Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank has found a way to blame Donald Trump for antisemitic comments by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), saying that she is borrowing tactics from the “MAGA handbook.”
Tlaib’s antisemitism, and her vicious hostility to Israel, long predates the arrival of Donald Trump on the political scene. In 2006, for example, she published an article in the newspaper run by antisemitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
She does not believe Israel should exist, and has used familiar antisemitic metaphors to express her hostility to the Jewish state.
Milbank notes Tlaib’s recent remarks that seek to tie perceived injustices by Israel to perceived injustices in the U.S.:
On Aug. 1, Tlaib announced that she had identified how Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land “really interacts” with the treatment of Black Americans. “Cutting people off from water is violence. And they do it from Gaza to Detroit,” she explained to the Democratic Socialists of America. “The structure we’ve been living under right now is designed by those who exploit the rest of us, for their own profit,” on issues ranging from human rights to health care. Making a drapes-parting gesture with her hands, she continued: “If you open the curtain and look behind the curtain, it’s the same people that make money — and yes they do — off of racism.”
A vague “they” conspiring to “exploit the rest of us for their own profit” from “behind the curtain”: These antisemitic tropes have been used against the Jews for generations. If that weren’t clear enough, Tlaib let it be known that “they” operate both in Gaza and Detroit, and only Jews meet that description. Tlaib went on to say the exploiters “made record profit” during the pandemic — an antisemitic conspiracy theory popular on the Web.
Other members of the so-called “Squad” have made similar comments, notably Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO):
Cori Bush blames the Jews/Israel for homelessness in St. Louis… pic.twitter.com/tuEOvXxjmu
— ymedad (@ymedad) August 5, 2021
Yet despite Trump’s unprecedented support for Israel, his repeated condemnations of antisemitism, and his own Jewish family members, Milbank blames Trump for Tlaib’s antisemitism, saying she is copying his supposed tactic of singling out one group of people to blame for America’s problems.
The example Milbank provides: Trump’s attack on the Squad, in which he told them to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.