Right-wing critics and Jewish commentators have slammed President Joe Biden for remarks comparing the Irish and Palestinian struggles made during a visit to a hospital in the Palestinian-controlled sector of East Jerusalem on Friday, July 15.
Biden stated: “The background of my family is Irish American and we have a long history not fundamentally unlike the Palestinian people, with Great Britain and their attitude toward Irish Catholics over the years for 400 years."
The National Review, a leading right-wing publication, carried a headline that read: "Biden’s Disgraceful Smear of Israel is No Laughing Matter".
The article argued rather confusingly that because the Irish just fought to drive the British from their lands they had no intent to destroy them as a race which is what Arabs wanted to do to Israel.
The New York Post reports that many saw Biden’s remarks as a ”swipe at two key US allies, Israel and the United Kingdom".
The Post reported that at the time of the conflict in the 1970s and 1980s, the Palestinian Liberation Organization provided support to the Irish Republican Army.
The critics came by email and Twitter to attack Biden.
“One of Biden’s many rhetorical challenges is his desire to suggest he understands everyone’s pain because he experienced something similar … which ends up not actually being similar,” Republican Matt Whitlock wrote.
One of Biden’s many rhetorical challenges is his desire to suggest he understands everyone’s pain because he experienced something similar .. which ends up not actually being similar. https://t.co/c0UsN1QooS— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) July 15, 2022
“I’m not sure that Irish-Americans who have lived relatively comfortable lives should run around saying ‘we’ have suffered terrible pain because of the Troubles,” tweeted National Review political correspondent Jim Geraghty. “It’s like blurring the line between empathy and stolen valor…”