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‘Step back’: Psaki sends message to her party’s radical Dems, like AOC, on Israel

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In listening to White House press secretary Jen Psaki talk about the messaging for members of its own party on the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, one can’t help but wonder at how naïve, out of touch — or just plain disingenuous — the Biden administration is.

To his credit, with 3,000 or so missiles being fired at Israel by Hamas, President Joe Biden continues to stress that Israel has the right to defend itself, though he tries to walk a tightrope with the radical left base that controls the Democratic Party.

At a press briefing Monday, a reporter asked about the White House message to its party, citing a letter from Senate Democrats calling on the White House to demand a cease-fire in the face of harsh Israeli retaliation, and referencing U.S. Rep. Alexandra Ocasio Cortez, D-N.Y., calling Israel an apartheid state.

Suggesting that she has not been paying attention these past few years, Psaki responded by suggesting the extreme wing of the party “step back from politics.”

“I will say, our message is: Sometimes you have to step back from politics for a moment,” she said. “It’s not easy to do, and we recognize and agree that watching the lives lost of these Palestinian children, of these families, the fear you seen the eyes of the Israeli people – It is heartbreaking.”

(Video: Fox News)

“We want to bring an end to the violence, we want to de-escalate the situation on the ground,” Psaki added.

“The role we feel we can do that through, the most effective way we feel we can do that, is through quiet and intensive diplomacy, and that is what our focus is on at this point in time,” she continued. “But we share an objective of de-escalating the circumstances on the ground. We share with you that a two-state solution is the only way to bring a lasting end to the violence.”

When pressed on whether the U.S. has the power “to solve this problem,” Psaki said that in addition to Israel showing restraint, Hamas has to “end the violence.”

(The rockets are still raining down on Israeli citizens.)

“Well, I would say first, that it’s been seven days. Every single life that has lost a Palestinian life and Israeli life is a tragedy,” she said. “It has been seven days. As you know, these conflicts have been far longer than that. That is not our objective, of course. We want to deescalate as quickly as possible. But, yes, it would require actions from Israel, it would require actions from Hamas to end the violence on the ground. There are a range of parties and entities who are involved in those discussions and we want to play as constructive role as humanly possible.”

Much of the media is decidedly anti-Israel, and at one point a reporter asked about whether the president “feels the Israeli response has been disproportionate?”

“We don’t think — I don’t think it’s constructive,” Psaki replied, the remark being in reference to giving “a day-by-day grade.”

Tom Tillison


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