February 1, 2023

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Trump administration tacitly (if unofficially) supports Israel’s strikes in Syria and Lebanon


Yesterday, the White House announced that it had issued sanctions on a number of Lebanese financial institutions and individuals that help fund Hezbollah and Hamas.

The transcript of the press conference (the source seems bizarre but the transcript is accurate)  is a pleasure to read, as it is so refreshing even three years after Obama to see a White House that is so clearly supportive of Israel’s right to self defense and so against coddling Iran and its support for terrorists. Something like this was unthinkable a few years ago, but it is so obviously the correct and moral position. Say what you want about Trump but in this area it is the Obama administration that was immoral in propping up Iran and its terror proxies Hamas and Hezbollah.

A couple of reporters asked the administration officials about presumed Israeli attacks on Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria and Lebanon. The answers show that while the White House does not officially support Israel’s actions, it has absolutely no problem with them.

Q    Hi, it’s Karen DeYoung at the Washington Post. …On the larger question of Hizballah and Iran, I wonder if you could — any of you — talk a bit about the recent Israeli strikes in Syria and Lebanon, and whether the United States is playing any role in encouraging or discouraging those attacks, and just what you think of them in general.  Thank you.

OFFICIAL 1: I’ll leave it for the Israelis to comment on what they did or they didn’t do.  But the United States neither encourages nor discourages the Israeli attacks.  The United States believes that the government of Israel has a right to defend itself from threatening activities throughout the region, wherever they may be.

OFFICIAL 2:  …It’s our position that Israel is only acting because of Iran’s actions.  If Iran was not pouring heavy weapons and fighters into Israel’s neighbors with the express purpose of threatening Israel, I don’t think Israel would be needing to take any of these actions.  And we fully support Israel’s right to self-defense, and denounce Iran’s regional campaign to violence. 

     Q    Hi.  This is Jeff Schogol with Task & Purpose.  I just wanted to follow up on my colleague’s question.  The U.S. supports Israel’s right to self-defense and Iraqi sovereignty.  But if Israel attacks targets in Iraq, what does the United States do when Israel’s right to defend tramples over Iraq’s sovereignty?
     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  I think that’s actually an excellent question for the Iranians.  Where is their respect for Iraqi sovereignty when they are putting this material into Iraq?  That seems, to me, a pretty gross violation of sovereignty if that’s the topic under discussion.

The press conference also revealed that Iran has transferred over $200 million to Hamas in the past four years. This is besides the funding of other terror groups in Gaza.

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