New White House press secretary criticised for calling pro-Israel AIPAC 'severely racist, Islamophobic'
Incoming White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has been criticised by Israeli media due to past criticism of American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
Jean-Pierre labelled AIPAC, a strongly pro-Israel lobbying group, as "severely racist" in a 2019 opinion piece for Newsweek.
"[AIPAC’s] severely racist, Islamophobic rhetoric has proven just as alarming. The organization has become known for trafficking in anti-Muslim and anti-Arab rhetoric while lifting up Islamophobic voices and attitudes," she wrote.
"Because when it comes down to it, AIPAC's policies are not progressive policies. AIPAC's values are not progressive values."
President Joe Biden's new press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was criticized for the scathing attack on the racist pro-Israel organization ‘AIPAC’ during a conference in 2019 even though previous attendees include Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. pic.twitter.com/tXso2W2uSV— PALESTINE ONLINE 🇵🇸 (@OnlinePalEng) May 8, 2022
At the time, Jean-Pierre was working as the national spokesperson and senior adviser for MoveOn - a progressive public policy advocacy group - and as a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC.
AIPAC is a staunchly pro-Israel organisation that regularly lobbies US lawmakers in favour of Israel and supported its occupation and siege of the Palestinian territories.
Several prominent American officials and lawmakers, including Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi, have attended AIPAC conferences.
Amidst all the celebration of Biden’s new press secretary checking multiple boxes in identity politics, the mainstream media forgot to mention that she hates Israel.https://t.co/Cz9LDUfQi9— David M Friedman (@DavidM_Friedman) May 7, 2022
David Friedman, the former US Ambassador to Israel, has blasted her for her comments on Twitter saying that “the mainstream media forgot to mention that she hates Israel.”
Jean-Pierre will be the first Black and openly LGBTQ person to be the White House's top spokesperson and will take over from Jen Psaki after 13 May. She is a political analyst who was Kamala Harris’ chief of staff during the vice-presidential campaign in 2020. She previously worked on Barack Obama’s election campaigns in 2008 and 2012.
She has come under fire ever since her appointment was announced - first for her relationship with a CNN journalist, and now for her past comments about AIPAC.