GOP lawmaker slams Pelosi over response to Tlaib controversy

GOP lawmaker slams Pelosi over response to Tlaib controversy
© Greg Nash

Rep. Lee ZeldinLee ZeldinJewish Democrats decry Trump's 'loyalty' remarks Jewish Democratic congresswoman and veteran blasts Trump's 'disloyalty' comments House Democrats targeting six more Trump districts for 2020 MORE (R-N.Y.) blasted Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCutting tariffs is better than cutting payroll taxes to boost the economy Pelosi speaks with Israeli president after Trump controversy In debate over internet speech law, pay attention to whose voices are ignored MORE (D-Calif.) for coming out in defense of Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibIsrael should resist Trump's efforts to politicize support Jewish Democrats decry Trump's 'loyalty' remarks Poll: Voters split on whether it's acceptable for Israel to deny Omar, Tlaib visas MORE’s (D-Mich.) comments on the Holocaust and Israel, alleging the California Democrat “is making a selfish play call for her gavel” instead of standing up to members of her party.

Tlaib drew backlash after an interview she gave to Yahoo News’s “Skullduggery” podcast over the weekend, in which she said she gets "a calming feeling" when thinking about her Palestinian ancestors’ role in "trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust."

Pelosi called on President TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE and GOP lawmakers to apologize to Tlaib on Monday, alleging they took her remarks out of context after Republicans blasted the firebrand freshman’s comments as anti-Semitic.

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Zeldin, who is Jewish, said Tlaib’s comments were “a sick rewrite of what actually took place in history” and “the opposite of what actually took place."

“The Speaker of the House, and Majority Leader believe that we should be apologizing to Rashida Talib … I believe that the anti-Israel hate that's infiltrated American politics and college campuses and the halls of Congress is wrong, that we should be doing more to identifying and crush it,” he told The Hill on Tuesday. 

“And this tactic of promoting hate as a member of Congress, and immediately playing victim, accusing anyone who has a problem with your words and your hate and calling them racist, sexist or Islamophobic even though they make no reference to your race, religion or gender is greatly disappointing and shocking. And the Speaker is making a play call, making a selfish play call for her gavel to not identify and confront and crush it and instead be led by the radical left because she doesn't know how to lead it.”

Zeldin — who strongly condemned Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarJewish Democrats decry Trump's 'loyalty' remarks Poll: Voters split on whether it's acceptable for Israel to deny Omar, Tlaib visas Pelosi speaks with Israeli president after Trump controversy MORE’s (D-Minn.) controversial remarks on Israel earlier this year — said he’s spoken to Democratic colleagues who have also taken issue with the rhetoric, adding he believes there are multiple instances of anti-Semitism that should be condemned by the House.

“This is what the House Democrats would call ‘Friday,’ would be Rashida Tlaib giving that interview. What the Democrats call ‘Thursday’ is having an imam come to give the opening prayer who compares the Israelis to the Nazis and calls the Israelis a terrorist regime and called for a third Palestinian intifada and posted supportive comments on social media posts in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood," he said.

"That was Thursday, so this isn't one isolated incident. It keeps happening in different forms every day, promoting rhetoric and policies that are more than anti-Israel hate, it has often times crossed the lines into anti-Semitism."

Zeldin called on House Democrats to bring up a resolution he drafted months ago that specifically names members while formally condemning anti-Semitism, adding he believes Democratic leadership is guilty of applying a double standard for Republicans and Democrats.

“Rashida Tlaib, if she was a Republican, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer's statement yesterday would have been absolutely flipping out. That's all we would have been doing today on the floor, would have been condemning with speech after speech after speech from one Democrat after another, insane lighting their hair on fire, genuinely pissed off over what they heard,” he said.  “And the only reason why we're not hearing it from them is because Tlaib happens to be a Democrat and not a Republican."

Pelosi's office waved off Zeldin's remarks in a statement to The Hill.

“With all due respect to the Congressman, he has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said.

Tlaib has been vocal in defending her remarks, accusing Republicans of twisting her comments for political purposes.

“I will continue to speak truth to power, continue to uplift my grandmother through love, and that’s all I can do,” she said during an appearance on NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” on Monday.

“[I will] continue to share the human impact of what it means to be Palestinian in the occupied territories.”

The Hill has reached out to Tlaib's office for further comment.