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12 May, 2021 15:59

‘Failed to acknowledge the pain’: Andrew Yang apologizes for ‘simplistic’ pro-Israel tweet after latest deadly clashes

‘Failed to acknowledge the pain’: Andrew Yang apologizes for ‘simplistic’ pro-Israel tweet after latest deadly clashes

New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang apologized for a tweet he made in support of Israel after worshippers at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem were attacked by Israeli police and civilians were killed in escalating clashes.

In a statement on Wednesday, Yang revealed that a group of his campaign volunteers “were upset with my recent tweet expressing solidarity with the people of Israel” amid ongoing violence in the region and noted it had “claimed the lives of innocents and children on both sides.”

“They felt that my tweet was overly simplistic in my treatment of a conflict that has a long and complex history full of tragedies,” he continued. “And they felt it failed to acknowledge the pain and suffering on both sides.”

Yang conceded that his volunteers’ concerns were “of course, correct,” and said, “I mourn for every Palestinian life taken before its time as I do every Israeli.”

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“Support of a people does not make one blind to the pain and suffering of others,” he went on, concluding with his prayers that the conflict be resolved “as quickly as possible, peacefully and with minimal suffering.”

Many on social media were unsatisfied with Yang’s apology, slamming it as “too little too late.” One called it “lukewarm drivel that, by both sidesing the issue, actually ends defending evil.”

“This is even worse than the original tweet,” claimed one critic, while another wrote, “Sorry Andrew but there isn't two sides to apartheid.”

A few people did defend Yang, however. Political scientist Ian Bremmer tweeted that the mayoral candidate was “displaying a quality I very much admire” which is “when you screw up, you admit it—first to yourself and then publicly—and you work to do better.”

Yang’s original tweet – which is still up on his Twitter account – expressed solidarity “with the people of Israel who are coming under bombardment attacks,” but did not express any solidarity with Palestinians, despite airstrikes on Palestinian civilians and a police attack on hundreds of Muslim worshipers at Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

“The people of NYC will always stand with our brothers and sisters in Israel who face down terrorism and persevere,” he concluded in the original tweet.

Yang’s first tweet was praised by former Trump adviser Stephen Miller, Republican Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and neoconservative television personality Meghan McCain, but was condemned by members of his own Democratic Party, including New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

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