Though it has generally sided with Israel in Israel’s fight with Hamas and has given Israel lots of leeway for its counteroffensive into Gaza, the Biden Administration does appear to be striking something of a middle-course in this conflict, much in contrast to past situations involving Israel.
For example, instead of wholeheartedly endorsing a retaliatory Israeli offensive into Gaza, the Biden Administration has provided support and given a green light, but only after also demanding Israel allow in humanitarian aid and pressing for a ceasefire.
Similarly, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre refused, at first, to condemn the tearing down of posters of Israeli hostages when asked about that form of pro-Palestine “protest” by NBC News’ Peter Alexander. After repeatedly refusing to condemn the behavior during the press briefing, she later gave a different answer on X (formerly Twitter).
Alexander, asking about the matter, said: “A lot of videos of individuals who have been tearing down signs, many of these taking place in New York City, of Israelis presently being held hostage in Gaza. There have been some tense confrontations that have taken place there. Is the White House’s view that these actions should be condemned, the pulling of the pulling down of them, or that that’s a form of peaceful protest?”
Somewhat surprisingly, KJP said, “Look, I haven’t, I’ve sort of kind of seen the reporting here and there. I think it was from last week.” But Alexander, to his credit, pressed her on it, saying, “There’s been like 30 million videos that have got around.”
Bizarrely, KJP then still refused to just say “that’s terrible,” and move on. Instead, she just told Alexander that the issue is one into which she didn’t plan on delving, telling him, “No, I know. I hear you. I’m just not going to. We’re not going to. I’m not going.”
Alexander didn’t get it go, again asking her, “Is that peaceful protest to pull that down?” Even more shockingly, KJP still refused to answer, instead telling him, “I’m just not going to go into specifics on that particular thing. What I can say there are real but violent protests and threats that are happening right now. And senior administration officials are aware of these reports which are deeply concerning. And that is something that we’re focused on.”
Watch their back and forth here:
WATCH: KJP REFUSES to condemn anti-Israel, pro-Hamas individuals nationwide who've been spotted ripping missing signs of Israelis held hostage by Hamas.
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) November 7, 2023
KJP did, however, condemn Islamophobia, saying, “As it relates to a lot of reporting out there about violent protests and threats and so I can speak to that. I can speak to how the FBI is tracking an increased volume. I can speak to the frequency of threats that we are seeing to the Jewish community, to the Arab American community, to the Muslim communities in the United States since Oct. 7.”
Continuing, she said, “That is something I can speak to, and obviously DOJ and FBI are working with local law enforcement on those threats and of course that is deeply concerning to us and so that is what we are going to work on, focusing on that.”
Here is one such video of the posters being torn down:
🚨 #BREAKING: Shocking video captures two people in front of #USC tearing down and discarding posters of hostages kidnapped by Hamas. This is not helping Palestine its only a front for Antisemitism 🇮🇱#StopAntisemitism #StopTheHateNow #Isreal #Hamas #IsrealPalestineWar pic.twitter.com/KppB5axRzm
— HardBoiledEgg🥚 (@HarderBoiledEgg) October 27, 2023
Taking to X, KJP later added, “As a result of the Hamas terrorist attacks, communities and families are grieving. For the past month, the families of those who have been taken hostage have lived in agony. Tearing down pictures of their loved ones – who are being held hostage by Hamas – is wrong and hurtful.“
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