White House decries ‘dangerous’ rhetoric at DC anti-Israel rally

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Anti-Israel protesters demonstrate near the White House in Washington, June 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Anti-Israel protesters demonstrate near the White House in Washington, June 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The Biden administration slams the “repugnant” rhetoric voiced at yesterday’s anti-Israel protests outside the White House, during which Pro-Hamas and pro-Hezbollah demonstrators called for “jihad” and for the killing of Zionists.

“President Biden has always been clear that every American has the right to peacefully express their views. But he has also always been clear that antisemitism, violent rhetoric, and endorsing murderous terrorist organizations like Hamas is repugnant, dangerous and against everything we stand for as a country,” White House deputy spokesperson Andrew Bates tells The Times of Israel.

“Like Jake Sullivan said this morning, ‘The best way to get all of the hostages home and to protect Palestinian civilians is to end this war. And the best way to end this war is for Hamas to say yes to the deal [the] President announced and that Israel has accepted, which lays out a roadmap to an enduring ceasefire and the return of all hostages,’” Bates adds.

During the Saturday rally, masked demonstrators chanted slogans urging Hamas’s military wing to “kill another soldier now” and calling on Hezbollah to “kill another Zionist now,” according to reports on social media. Protesters also held signs calling for “Intifada,” a reference to periods of deadly Palestinian terror attacks against Israeli civilians in the late 1980s and early 1990s and again in the early 2000s.

One video posted to X showed a man with a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine headband burning the American flag, while other protesters appeared to be wearing green Hamas headbands.

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