AP Reporter Demands Answers From State Department Spokeswoman on Administration's Handling of the Israel-Gaza Conflict: "You're Staying Silent While People Are Dying"
In a rare exchange at the State Department yesterday, Associated Press reporter Matthew Lee pushed State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland on the agency’s approach to handling the Israel-Gaza conflict.
Lee questioned Nuland, “You say that it would not be helpful for you to discuss any of your conversations, that quiet diplomacy is the way to deescalate that. Well, you’ve been doing your quiet diplomacy now for almost a week. How’s is going so far?”
Nuland began to respond “we are working hard...” but Lee interjected, “Hasn't it occurred to anybody that maybe being less quiet might get more results?
You know, squeaky wheel gets grease, that kind of thing. (Nuland begins to speak, but is interrupted again) You’re staying silent while people are dying, left and right.”
“Matt, we are being far from silent. The president...” she attempted once more. Lee pressed, “You’re not telling us anything about what you’re ... When the Turks come out, when the leaders of Turkey come out and say that Israel is engaged in acts of terrorism, and you refuse to say that you don’t agree with that, or maybe you do agree with it, that’s being silent.”
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Nuland wouldn’t go further than to say that Israel has a right to defend itself because she didn’t want to get into a “public spitting match with allies on either side.”
Lee wasn’t letting go, demanding, “And you think that that’s worse? A public spitting match with one of your allies is worse than hundreds of people dying every day?”
By the end, the two came to a resolution of some sort. Watch their heated exchange below: