White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Tuesday slammed statements from congressional members who suggested the Hamas attack on Israel should be considered in context with previous actions by Israel. (Watch the video below.)
“There are not two sides here,” she admonished.
Prompted by a reporter to address the lawmakers who opposed U.S. military aid for Israel on social media and called for an immediate cease-fire in the conflict, the press secretary pulled no punches.
“I’ve seen some of those statements this weekend,” she said. “We’re going to continue to be very clear: We believe they are wrong, we believe they’re repugnant, and we believe they’re disgraceful.
“Our condemnation belongs squarely with terrorists who have brutally murdered, raped, kidnapped hundreds — hundreds of Israelis. There can be no equivocation about that. There are not two sides here.”
“[President Joe Biden] is taking action to provide additional support to ensure that Israel … has what they need to defend themselves,” Jean-Pierre added.
On Saturday, Hamas militants in Gaza launched a surprise attack on Israel that killed hundreds of the country’s soldiers and civilians, triggering a war that has taken at least 2,300 lives so far on both sides, The Associated Press reported. As Israel retaliates, Gaza’s humanitarian crisis continues to deepen.
Though Jean-Pierre mentioned no names in the press briefing exchange, a few House members have made headlines for expressing opposing views.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), the House’s only Palestinian American, and Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) denounced what they called Israel’s apartheid policy for Palestinians and suggested the U.S. cut funding to the country. They received a scathing rebuke from Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.).
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), another member of the “squad” of progressive Democratic lawmakers, also proposed that the U.S. discontinue “unconditional weapons sales and military aid to Israel.”
The far-right Epoch Times shared a snippet of Jean-Pierre’s comments on X, formerly Twitter.