(Luis Cornelio, Headline USA) Embattled Secretary of State Antony Blinken faced swift backlash and subsequently deleted a controversial tweet in which he downplayed Hamas’s terrorist attack on Israel.
In the now-removed post, Blinken called for a “cease-fire” between Hamas and Israel, drawing criticism for seemingly disregarding the gravity of Hamas’s initial assault and the ongoing hostage situation.
“Turkish Foreign Minister @HakanFidan and I spoke further on Hamas’ terrorist attacks on Israel. I encouraged Türkiye’s advocacy for a cease-fire and the release of all hostages held by Hamas immediately,” Blinken’s deleted tweet read, as reported by the New York Post on Monday.
Why did Sec. Blinken delete this? pic.twitter.com/o9AvX5qVuq
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) October 9, 2023
The tweet ignited outrage, with critics arguing that Blinken’s use of the term “cease-fire” minimized Israel’s right to self-defense against the terrorist attacks launched by Hamas
The secretary of state’s remarks came in the wake of the U.S. Office of Palestinian Affairs (OPA) briefly posting — and then deleting — a similar call for a halt in Israel’s response.
“We unequivocally condemn the attack of Hamas terrorists and the loss of life that has incurred. We urge all sides to refrain from violence and retaliatory attacks. Terror and violence solve nothing,” the OPA said on Twitter.
This is disgraceful and every single person involved in drafting and approving this tweet should be immediately expelled from the U.S. government. https://t.co/EF6cJOCVpM
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 7, 2023
SEE IT: The US Office of Palestinian Affairs (@USPalAffairs) deleted a post urging “all sides to refrain from violence and retaliatory attacks.” They claimed the statement was not approved. pic.twitter.com/In0tZgpdms
— Simon Ateba (@simonateba) October 7, 2023
As tensions in the region escalated, Blinken also faced scrutiny for his remarks regarding Iran’s involvement in the Hamas attacks. In an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday, Blinken said there was no evidence tying the two Islamist groups.
“We have not yet seen evidence that Iran directed or was behind this particular attack, but there is certainly a long relationship,” Blinken claimed. However, the Wall Street Journal later published a report confirming Iran’s involvement in the attack, which had resulted in the kidnapping of several Israeli citizens.
Biden Secretary of State Antony Blinken dismisses concerns over the Biden administration unlocking $6 billion for Iran — just weeks before Iran-backed Hamas terrorists attacked Israel — as “playing politics” pic.twitter.com/KibnPRYT4G
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) October 8, 2023
Members of the socialist “Squad,” including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib found themselves at the center of the controversy as well. They too called for a cease-fire, which starkly contrasted with their previous reluctance to support Israel’s defense systems against Hamas, the authority in the Gaza Strip.
“I condemn Hamas’ attack in the strongest possible terms,” AOC remarked on Oct. 8. “No child and family should ever endure this kind of violence and fear, and this violence will not solve the ongoing oppression and occupation in the region. An immediate ceasefire and de-escalation is urgently needed to save lives.”
However, AOC’s recent call for a cease-fire raised questions, especially given her 2021 vote, when she was one of only two lawmakers to vote “present” on a bill funding Israel’s Iron Dome Aerial Defense System—a vital safeguard against Hamas’s offensive missiles.
— Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@RepAOC) October 7, 2023