destruction of Israel (which she euphemistically describes as the “one-state solution”).  In the course of her podcast interview, she used her fake history of the Holocaust to make the case for destroying the Jewish state of Israel and replacing it with an Arab majority state. She used her fake history to argue that her campaign of mass persecution of Jews is an act of justice for the innocent victim Palestinian Arabs who are oppressed by the Jews’ Nazi-like behavior despite the kindness the Palestinians showed them.

This, then, brings us to the Democrats.

Given the self-evident fraudulence of Tlaib’s account of history, if the Democrats were even mildly concerned about truth and fact, Pelosi and Hoyer would have immediately censured Tlaib for her bigotry.

But instead, Tlaib was defended by Pelosi, Hoyer and dozens of other Democratic lawmakers and luminaries. Instead of assigning four Pinocchios to Tlaib’s malicious lies and castigating her call for persecuting Jews, Democratic media organs like the Washington Post launched an assault on Tlaib’s critics.

Their defense of Tlaib the Jew-hater is yet another stunning sign of the rapid transformation of the Democratic party into an antisemitic party.

What explains this?

Tlaib and her antisemitic colleagues are successfully seizing control over the Democratic Party because their fake history, fake facts, and fake news about Jews jibe with the general progressive preference for ideological purity over objective reality; and for revolutionary goals and victim narratives over truth, norms, and law.

In the new world of progressive politics of the Democratic Party, the “truth” is whatever is ideologically convenient, rather than reality. In that new world, Tlaib can defend her lies with the claim that her critics have a “racist and hateful agenda,” and that “The truth will always win.” Because in the Democratic party today, “truth” means progressive dogma rather than actual truth.

Evidence of this state of affairs is everywhere to be seen. Facebook, Twitter, Google, and YouTube practice ever-escalating censorship of conservative voices. Conservatives are banned from their platforms, and shadow-banned from their followers. Conservatives’ websites are decommercialized and hidden in Google searches. The silencing of conservatives has little to do with the truth or falsity of the positions those censored express. Rather, conservatives are silenced simply because they aren’t progressive voices.

“Fact-checkers” in Democratic media outlets pronounce conservatives liars for stating facts that the progressives don’t want to hear. At the same time, the fact-checkers are struck mute when progressives make laughable claims such as that the end of the world is nigh (only twelve years away).

When Tlaib invents an entirely fake history of the Holocaust, painting the Jews as Nazis and Palestinians as their victims, Tlaib is stating a new progressive “truth.” She is defended because while her claims are both false and bigoted, they express an already accepted progressive dogma. Her stated goal of destroying the home of the world’s largest Jewish community is simply the logical conclusion to her fake anti-Jewish understanding of the world.

In the anti-fact, anti-reality environment that now dominates the Democratic Party, it made sense for Pelosi and Hoyer to defend her. And the situation will only get worse, faster than anyone can imagine.

Caroline Glick is a world-renowned journalist and commentator on the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy, and the author of The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East. Read more at


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