This is yesterday’s State Department daily Press Briefing. You can open up the video in a new window if you like and listen along… we pick up the action around 7:30.
Kerry is lying and getting caught. Matt Lee of the AP is the “QUESTION:”
QUESTION: Okay. I’m going to try it one more time.
MS. PSAKI: Okay.
QUESTION: Because I think it’s a pretty straightforward question to ask, if you – to answer. When was it that Prime Minister Netanyahu asked Secretary Kerry to try to arrange a humanitarian cease-fire?
MS. PSAKI: There’s been a discussion about a humanitarian cease-fire for days now, Matt.
QUESTION: I think the answer to the question is a day, not that there’s been a discussion over the last —
MS. PSAKI: Well, no, for days there’s been – we’ve been talking about a humanitarian cease-fire.
QUESTION: When – and so every single day Secretary – every single day that they have talked, Prime Minister Netanyahu has asked Secretary Kerry to try to arrange a cease-fire?
MS. PSAKI: They have discussed the issue nearly every time they talk, Matt.
QUESTION: But there’s a – you understand there’s a difference between discussing the issue and him actually asking for it and then – and the prime minister asking for it and then the Secretary saying that the reason that he’s doing this is because Prime Minister Netanyahu asked him to do it.
MS. PSAKI: Well, I think, one, we know that Prime Minister Netanyahu wants to see an end to the threats that are facing the Israeli people. That’s the premise of his discussion.
QUESTION: But that doesn’t necessarily mean a cease-fire, though.
MS. PSAKI: He agreed to a cease-fire earlier this weekend.
QUESTION: But that doesn’t mean that he’s been asking for Secretary Kerry to arrange one, which is what the Secretary said. I’ll drop it. I’m just trying to – it sounds as though the Secretary in his comments extrapolated a little bit in turning a discussion with Prime Minister Netanyahu about a cease-fire into Prime Minister Netanyahu asking him to actually go out and arrange one. Is —
MS. PSAKI: I think he said – and I’ll leave it at this; I know there are other issues – there was a discussion about ideas. I think, to be clear, the Secretary is the one who has introduced and been advocating for this issue with both parties.
Kerry is running around the world saying Netanyahu asked him to organise a ceasefire. Bibi didn’t.
And here we have the point about how lethal journalism is directly driving the actions of the Secretary of Sate of the US (and behind him the President) somewhere around 16:00:
QUESTION: So, I mean, in view of the ferocity of the attacks on Gaza last night or yesterday, is there, like, any kind of urgency to bring about a cease-fire as soon as possible?
MS. PSAKI: Well, there certainly is an urgency. Our objective remains stopping the rocket fire and tunnel attacks against Israeli citizens and deaths of innocent Palestinians and bringing about negotiations through a cease-fire. Every photo we see, every video we see, every mother who’s mourning reminds us why this is so important. And the Secretary certainly feels an urgency in doing everything he can to get it done. But as he said this morning, it’s ultimately up to the parties.
No concept that we need to finish this and make sure Hamas are completely destroyed as a force for “armed resistance” ever again. Just more about the doctored and carefully scripted images and words the hostage press are allowed to send out of Gaza by Hamas.
For this next bit Catherine (from Reuters) has taken over at 19:00:
QUESTION: I mean, do you think it should be the international community, and particularly the United States responsibility to keep rebuilding Gaza once it’s destroyed by these offensive operations?
MS. PSAKI: Well, I think one of the values that the United States has is to help with humanitarian assistance where it’s needed, with rebuilding where it’s needed, with helping people in need when it’s needed, and this is certainly an example of that. Obviously, it can’t just be the United States; it has to be other countries, and it is. And there are a range of countries who have shown a willingness to assist.
QUESTION: I understand, but just kind of a little bit to flesh out Matt’s point –
MS. PSAKI: Okay.
QUESTION: — a little bit more, I mean, should any type of resolution to at least this immediate crisis and any cease-fire, do you think that Israel should bear some responsibility?
MS. PSAKI: I’m just not going to speculate on that, and that’s not a discussion I’m aware of at this point in time.
So watch for this coming up soon: Israel to be blamed and asked to pay for the infrastructure destruction we wrought because Hamas hid amongst it. And Jen Psaki can’t bear to make that point. Ever.