Rashida Tlaib’s Twisting of Jewish, and Palestinian, History

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.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Holocaust, Israeli history, Israeli War of Independence, Rashida Tlaib

An American Withdrawal from Iraq Would Hand Another Victory to Iran

Since October 7, the powerful network of Iran-backed militias in Iraq have carried out 120 attacks on U.S. forces stationed in the country. In the previous year, there were dozens of such attacks. The recent escalation has led some in the U.S. to press for the withdrawal of these forces, whose stated purpose in the country is to stamp out the remnants of Islamic State and to prevent the group’s resurgence. William Roberts explains why doing so would be a mistake:

American withdrawal from Iraq would cement Iran’s influence and jeopardize our substantial investment into the stabilization of Iraq and the wider region, threatening U.S. national security. Critics of the U.S. military presence argue that [it] risks a regional escalation in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Iran. However, in the long term, the U.S. military has provided critical assistance to Iraq’s security forces while preventing the escalation of other regional conflicts, such as clashes between Turkey and Kurdish groups in northern Iraq and Syria.

Ultimately, the only path forward to preserve a democratic, pluralistic, and sovereign Iraq is through engagement with the international community, especially the United States. Resisting Iran’s takeover will require the U.S. to draw international attention to the democratic backsliding in the country and to be present and engage continuously with Iraqi civil society in military and non-military matters. Surrendering Iraq to Iran’s agents would not only squander our substantial investment in Iraq’s stability; it would greatly increase Iran’s capability to threaten American interests in the Levant through its influence in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

Read more at Providence

More about: Iran, Iraq, U.S. Foreign policy