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Democratic lawmaker: ‘Concerning’ White House didn’t immediately condemn Israeli hostage poster vandalism

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Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla., said it was “concerning” that White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre didn’t immediately condemn those tearing down posters of kidnapped Israelis during Tuesday’s press briefing, but said he was “happy” to see a statement later posted to social media.

Jean-Pierre received backlash after she dodged a question on whether widely shared videos of youth tearing down posters of Israel hostages being held by Hamas terrorists should be condemned.

“I’ve sorta kinda seen the reporting,” the press secretary said. She went on to block further questioning on the matter and declared, “I’m just not going to go into specifics on that particular thing.” However, she later acknowledged these incidents of vandalism as “wrong and hurtful,” in a post on X.

Moskowitz, who is Jewish, told “Outnumbered” host Kayleigh McEnany on Wednesday that the White House should’ve condemned these actions immediately.

DEMOCRATIC LAWMAKER CHALLENGES KARINE JEAN-PIERRE FOR ‘WEAK ANSWER’ ON RISING ANTISEMITISM

Moskowitz and Jean-Pierre

Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla., criticized Karine Jean-Pierres response to a reporter’s question about young people tearing down posters of Israeli hostages. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images/Photo by Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

“We saw this unfortunately, again, on the issue of antisemitism,” the Democrat recalled. Last month, Jean-Pierre said during a press briefing that she had not seen any “credible threats” when asked about the Biden administration’s “level of concern” regarding potential attacks on Jewish Americans. 

At the time, Moskowitz called out the press secretary’s “weak answer” as she faced backlash for the response. Jean-Pierre later clarified in a social media post that the White House was “very concerned” about the rise in antisemitism.

“I don’t know why it can’t happen at the podium and it has to continue happening on Twitter,” Moskowitz told McEnany. “Obviously, that’s concerning. But I’m happy for the fact that the press secretary has come out and condemned that behavior,” he said.

DOZENS OF PRO-PALESTINIAN UNIVERSITY STUDENT CHAPTERS CELEBRATE ATTACK ON ISRAEL: ‘NOT UNPROVOKED

London protest for Israeli hostages

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 22: People participate in a ‘Bring Them Home’ solidarity rally in Trafalgar Square calling for the release of hostages held in Gaza by Hama on October 22, 2023 in London, England. (Peter Nicholls/Getty Images)

Moskowitz expressed frustration over the rise in antisemitism on college campuses and videos circulating of young people tearing down the Israeli hostage posters.

“I don’t know what it is. It’s like a mental illness that we’re seeing,” the Democrat said. 

“They see these posters and they just feel like they have to tear them down… Something is clearly wrong with the youth of America, that they think it’s acceptable, when someone has been kidnapped, to try to erase that person,” he added.

Moskowitz defended everyone’s right to free speech and protest in calling for a ceasefire and criticizing the Israeli government. But he argued radical speech calling for the eradication of Israel was the worst kind of antisemitism Jews have experienced since the Holocaust.

He said the Jewish community would continue to fight back against this hateful movement. 

“We’ve learned from history, and we’re done being silent, when we see this level of hatred,” he said.

Moskowitz was one of 22 House Democrats who voted to formally censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., on Tuesday, for her most recent anti-Israel comments made in the wake of nation’s war against terror group Hamas. 

The White House press secretary did not immediately respond to a Fox Digital request for comment.

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