Photo Credit: Screenshot
Said Arikat

During the Tuesday State Dept. press briefing, Said Arikat, the Washington DC-based reporter for the Palestinian Arab news outlet Al-Quds, attempted to pull out of Spokesperson Heather Nauert some statement of support for his assertion that, after all, “the whole Oslo process, which the United States is really the shepherd of, is predicated – premised – on the two-state solution, correct?”

Nauert wasn’t having any of this, and, flashing her wide, official grin, retorted the noncommittal: “Look, both parties have to be willing to live and to work with this, and we will help support them in that. I think that is ultimately up for those parties to decide.

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At which point Arikat actually said the following: “On this issue. Yesterday – or today, the daughter of the American ambassador to Israel, Talia, immigrated to Israel, and she’s – presumably will be joining the Israeli army. Is that a good practice for the American ambassador to have his daughter join the Israeli army there that is perceived as an occupation army?”

Taken aback just a wee bit, Nauert recovered quickly and responded in her fluent Officialese: “I’m not aware – this report is news to me. I’m not aware of that report, but I’ll certainly look into it. I’m not sure we would have a comment on it, but I can certainly look into it.”

Would the same reporter dare to ask a similar question about a family member of any other Administration official? Probably not. Are family members of public official fair game? Well, we know the White Supremacists have been haranguing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-KY) about his Asian American wife, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, questioning her racial purity.

Is that the despicable level of nastiness matched by Al Quds and its reporter at DOS? Where are the condemnations from our friends in the media?

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