Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer finally used the “I” word—as in Israel—after facing intense criticism for expressing sympathy for the unnamed people of an unnamed region impacted by something that happened.
The Democrat Whitmer was widely mocked for her ambiguous Saturday tweet that said: “I have been in touch with communities impacted by what’s happening in the region. It is abhorrent. My heart is with all those impacted. We need peace in the region.”
Those blasting her lack of specificity included conservative commentator Steve Guest, who tweeted: “Pathetic. What region? Why won’t you say it, Gretchen?”
Meghan McCain, former co-host of ABC’s “The View,” tweeted: “Israelis were murdered by Palestinian terrorists — it’s not complicated. You are garbage.” And Daniel Turner, executive director of Power the Future, accused the governor of “complete gobbledegook.”
“Say their names. … Israelis were murdered by Palestinian terrorists,” tweeted Curtis Houck, managing editor of the conservative Media Research Center’s Newsbusters. “I know this is hard for rich, white liberals like yourself.”
This is a pathetic statement.
Why can’t you say you support Israel?
This is the Left in America. Wise up. https://t.co/H1iYyiaO3T
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) October 8, 2023
The @GayPatriot account tweeted: “They are called ISRAELIS.”
Ms. Whitmer followed up with a statement that condemned the loss of life suffered by Israel in the surprise attack, which prompted Israel to declare war and launch a counter-strike against the Palestinian enclave in the Gaza Strip. She didn’t mention that the attack was carried out by the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which the U.S. and Israeli governments considered to be a terrorist organization.
“The images that continue to come out of Israel on the anniversary of the Yom Kippur War are devastating,” Ms. Whitmer tweeted. “The loss of lives in Israel – children and families – is absolutely heartbreaking and appalling. There is no justification for violence against Israel. My support is steadfast.”
Democrat Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer finally released a clean-up tweet about Israel.
She is a profile in cowardice. pic.twitter.com/x5rqE04K7A
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) October 8, 2023
Retorted conservative media critic Stephen L. Miller: “Your support is so steadfast you couldn’t state it the first time around and had to be Twitter shamed into a second statement.”
The deadly attack by Hamas has created a messaging dilemma for Democrats as polls show party members increasingly sympathy with the Palestinians over the Israelis in the longstanding territorial and religious conflict, particularly since conservative Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned to power.
Michigan has one of the nation’s largest U.S. Muslim communities at an estimated 242,000, or 2.4% of the state’s population. The state’s Jewish population is far smaller at about 88,000, or 0.9%, according to World Population Review.
Ryan Petty, a member of the Florida State Board of Education, said the governor’s second statement was “a little better.”
“Now say Hamas terrorists did this,” tweeted Mr. Petty. “Condemn them, Governor, it’s not hard.”