When a hostage situation emerged in Colleyville, Texas, over the weekend, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was quick to assure the American people that President Joe Biden had been briefed on the situation and was in touch with all the pertinent officials and law enforcement agencies.
Psaki seemed a bit more hesitant, however, to be candid with the American people about what, precisely, the situation the president had been apprised of entailed.
Namely, that a lone gunman had held a group of worshippers at a Jewish synagogue hostage and was demanding the release of a convicted Islamic militant terrorist.
The FBI released a statement which explained that on Saturday, a British national, 44-year-old Malik Faisal Akram, entered the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, where he held four hostages at gunpoint. According to the FBI, Akram was demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist who is in federal prison for opening fire on American soldiers in Afghanistan.
Akram was ultimately killed by law enforcement, and praise the Lord, the hostages are all safe.
In a tweet on Saturday afternoon as the situation was ongoing, however, Psaki wrote that Biden “has been briefed about the developing hostage situation in the Dallas area.”
.@POTUS has been briefed about the developing hostage situation in the Dallas area. He will continue to receive updates from his senior team as the situation develops. Senior members of the national security team are also in touch with federal law enforcement leadership.
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) January 15, 2022
“He will continue to receive updates from his senior team as the situation develops,” she added. “Senior members of the national security team are also in touch with federal law enforcement leadership.”
The conspicuous lack of the word “synagogue” or any other details that would shed light on the ideological agenda behind the hostage situation attracted attention from critics, as you can imagine:
Any other details about where this is occurring, Jen?
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) January 15, 2022
Hey, call it what it is.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) January 15, 2022
Nothing more specific than this? We have more confirmed critical details.
— Rebeccah Heinrichs (@RLHeinrichs) January 15, 2022
Later the same day, Psaki followed up with a link to Biden’s statement on the incident that was only slightly more specific.
“Thanks to the courageous work of state, local and federal law enforcement, four Americans who were held hostage at a Texas synagogue will soon be home with their families,” it read. “I am grateful to the tireless work of law enforcement at all levels who acted cooperatively and fearlessly to rescue the hostages. We are sending love and strength to the members of Congregation Beth Israel, Colleyville, and the Jewish community.”
“There is more we will learn in the days ahead about the motivations of the hostage taker. But let me be clear to anyone who intends to spread hate—we will stand against antisemitism and against the rise of extremism in this country,” it continued. “That is who we are, and tonight, the men and women of law enforcement made us all proud.”
It’s almost imperceptible what sort of “hate” he’s condemning.
Of course, the Biden administration is in good company as far as light-treading political officials go; the FBI claimed that the attack was “not specifically related to the Jewish community.”
Previously, the Islamic State group has also sought Siddiqui’s release as have other Islamic militant groups, as NBC News noted. The convicted terrorist has a well-established history of virulent anti-Semitism and suspected ties to the types of groups that do things like, you know, wage jihad holy war across the Middle East and Africa in the name of establishing an Islamic state and are themselves violently and irrefutably anti-Semitic.
So, when Psaki set out to brief the American public that Biden was aware that a man was holding Jews hostage at their synagogue on the Sabbath demanding the release of a woman who once wrote that “holocausts” keep happening to the Jews because they “have always back-stabbed everyone,” do you think she might have considered including any details beyond the fact that there was a “hostage situation in Dallas”?
It is indeed ragingly conspicuous that she did not.
Neither did Biden when he was asked point-blank by reporters to weigh in on Saturday.
“I don’t– we don’t have I don’t think there is sufficient information to know about why he targeted that synagogue, why he insisted on the release of someone who’s been in prison for over 10 years, why he was engaged, why he was using an anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli comments,” the president said, as CNN reported.
Gee, why indeed, Joe?
For an administration supposedly dedicated to combating “hate,” Psaki and Biden rather dropped the ball in this case, don’t you think?
I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that Biden happens to be leading the Democratic Party at a time when anti-Semitic rhetoric has never been more common among its increasingly progressive ranks.
This is exactly why the culture war in our country has caused so much destruction over the last several years of hyper-partisan conflict and rhetoric.
No matter who you are or who you vote for, it shouldn’t be remotely controversial to identify that an attack occurred in a synagogue in America in 2022, but no — Psaki has found herself caught up in the rhetorical web that the identity politics-obsessed left has crafted for themselves in this dangerously tribalistic era.
It’s no longer possible for leftists to simply condemn any and all hate-motivated attacks on Americans; it’s hard not to feel like the Biden administration is treading lightly on this one for a reason.
After all, just consider how different things would have been if it were a white man holding a group of Jews worshiping at their temple on the Sabbath hostage, demanding his extremist comrade be released from prison.
Psaki and Biden would have each already issued their statements of harsh condemnation before the FBI even had a chance to talk to the hostage-taker.
Then there are situations like this, where the administration seems hesitant to even acknowledge the simple facts. It draws to mind the Waukesha vehicle attack, which the Biden administration hardly commented on at all.
It was left to Fox News reporter Peter Doocy to hassle Psaki in the briefing room over the administration’s “resource issues” which prevented the president from visiting the families of those who lost their lives, run over while gathering for a parade two days after the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict was announced. The accused is a leftist black man.
If the Biden administration really stood against “hate,” they’d stand against all hate rather than picking and choosing which acts of hatred best suit their narrative, and which are better to avoid with a wide berth.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.