Commentary Magazine


Re: Did We Really Condemn the Palestinian Call to Violence?

I e-mailed White House spokesman Tommy Vietor this morning, asking for the basis for Obama’s claim that “we condemned them [the Palestinians, about their call to violence] in the same way” the administration did with Israel, concerning the housing-complex announcement. He replied this afternoon, citing the very same language I recited in my earlier post. He added: “So are we using our leverage? We are using our leverage. But we also recognize that these are difficult issues for both sides. So we are using our leverage, but we have to be realistic at the same time.” I’m not sure what that means — that it’s not “realistic” to condemn Palestinian violence?

But, wait — none of those statements, which both Vietor and I are looking at, use the word “condemn.” I have asked Vietor again: “So what was the President referring to when he said to Baier ‘we condemned them in the same way’?” Let’s see what the White House has to say.

We all know what is going on here: The White House doesn’t hold the Palestinians to any standard remotely akin to that employed for Israel, which, after all, is our ally. The president only made that point even more apparent by not accurately conveying our recent statements.