Former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday that she thinks some protests in the United States demanding a ceasefire in Gaza could be linked to Russia, and that the FBI should conduct a probe into their funding.
In an interview with CNN, Pelosi was asked whether opposition to President Joe Biden’s policy in the war in Gaza could hurt the Democrat in November’s presidential election, when she replied that “for them to call for a cease-fire is Mr. Putin’s message, Mr. Putin’s message. Make no mistake, this is directly connected to what he would like to see. Same thing with Ukraine. It’s about Putin’s message .. “I think some of these protesters are spontaneous, and organic, and sincere. Some I think are connected to Russia. Some financing should be investigated and I want to ask the FBI to investigate that.” Pelosi provided no evidence for her claims.
Pelosi’s comments marked the first time a prominent U.S. lawmaker has accused Russia’s leader of backing U.S. protesters calling for a ceasefire. Her comments were dismissed as “unsubstantiated smears” by some rights advocates, who said such remarks amounted to dehumanization of the Palestinian people. Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesperson for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said: “It is unconscionable that an individual with such influence in this nation would spread unsubstantiated smears targeting those who seek an end to the slaughter of civilians in Gaza and a just resolution to that conflict. Her comments once again show the negative impact of decades of dehumanization of the Palestinian people.”
The U.N. has demanded an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, but Washington has vetoed resolutions for such calls in the United Nations Security Council, saying it would let Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which governs Gaza, regroup and rebuild.
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