Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) recently said that thinking about what happened after the Holocaust gave her “kind of a calming feeling.”
Tlaib said in an interview on the Yahoo! News podcast “Skullduggery”: “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 have been wiped out, and some people’s passports. 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, right? And it was forced on them.”
Tlaib’s comments are outrageous and have no place in the U.S. Congress. As a result of these comments and others like them, it’s time for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congress to take serious corrective action against those who continue to spew racist and anti-Semitic remarks.
While the roles and responsibilities of a congressman are vast, they don’t include the right to make racist or anti-Semitic remarks.
According to a 2010 Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, “the roles and duties carried out by a Member of Congress are understood to include representation, legislation, and constituent service and education, as well as political and electoral activities.”
Tlaib’s comments, and others like them, have nothing to do with these congressional responsibilities and shouldn’t be tolerated.
According to Article I, Section 5, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, “Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two-thirds, expel a Member.”
While not very common, expulsion has historically been utilized under different circumstances.
According to a 2012 Congressional Research Service Report for Congress:
“An expulsion from the Senate or the House of Representatives is the most severe form of congressional self-discipline. While there are no specific grounds for an expulsion expressed in the Constitution, expulsion actions in both the House and the Senate have generally concerned cases of perceived disloyalty to the United States government, or the conviction of a criminal statutory offense which involved abuse of one’s official position.
“Each house has broad authority as to the grounds, nature, timing, and procedure for an expulsion of a member. However, policy considerations, as opposed to questions of authority, have appeared to restrain the Senate and House in the exercise of expulsion when it might be considered as infringing on the electoral process, such as when the electorate knew of the past misconduct under consideration and still elected or re-elected the member.”
Sadly, Tlaib’s remarks are the latest in a string of comments made by some congressional Democrats against the Jewish people or the state of Israel.
Earlier this year, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) suggested that U.S. supporters of Israel have an “allegiance to a foreign country.” These comments were blasted by some as being anti-Semitic because they apparently alluded to the belief that anyone supportive of Israel harbors dual loyalty. At the time, Pelosi didn’t feel that Omar should be singled out for her comment, despite the fact that Omar had previously made additional inflammatory comments where she suggested that pro-Israel lobbying groups were buying lawmaker support for Israel.
To date, Pelosi has failed to take any serious corrective action against those who have continued to espouse such anti-Semitic remarks. However, there is mounting pressure on her to take stronger action.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said in a statement: “There is no justification for the twisted and disgusting comments made by Rashida Tlaib just days after the annual Day of Holocaust Remembrance. More than six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust; there is nothing ‘calming’ about that fact.
“Unfortunately, this is far from the first display of heinous anti-Semitic comments coming from Democrat House members this year, and it’s clear this is now the norm for their caucus. It’s long past time for Speaker Pelosi to take swift action and make it clear that these vile comments have no place in Congress.”
House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) agreed. According to KGAB, Cheney said in a statement: “All of us, regardless of party, must stand as Americans against the evil of anti-Semitism. If the Democratic leadership continues to stand by in silence, they are enabling the spread of evil. History teaches us that anti-Semitism begins with words and becomes something far worse. Speaker Pelosi and [House Majority Leader Steny] Hoyer must act now.”
It’s time for Pelosi to show true leadership. It’s time for her to put political affiliation aside and do what is right. Members of Congress have a job to do. They were elected by the people to do that job. Pelosi also has a job to do. She can’t continue to duck her responsibilities when the problems involve members of her own party. If she does, perhaps she isn’t the right person for the job.
Elad Hakim is a writer, commentator, and attorney. His articles have been published in The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, The Western Journal, American Thinker, and other online publications.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.