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White House spokeswoman accused of being 'anti-Israel'

White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre
White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre on 5 May 2022 [Ting Shen/Bloomberg/Getty Images]

Israeli media outlets have accused new White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre of being anti-Israel and against pro-Israel lobby organisations in the US.

The right-wing newspaper Makor Rishon attacked Jean Pierre in particular for her role in criticising AIPAC, the largest pro-Israel lobby group in the US, as well as Israeli policies against the Palestinians.

In a report on its website on Sunday, the newspaper said that Jean-Pierre authored an article in Newsweek magazine in 2019 in which she called on US presidential candidates to stay away from AIPAC, and attacked former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The new spokeswoman apparently urged the Democratic presidential candidates to boycott conferences organised by AIPAC and described the organisation's rhetoric as "severely racist". Support for AIPAC, noted Makor Rishon, was common ground between the Democratic and Republican parties.

"AIPAC's policies are not progressive policies," wrote Jean-Pierre. "AIPAC's values are not progressive values. It's time to call a spade a spade."

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She went on to criticise "racist" positions adopted by AIPAC towards Muslims and Arabs, and exposed its keenness to support an Islamophobic agenda. "You cannot call yourself a progressive while continuing to associate yourself with an organisation like AIPAC that has often been the antithesis of what it means to be progressive."

The new White House official also pointed out that the AIPAC conference that year hosted Netanyahu as the headline speaker. "Netanyahu not only has personal charges levied against him — he's been indicted on both bribery and fraud charges — but under his leadership of Israel, according to the United Nations, Israel may have committed war crimes in its attacks on Gazan protesters."

Hebrew News, meanwhile, recalled that Jean-Pierre began attacking Israel and AIPAC when she worked as a senior consultant and spokeswoman for MoveOn. It claimed that the appointment of Karine Jean-Pierre as White House spokesperson indicates the continued disengagement of the Democratic Party from Israel.

"The anti-Israel line," insisted Hebrew News, "is consistent with the orientations of the representatives who represent the progressive movement in the Democratic Party in the US Congress, specifically Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who called for punishing Israel and cutting aid to it in response to the arrest and torture of Palestinian children."

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