A White House briefing Monday presented an opportunity for the Biden Administration to condemn the anti-semitic extremists after a weekend explosion of anti-Israeli protests around the nation and abroad. Instead, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre went in a completely different direction.
The opportunity came from Fox News’ Peter Doocy, but KJP was more interested in hearkening back to the 2017 Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, VA. Doocy asked Jean Pierre, “Does President Biden think the anti-Israel protestors in this country are extremists?”
“What I can say is we’ve been very clear about this, when it comes to antisemitism, there’s no place. We have to make sure that we speak against it very loudly,” she began.
“Remember, when the President decided to run for president — is what he saw in Charlottesville in 2017 when we saw neo-Nazis marching down the streets of Charlottesville, with vile, antisemitic, just hatred. And he was very clear then and he’s very clear now. He’s taken actions against this over the past two years, and he’s continued to be clear, there is no place for this type of vile and this kind of rhetoric.”
Doocey provided a clarification to allow KJP to restate the President’s position. He asked more specifically, “We hear you guys talk about extremists all the time. It is usually about MAGA extremists. So what about these protestors who are making Jewish students feel unsafe on college campuses?”
In spite of the second opportunity from Doocey that offered a convenient off-ramp for Jean-Pierre, it was one she still didn’t take. The press secretary merely repeated her same talking points “calling out any form of hate.”
“Any form of hate, it is not acceptable. It should not be acceptable here, and we are going to continue to call that out and let me be very clear, this is a president that has continued to have that fight in his office, in this administration.”
Continuing her comments, Jean-Pierre pivoted toward pointing out Biden’s opposition to former President Donald Trump’s policies on limiting immigration from terrorist-compromised nations. and establishing “an inter-policy committee to counter islamophobia and antisemitism and related forms of bias and discrimination.”
The apparent equivalence in her statement between anti-semitism and islamophobia contrasts with the protest slogans that have openly called for the annihilation of Israel as reported by Trending Politics, that have no equivalent in pro-Israel demonstrations.
The White House statement seems to conflict with that of Jonathan Greenblatt, Anti-Defamation League CEO, who wrote, “It is incumbent on all leaders, from political leaders to CEOs to university presidents, to forcefully and unequivocally condemn antisemitism and terrorism,” according to PBS.
A Jerusalem Post Editorial likewise warned, “Western leaders need to tread a delicate line. Many are wary of being accused of Islamophobia. Nevertheless, for the sake of their own countries, they need to recognize and crack down on the expressions of support for Islamism. Jihadist terrorism threatens “the other,” whoever they might be, including Jews, Christians, and Muslims who object to their radical theology.”