As Israelis Are Murdered in Palestinian Terror Attacks, Psaki Urges ‘All Sides’ to Show ‘Restraint’ (VIDEO)
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki couldn’t quite drop the moral equivalence doctrine between Israelis and Palestinians as she answered a question from a reporter about a spate of stabbings by Palestinian terrorists in Tel Aviv and the West Bank, which claimed the life of a soldier and a 25 year-old Israeli woman on Monday and wounded two others.
The exchange took place at a State Department briefing, where Psaki was questioned by an incredulous Matt Lee of the Associated Press:
Jen Psaki: We strongly condemn the stabbings, uh, the stabbings today, in the West Bank and we deeply regret the loss of life. Our condolences go out to the victim’s family. It is absolutely critical that parties take absolutely every measure to protect civilians and deescalate tensions. Uh, we are also seeking any additional information surrounding, uh, the incident of the, uh, Israeli Arab who was shot, who was shot uh, as well uh, shot with a uh, uh, a live bullet, uh. We’re looking for information concerning this incident. We’re in touch, close touch, with the ministry of justice, and of course we urge all parties to exercise restraint. Obviously, these events happened over the last 12, 24 hours so I don’t have more details other than what’s been out there at this point.
Matt Lee: All right, I’m just going to assume that, correct me if I’m wrong but when you say all parties must show restraint, you’re talking about the, who are you talking about?
Jen Psaki: Well, we’re talking about the Israelis, the Palestinians, any who are uh, involved in these uh, eh, tension-raising, rhetoric-raising incidents.
Matt Lee: Okay, but I mean, if you’re standing at a bus stop or something and someone runs a car into you or comes up and stabs you, I don’t know how to, I mean, those people aren’t, don’t need to exercise restraint, do they?
Jen Psaki: Well, Matt, I think I’m referring to the fact that we know that there have been, there’s been rising tensions in the region that has led to some of these incidents, I think we are all aware of that (laughs).
Matt Lee: In terms of the restraint and the rhetoric.
Jen Psaki: Um hmm?
Matt Lee: Are you seeing any, I mean, uh, last week you were pretty down on both sides or you were up, you were pleased with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s calls, uh, and uh the stuff that he did with the Jordanians about getting the tensions around the Temple Mount down, but you weren’t particularly happy with President Abbas, is that, is that changed?
Jen Psaki: Well, I think they also said last week, I was speaking to one incident of Prime Minister Netanyahu, obviously there have been a range of issues and events that have led to the rising tensions in the region, that both sides need to do more to [unintelligible].
Matt Lee: Still?
Jen Psaki: C-correct.
Matt Lee: Still, and can you point to anything significant along those lines, over the course of the, over the weekend?
Jen Psaki: Positive steps?
Matt Lee: Positive or negative.
Jen Psaki: There aren’t any positive steps, ahead.
Matt Lee: There aren’t any positive steps?
Jen Psaki: No additional steps, no.
Watch a video of the exchange below (29:18):