The White House is under fire for a State Department tweet urging Israel not to respond to the terror attack against its civilians on October 7. The post, which was later deleted, condemned the actions of the Palestinian terror group Hamas but added that Israel should “refrain from violence and retaliatory attacks.”
The tweet was removed and replaced with a second message expressing full solidarity with Israel and recognition of the Jewish state’s right to defend itself and its people. However, the new statement was not enough to appease critics – Senator Ted Cruz called the initial post “disgraceful” and called for all involved to be fired.
Although the tweet was deleted, various groups and social media users captured a copy, so it remains on Twitter and has had a mixed response. Most posters object to the initial State Department message, though some questioned the intentions of Cruz in publicizing it.
The tweet was issued by the State Department’s US Office of Palestinian Affairs, and the account posts up-to-date messages from Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the matters addressed in his visits to the Middle East since the attack on Israel occurred.
Over just a few days, Mr. Blinken visited Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. He reports that all nations in the region are concerned that the Israeli war with Palestinian leaders Hamas will spread through the area, particularly in light of Iran’s threat of “far-reaching consequences” if Israel does not pull back on its offensive in the Gaza strip.
Mr. Blinken furthermore says the US government is actively “working to ensure” that the residents of Gaza can be moved out of harm’s way before the Israeli military launches its ground offensive. The Secretary of State also met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and expressed his condolences for the loss of Palestinian lives since the latest conflict began. He said the US is “committed to cooperation” with Palestinian leaders.