On Monday, the White House issued a response to the “inappropriate” nickname that critics of President Biden have given him over his support for Israel amid its war with Hamas terrorists.
Biden has begun to face criticism from his own party and in far-left protests across the country. Many of these critics have begun referring to him as “Genocide Joe” as they accuse him of supporting an effort to wipe out Gaza and the Palestinian people.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby was asked for a response to the nickname during a White House press briefing by New York Post reporter Steven Nelson and initially disregarded the nickname as something the administration was “not worried about.”
“We’re not worried about nicknames and bumper stickers. I mean, it’s First Amendment free speech. The president’s focused on … making sure that we can continue to support Israel as they fight a terrible terrorist group, Hamas,” Kirby said.
However, Kirby then shifted his response to blast those using the term “genocide” in a context outside of referring to the express goal of Hamas: the eradication of Jewish people everywhere.
“People can say what they want on the sidewalk, and we respect that. That’s what the First Amendment is about. But this word genocide is getting thrown around in a pretty inappropriate way by lots of different folks,” he said.
“What Hamas wants, make no mistake about it, is genocide. They want to wipe Israel off the map. They’ve said so publicly on more than one occasion, in fact, just recently. And they’ve said that they’re not going to stop,” he said, adding that attacks like that of Oct. 7 would continue to happen “again and again and again.”
Kirby said that there had been “too many” civilian deaths within Gaza as a result of military action but added that Israel was “not trying to wipe the Palestinian people off the map.”
“Israel’s trying to defend itself against a genocidal terrorist threat. So if we’re going to start using that word, fine, let’s use it appropriately,” he said.
Kirby’s comments come after tens of thousands of anti-Israel protesters descended on the White House just last week, demanding a cease-fire in the war, while refusing to denounce the civilian-targeted brutality of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack.
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