The White House issued a brutal response Monday to what it said was the “inappropriate” nickname President Biden has been given by critics of his support for Israel amid its war with Hamas terrorists.
Dubbed “Genocide Joe,” Biden has increasingly become the target of far-left protests across the country, including by some in his own party accusing him of supporting an effort to wipe out Gaza and the Palestinian people.
“We’re not worried about nicknames and bumper stickers. I mean, it’s First Amendment free speech. The president’s focused on … making sure that we can continue to support Israel as they fight a terrible terrorist group, Hamas,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby initially told New York Post reporter Steven Nelson, who asked him for a response to the nickname during the White House press briefing.
Kirby then shifted his response to blast those using the term “genocide” in a context outside of referring to the express goal of Hamas: the complete eradication of Jews.
“People can say what they want on the sidewalk, and we respect that. That’s what the First Amendment is about. But this word genocide is getting thrown around in a pretty inappropriate way by lots of different folks,” he said.
“What Hamas wants, make no mistake about it, is genocide. They want to wipe Israel off the map. They’ve said so publicly on more than one occasion, in fact, just recently. And they’ve said that they’re not going to stop,” he said, adding that attacks like that of Oct. 7 would continue to happen “again and again and again.”
Kirby acknowledged that there had been “too many” civilian deaths within Gaza as a result of military action, but that Israel was “not trying to wipe the Palestinian people off the map.”
“Israel’s trying to defend itself against a genocidal terrorist threat. So if we’re going to start using that word, fine, let’s use it appropriately,” he said.
Kirby’s comments come just over a week after tens of thousands of anti-Israel protesters descended on the White House, demanding a cease-fire in the war but refusing to denounce Hamas for its civilian-targeted brutality.
"Israel isn’t trying to wipe the Palestinian people off the map. Israel isn’t trying to wipe Gaza off the map. Israel is trying to defend itself against a genocidal terrorist threat. So if we’re going to start using that word, Fine. Let’s use it appropriately.” – John Kirby 🎯 pic.twitter.com/5Zo2jxOUG3
— Chris Rose (@ArchRose90) November 20, 2023