When Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib stated that she often gets “a calming feeling” when she thinks about the Holocaust, she made it perfectly clear that she is calmed not by the deaths of six million Jews but by the thought that her Palestinian ancestors “lost their land, . . . their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways [sic], . . . to create a safe haven for Jews.” Liel Leibovitz, rather than attempting to unpack the perverse logic of Tlaib’s words, simply notes some relevant historical examples. Among them is the case of the Polish-born Atara Abramson, who—after surviving Auschwitz, where the rest of her family was killed—came to the Land of Israel and settled in the Kfar Etzion kibbutz in 1946:
On May 12, 1948, two days before Israel’s declaration of independence, an Arab army consisting of Jordanian legionnaires and local Palestinian gunmen attacked Kfar Etzion with armored vehicles and heavy artillery. The Jewish defenders, armed with just a handful of rifles and mortars, did their best to fight back, but by the following day were no longer able to persist. Their leader, Avraham Fishgrund, who escaped Bratislava just a few years before Hitler’s armies marched in, stepped into the open, waving the white flag of surrender. He was shot on the spot by an armed Palestinian.
The rest of the people in Kfar Etzion, numbering 133 men and women, had no choice but to reiterate their surrender and hope for the best. Again, they stepped into the open waving a white flag and declaring their surrender. Again, they were met with gunfire. They rushed to take shelter in the basement of a nearby monastery; gathering outside, local Palestinians tossed grenades into the building and shot at anyone trying to escape. Like most of Kfar Etzion’s residents, Atara Abramson did not survive. She was twenty-one when she died, one of eighteen women who had survived the Holocaust only to be slaughtered by Palestinians that day. . . .
There were 433 more Holocaust survivors killed by Palestinians and Jordanians violently opposing the creation of a “safe haven” for Jews in the what had historically and spiritually been their homeland. To attempt and rewrite their well-documented experiences is . . . an unforgivable and deeply anti-Semitic act.