Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer is facing a call to resign after the Democrat issued a statement following Hamas's mass terror attack in Israel that failed to mention the Jewish state altogether.
Aryeh Lightstone, who served as senior adviser to former U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman, called Whitmer's statement "embarrassing" and "fraudulent." Hours after Hamas terrorists slaughtered hundreds of Israelis, Whitmer broke her silence in a post that merely referred to "what's happening in the region" and did not mention Israel. For Lightstone, such a response disqualifies Whitmer from office.
"She watched this happen in real time," Lightstone said. "And to watch women and children be kidnapped and raped and murdered, and to not be able to say something? She should resign immediately."
This is not the first time Whitmer has faced questions over her support for the Jewish state. Asked during her 2018 gubernatorial campaign whether she opposes the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, which seeks to wage economic warfare on Israel, Whitmer declined to take a stance, the Washington Free Beacon reported at the time. Whitmer also tapped Detroit activist Garlin Gilchrist to serve as her lieutenant governor—Gilchrist has defended Hamas as a "legitimately elected party that only rose to power b/c of Israeli aggression" and accused the Jewish state's American supporters of "kissing Israel's ass."
"I'm suck [sic] of politicians and Evangelicals kissing Israel's ass regardless of what they do in the name of 'defense,'" Gilchrist said in 2009.
Whitmer's office did not return a request for comment.
In addition to her failure to name Israel, Whitmer did not condemn Hamas or its terrorism against innocent Israelis in her statement, instead saying, "We need peace in this region." After the statement prompted widespread criticism, Whitmer followed up with a second post that said her support for Israel is "steadfast." Whitmer's second statement also failed to mention Hamas or its terrorism.
For Lightstone, Whitmer should have known better. The former senior adviser to Friedman said he hosted Whitmer for a Thanksgiving dinner in Israel just years ago.
"Dear Gov. Whitmer," Lightstone wrote. "I hosted you for Thanksgiving in Israel just a few years ago. I am embarrassed for you and by you and disappointed that I opened my home and my family to you."
In addition to Lightstone, Whitmer's statement attracted criticism from fellow Democrats, according to the Detroit Free Press. Whitmer's 2022 GOP challenger, Tudor Dixon, also condemned the Democrat's response. "No American leader should struggle to say, 'We Stand With Israel,'" Dixon said.