(SNews) – Democrat President Joe Biden’s White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre provoked a backlash from all sides when she appeared to downplay a rise in anti-Semitism.
During Monday’s White House press briefing, Jean-Pierre was asked about the rise in anti-Semitism following the recent attacks against Israel from Islamic terrorist group Hamas.
However, rather than address the issue, Jean-Pierre refused to comment and, instead, swiftly pivoted to condemn anti-Muslim attacks.
Following a widespread backlash, Jean-Pierre is now trying to gaslight the American people by claiming she didn’t hear the question.
“Yes, I did mishear the question,” Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
“As I have footstomped many times from the podium and on the air, anti-Semitism is an abomination that this president has fought against his entire life; and I feel strongly about that work.
“That’s why, in the briefing room, I have blasted the repulsive increase in anti-Semitic rhetoric, conspiracy theories, and hate crimes in our nation, calling out that, tragically, this is a rising threat,” she claimed.
“And it’s a threat the president is taking concrete action every day to fight.”
The ordeal began when Jean-Pierre was asked about President Biden’s “level of concern” about anti-Semitism.
Anti-Semitism, specifically among Muslim and left-wing groups, has bubbled up across America since Hamas terrorists invaded Israel on October 7.
“We have not seen any credible threats, I know there’s always questions about credible threats, and so I just want to make sure that’s out there,” Jean-Pierre said, seemingly responding to the question that she didn’t “mishear.”
“But look, Muslims 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-American, 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 address just last Thursday,” Jean-Pierre added.
Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt posted on Twitter/X that he had “no clue” what Jean-Pierre was trying to say.
“Of course, all hate crimes are bad, but the question was about antisemitism,” Greenblatt wrote.
“@ADL has tracked a massive increase in antisemitic incidents in the past 2 weeks – on top of the historic levels of anti-Jewish hate we’ve already been seeing.
“From college campuses to social media, workplaces to public spaces, there’s an antisemitism crisis in America,” Greenblatt continued.
“More people will get hurt if this doesn’t stop.
“This is not a matter of politics but of good vs. evil.
“I’m glad @POTUS gets it – but there should be no confusion here.”
Greenblatt’s ADL has kept a running list of antisemitic incidents worldwide, listing everything from Holocaust memorials being defaced to death threats against a Jewish family.
The group reported over 100 anti-Semitic incidents in the United States since the October 7 terrorist attack in Israel by Hamas.
In addition, there have been multiple caught-on-camera incidents of people tearing down posters meant to raise awareness for the kidnapped Israeli civilians who were taken by Hamas terrorists.
Greenblatt wasn’t the only person stunned by Jean-Pierre’s answer on Monday.
Fox News Radio host Guy Benson wrote, “No credible threats?
“It’s *everywhere* right now.”
Journalist Yashar Ali called Jean-Pierre’s answer “odd.”
“It’s not an issue that she talked about Muslims and Arabs, rather that she seemingly dismissed antisemitism threats,” Ali wrote.
He also shared a clip from earlier this year of Jean-Pierre discussing the White House’s plan to combat anti-Semitism.
This is odd…
Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about antisemitism and said there were no credible threats and pivoted to talking about anti-Muslim/anti-Arab hate.
It’s not an issue that she talked about Muslims and Arabs, rather that she seemingly dismissed antisemitism threats.… pic.twitter.com/ZJ0rcK54eA
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) October 23, 2023
Fox News’ Joe Concha quoted a clip of Jean-Pierre’s answer and simply wrote, “What the actual hell?”
Many others pointed out that there have been “gas the Jews” chants, while others responded with personal stories of recent anti-Semitism.
Author Christina Hoff Sommers asked, “Might she have misheard?”
Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL) blasted the “weak” answer from Jean-Pierre.
“What a weak answer,” Moskowitz wrote.
“And why are you looking in the book?
“What’s the approved answer?
“The simple answer is yes, you are concerned about the rise of antisemitism.
“Of course, we are also worried about hatred against Muslim Americans. Must do better.”
During another exchange on Monday, Jean-Pierre insisted the White House would “always” denounce anti-Semitism.
However, she seemingly defended pro-Hamas demonstrations by arguing that Americans have a right to peacefully protest.
The press secretary also responded to the criticism herself on social media, responding to Ali’s video of her widely panned answer.
“To be clear: the President and our team are very concerned about a rise in antisemitism, especially after the horrific Hamas terrorist attack in Israel,” Jean-Pierre wrote.
To be clear: the President and our team are very concerned about a rise in antisemitism, especially after the horrific Hamas terrorist attack in Israel. https://t.co/oMeFDmZK66
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@PressSec) October 23, 2023