For a week or so after the Hamas atrocities, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had to briefly mouth some pieties about opposing the mass murder of Jews.
But it didn’t take long for all of that to fall away.
Q What is his level of concern right now about the potential rise of antisemitism in light of everything that’s going on in Israel?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, a couple of things. Look, we have not seen any credible threats. I know there’s been always questions about credible threats. And so, just want to make sure that that’s out there.
But, look, Muslim and those perceived to be Muslim have endured a disproportionate number of hate-fueled attacks. And certainly President Biden understands that many of our Muslim, Arab — Arab — Arab Americans and Palestinian American loved ones and neighbors are worried about the hate being directed at their communities. And that is something you heard the President speak to in his — in his address just last — last Thursday.
Karine Jean-Pierre denied that there were credible threats against Jews and pivoted to the threat faced by Muslims and ‘Palestinian Americans’.
This is the least surprising thing ever if you remember her history.
New White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre once urged Democrats to skip a meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, claiming it was “severely racist.”
In the piece, she blasted the conference as “severely racist” saying it has “become known for trafficking in anti-Muslim and anti-Arab rhetoric while lifting up Islamophobic voices and attitudes.”
“You cannot call yourself a progressive while continuing to associate yourself with an organization like AIPAC that has often been the antithesis of what it means to be progressive,” she added, while also taking a shot at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The official word is that she misspoke. But where’s the misspeaking? Was she unable to tell apart Jews and Muslims?
No, she delivered a polished answer about the threat faced by Muslims which was clearly prepped from her briefing book, but dismissed antisemitism as a non-issue.
When asked specifically about campus support for murdering Jews, Jean-Pierre pivots to the strange new respect for freedom of speech that has suddenly popped up in university discourse before delivering a fumbling attempt to be against antisemitism.
Q Thank you. I know John Kirby addressed the protests on college campuses, and I appreciate that the President respects First Amendment rights to protest, but does the President view anti-Israel protests and sentiment on college campuses as antisemitism?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, look, I’m not going to get into what’s happening across the country in — at different universities. I’m not going to get into the specifics.
As the Admiral said, the First Amendment right — right? — that’s what something — a peaceful protest is really part of — part of our democracy, being able for folks to — to be able to express their feelings.
I’m not going to get into any, you know, specifics on that. The President has been very clear in wanting to make sure that Jewish Americans, wanting to make sure that Arab Americans, Muslims are protected here. That is what he believes in — that we — they have the right to live their lives and to feel protection and to feel like they’re able to be part of a community. The President has been very, very clear on denouncing any type of violence.
And so, as it relates to peaceful protesting, people have the right to do that. But we’re just not going to get into blow by blows of what’s going on across the country.
Q Well, not —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: The President has been very clear —
Q Not to get —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: — very clear —
Q — into blow by blow, but the President himself said “silence is complicity.” So, if there’s antisemitic letters being sent by students or protests, sentiment at protests —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Of course — of course, the President doesn’t — is — is against antisemitism. Of course. This is a president that you have heard me say is parti- — wants to protect communities, whether it’s the Jewish community, the Arab American pre- — community, the Palestinian community. This is someone who is going to speak out against antisemitism. Of course.
But you’re asking me — you’re — you were kind of conflating the two. You were asking me about pro- — protests, and you were asking me about this question.
Q I think if you talked to a lot of the protesters, you’ll hear antisemitic —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I hear you.
Q — comments. That they accuse —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: And we’re going to always denounce —
Q — Israel of genocide.
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: We’re always going to denounce antisemitism. But at the same time, people have the right to peacefully protest.
But we, in this administration, are going to always denounce antisemitism, any form of hate — any form of hate. Whether it’s against the Jewish community — right? — antisemitism, against the Muslim community, Arab American community, or the Palestin- — we are going to denounce any form of hate that comes towards those communities.
As it relates to protests — peaceful protests, people have the right to do that. But this is an administration, obviously, obviously, that’s going to be very forceful and very clear about denouncing antisemitism.
Very forceful and clear about denouncing antisemitism… by not denouncing it.