Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday called out former President Obama’s and Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s (D-Mich.) recent remarks about the ongoing war between Israel and militant group Hamas.
In a Senate floor speech Monday, McConnell noted how left-wing politicians are sharing different viewpoints on the matter, describing it as “a loud public debate with itself over how exactly to differentiate indiscriminate slaughter and lawful self-defense.”
“Last week an especially radical House Democrat repeated to her followers a call to eliminate the Jewish state from the river to the sea,” McConnell said in his speech, referencing Tlaib’s social media post on the conflict.
“Then she attempted to explain away the undeniably genocidal connotation of this anti-Israel slogan as ‘peaceful coexistence,’” he said. “Apparently, Jews can live in peace with Palestinians as long as they vacate Israel.”
McConnell also called out Obama for his comments on the conflict, saying how “the shameful moral equivalence that has been creeping across elite and influential corners of the left has now been embraced by a former commander in chief.”
“A few days ago, President Obama used the same breath to express his horror at both Hamas’s violence and a supposed Israel occupation of Gaza,” McConnell said. “In reality, the only force that has occupied Gaza since 2007 is Hamas, not Israel. The former president also said ‘All of us are complicit to some degree.’ That’s simply false. Responsibility lies with the terrorists.”
McConnell also mentioned Obama’s foreign policy record in Middle East relations while he was in office, saying he doesn’t remember Obama questioning the country’s efforts in rooting out terrorism in the region.
McConnell’s remarks comes as both Obama and Tliab have made new remarks on the Israel-Hamas conflict.
During an appearance on the “Pod Save America” podcast, Obama said that “nobody’s hands are clean,” noting, “[I]f you want to solve the problem, then, you have to take in the whole truth.”
“And you then have to admit nobody’s hands are clean, that all of us are complicit to some degree,” Obama said on the podcast. “I look at this and I think back, ‘What could I have done during my presidency, to move this forward?’ as hard as I tried. I’ve got the scars to prove it.”
Tlaib, who is of Palestinian heritage, received massive criticism for post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, last week when she claimed that President Biden supported the genocide of Palestinian people.
“Mr. President, the American people are not with you on this one,” she said. “We will remember in 2024.”
“From the river to the sea is an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence, not death, destruction, or hate,” Tlaib added. “My work and advocacy is always centered in justice and dignity for all people no matter faith or ethnicity.”
The Hamas-Israel conflict, which entered its fourth week, began after the militant group conducted a surprise attack against the country, which resulted in the deaths of 1,400 people in Israel. About 240 others were taken hostage by the militant group.
In response, Israel has launched a series of airstrikes and a ground invasion in Gaza, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 10,000 people.
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