Skip To Content
We’ve Taken Down the Forward Paywall: An Open Letter to Our ReadersRead Now

White House Slams Dual Loyalty Accusations Against Palestinian, Jewish Officials

The White House on Thursday condemned “spurious accusations” after recent media publications implictly accused Palestinian-American and Jewish-American staffers of racism and dual loyalty.

“We are appalled by recent spurious accusations against our staff,” Emily Horne, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, said. “We welcome oversight and scrutiny, but there is no justification for false and ad hominem attacks based on ethnic, racial, or religious identity,” Horne added, emphasizing that “women and men of the NSC are patriotic, dedicated, and serve their country with distinction. Being forced to endure public smear campaigns should not be part of working on behalf of the American people.”

On Wednesday, a Mother Jones-NBC News report highlighted that a family foundation linked to Anne Neuberger, a senior NSA official recently tapped by the National Security Council to work on cybersecurity issues, had donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the pro-Israel lobby. Neuberger, an Orthodox Jew from Brooklyn’s Borough Park neighborhood, is widely considered to be one of Washington’s foremost and capable experts on cyber-related matters.

AIPAC criticized the “offensive story,” accusing NBC News of promoting antisemitic charges of dual loyalty. NBC later retracted the article after determining that it fell short of their reporting standards.

A separate column published by the Jewish News Syndicate on January 27 accused Maher Bitar, tapped to be the NSC’s senior director for intelligence programs, of being an anti-Israel BDS activist who helped host conferences for so-called “supporters of Islamic terrorism.”

Bitar was the first Palestinian-American to ever work in the White House under the Obama administration, serving as NSC director for Israeli and Palestinian affairs. He recently served as general counsel for Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, playing a key role in former U.S. President Donald Trump’s first impeachment. He will be a key conduit between the White House and intelligence organizations in his new position.

Biden recently tapped another Palestinian-American, Reema Dodin, to be his administration’s deputy director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. Conservative media criticized Dodin for statements she made in college nearly 20 years ago on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Biden-Harris transition team defended Dodin and her previous boss, Sen. Dick Durbin, paid tribute to her on the Senate floor earlier this month.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.