The White House said its message to Democrats sparring with President Joe Biden over his support for Israel is to “step back from politics for a moment.”
Some Democrats, including New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, have been vocally against Israel and Biden’s support for the country amid escalating tensions with militants in Gaza. Ocasio-Cortez called Israel an “apartheid” state on March 15 and condemned the Biden administration for not standing “up to an ally” while claiming “to stand for human rights.”
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, was asked about the rift during Monday’s press briefing and reiterated the administration’s belief that a two-state solution is the way to end the violence. She did not offer a solution to the in-fighting.
“I will say, our message is: Sometimes you have to step back from politics for a moment. It’s not easy to do, and we recognize and agree that watching the lives lost of these Palestinian children, of these families, the fear you seen the eyes of the Israeli people – It is heartbreaking,” Psaki responded when asked what the message for Democrats is. “We want to bring an end to the violence, we want de-escalate the situation on the ground.”
“The role we feel we can do that through, the most effective way we feel we can do that, is through quiet and intensive diplomacy, and that is what our focus is on at this point in time. But we share an objective of de-escalating the circumstances on the ground. We share with you that a two-state solution is the only way to bring a lasting end to the violence,” Psaki continued.
Biden has repeatedly voiced his support for Israel, telling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the phone on May 12 that they have “a right to defend itself” and expressing “unwavering support” from the U.S.
As Democrats fight over support for Israel, dozens of senators called for a cease-fire between the country and Hamas on Sunday. (RELATED: How The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Is Dividing Democrats)