At his press conference this morning, Mayor Ed Murray appeared to be no fan of recent comments (which we covered yesterday) from city council member Kshama Sawant praising anti-Israel protests in Seattle (which Sawant also mentioned she attended) and urging the council to sign a letter she drafted condemning the state of Israel's actions against Hamas during the ongoing war in Gaza.
This morning, unprompted by any question from reporters, Murray offered the following extemporaneous comments, tacitly accusing Sawant of "demonizing" Israel:
I realize yesterday there was a discussion about Israel and Hamas at the Seattle City Council.
I think it’s very important to recognize that there is a human tragedy and that lives are being lost. But I don’t think it benefits anyone to demonize the state of Israel. We as a city should speak with a moral voice, but I think we should also remember that we are made up, as a city, of people who come from both sides of the divide in Israel and Palestine, and demonizing folks is simply not going to help that cause, and it certainly is going to note help bring us together as a city.
Today, the Jewish Federation and the Anti-Defamation League condemned anti-Israel activists who attended the same protest, on Saturday, that Sawant praised during her comments, noting that their signs included Israeli flags with swastikas in place of the Star of David, cartoons depicting star-wearing bibs eating babies—a reference to the infamous "blood libel," an anti-Semitic trope that claims Jewish people kidnap, murder, and use the blood of children in religious rituals—an image depicting former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as Hitler, and many signs comparing Zionists to Nazis.