KJP Clarifies Comments After Backlash
The White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, is facing intense criticism for her recent response to a question about rising antisemitism in the United States. During a press briefing on Monday, Jean-Pierre was asked if the Biden administration was concerned about the increase in antisemitic incidents following the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas. Instead of directly addressing the issue, Jean-Pierre pivoted to discussing supposed threats to Muslim Americans.
Her response, which was clearly read from a pre-written script, left many perplexed and outraged. Thousands of protestors across major US cities have been chanting genocidal slogans against Jews and calling for the destruction of Israel. This shocking display of hate and violence has raised concerns about the safety of Jewish communities in America.
After the press briefing, a large crowd marched in New York City, shouting "one solution, intifada." The mention of a "solution" was widely interpreted as a reference to Hitler's "final solution" for the Jews during the Holocaust. This blatant display of antisemitism only further underscored the need for the Biden administration to directly address the issue.
Just came home to hundreds of people outside of my apartment here in NYC calling for Intifada, which given recent events, may well be considered a call for the mass murder of Jews. Never did I expect to see this kind of open antisemitism so close to home. pic.twitter.com/DLxGpzMxHQ
— Eli Klein (@TheEliKlein) October 23, 2023
In response to the backlash, Jean-Pierre attempted to clean up her initial answer but only managed to make matters worse. In a thread on Twitter, she argued that she was referring to all forms of hate and violence, including antisemitism. However, her initial reluctance to even acknowledge the issue and her continued use of vague language raised questions about the administration's priorities.
Many have criticized the Biden administration for its failure to address the alarming rise of antisemitic attacks in the country. Instead of condemning the hate speech and violence against Jews, the administration continues to signal its support for unproven fears of Islamophobia. This false equivalency only serves to downplay the severity of the current situation for the Jewish community.
That’s why the President mobilized his homeland security team to address any potential threats that could harm Jewish communities, as well as Muslim, Arab American, and Palestinian American communities.
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@PressSec) October 23, 2023
Despite the data showing a clear and significant rise in antisemitic incidents, the White House continues to deflect and minimize the issue. This has led to widespread frustration and disappointment among the Jewish community and its allies.
Furthermore, the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas has only amplified these concerns. While President Biden has expressed his support for Israel's right to self-defense, his administration's handling of the situation has been criticized for lacking a strong stance against antisemitism. The president's recent speech also gave an ear to left-wing concerns about aid being sent to Gaza, despite Hamas holding over 200 hostages and conducting terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians.