Wishy-Washy John Kirby Won’t Condemn Schumer's Israel Election Meddling

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White House National Security Communications Adviser John Kirby appeared on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday, and what he didn’t say stuck out as much as what he did.

Although Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer  (R-NY) has been openly engaging in election interference lately, calling out from the Senate floor for Israeli regime change, Kirby failed to condemn the incendiary rhetoric. Instead, he offered up a wishy-washy nonstatement about Israel’s voters having the final say.

HOST MARTHA RADDATZ: Let — let’s start with Chuck Schumer’s speech. President Biden called it “a good speech,” and yet he has not sided with Chuck Schumer in calling for new leadership in Israel.

KIRBY: Well, because the president understands that that’s up to the Israeli people. That’s up to the Israeli government that they elect to determine whether and how, if there’s going to be new elections, what that would look like.

RADDATZ: Well, Senator Schumer also understands that. He’s just calling for new elections. And you’ve seen polling about Israelis, that they would like new leadership as well.

KIRBY: Well, again, that’s going to be up to them to determine. It’s a democratic country, and they — we have to respect their sovereignty. In the meantime, he is the prime minister of Israel. They are two leaders that have had a long working relationship. They don’t agree on everything. We don’t agree on everything with respect to what’s going on in Gaza. But that’s the government that is in place, and that’s the government, the war cabinet, that we’re going to continue to work with.

That’s a whole lot of words that don’t add up to much. 

Netanyahu for his part declared at a government meeting Sunday that calls for a change in government in Israel amounted to efforts to prevent the Jewish state from carrying out its mission:

“Some in the international community are trying to stop the war before all its goals are achieved. They do this by making false accusations against the IDF, against the Israeli government, and against the Prime Minister of Israel,” Netanyahu added.

“They do this by trying to bring about elections now, in the midst of the war. And they do this because they know that elections now will stop the war and paralyze the country for at least six months.”

He sounded a defiant tone, vowing to continue their efforts despite the often lukewarm support of President Biden.

“So let’s be clear,” the prime minister said, “if we stop the war now before all of its goals are achieved, it means that Israel has lost the war, and we will not allow that. That is why we must not give in to these pressures, and we will not give in to them.”

Regarding Israel’s plan to invade Rafah, Kirby was lukewarm at best and said the U.S. would not support such an operation unless plans were in place to protect the refugees.

KIRBY: We — we’ve not seen those plans. and as we’ve said before, Martha, we would not support such an operation unless or until they can accommodate the 1.5 million refugees that are there, and preserve their safety and security. We have continued and will continue to press the Israelis to do more to reduce civilian casualties, to do more to get more trucks in, and to, again, help us come to closure on this temporary ceasefire, so that we can get all those hostages out.

Tensions continue to rise in the Netanyahu-Biden relationship, and Schumer just threw gasoline on the fire. Netanyahu is showing no signs of backing down and seems intent on doing what he feels they need to do in Rafah, regardless of Biden’s opinion.

See also:

Chuck Schumer Calls for Regime Change in Israel From the U.S. Senate Floor

Ruh Roh: Chuck Schumer’s 2020 Comments on Foreign Interference in U.S. Elections Come Back to Haunt Him

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