The White House opted not to respond to a request for comment after a Biden administration communications official's pro-Palestine social media post resurfaced amid the Middle East crisis.
Tyler Cherry, who is now the Department of the Interior's principal deputy communications director and senior spokesperson, said in the 2014 post that he was celebrating the end of the "occupation of Palestine." The post came amid the 2014 Gaza War in which Palestinian forces, led by the radical Iran-backed terrorist group Hamas, launched hundreds of rockets into Israel, sparking a forceful Israeli response that involved airstrikes and a ground invasion.
"Cheersing in bars to ending the occupation of Palestine — no shame and f--- your glares #ISupportGaza #FreePalestine," Cherry said on July 25, 2014, in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The White House, Interior Department and Cherry himself all ignored requests for comment about the post.
According to the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, an Israeli think tank, the 2014 war between Israel and Palestine — which began in early July 2014 and ceased in late August 2014 — began as a result of Palestinian militants' aggressive barrage of rocket attacks on Israel. An estimated 735 rockets fired from Gaza were ultimately intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome system.
The war started on July 8, 2014, when Israel launched Operation Protective Edge which was mainly focused on destroying — via airstrikes and, later, ground troops entering the Gaza Strip — an intricate network of tunnels the Hamas terrorist group used to cross into Israel underground, according to a report from the RAND Arroyo Center.
"While this was a war Israel did not want, it was a war that inadvertently preempted a terrorist massacre inside Israel’s heartland, principally through a network of sophisticated tunnels built deep under the border, and intended to stream hundreds, if not thousands, of dedicated terrorists, many on suicide missions, in the quiet of night, to destinations where they could kill as many innocent people as possible and leave Israel mauled as never before," Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs stated in its own report.
Overall, according to the United Nations, 72 Israelis died during the war while there more than 2,000 Palestinian deaths, the vast majority of which occurred after Palestine rejected a ceasefire proposed by Israel on July 15, 2014.
While the United Nations and other global groups condemned Israel for the civilian deaths caused by its operations, now-retired U.S. Gen. Martin Dempsey, who served as chairman of U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff between 2011 and 2015, said after the war that Israel had gone to "extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and prevent civilian casualties in the Gaza conflict."
Meanwhile, Cherry's post during the 2014 war resurfaced amid the latest conflict between Israel and Palestine. Last weekend, Hamas unleashed a series of coordinated attacks on innocent civilians across Israel, resulting in thousands of deaths.
Overall, the escalating conflict has claimed the lives of at least 2,500 people, including at least 1,000 Israelis and 27 Americans, according to the latest information.
"We have only started striking Hamas," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a televised address this week. "What we will do to our enemies in the coming days will reverberate with them for generations."
Since Tuesday, Israeli warplanes have unleashed an aerial bombardment of downtown Gaza City, and the nation is considering sending its troops on the ground into Palestinian territories.
"The brutality of Hamas — this bloodthirstiness — brings to mind the worst — the worst rampages of ISIS. This is terrorism," Biden remarked in a speech on Tuesday. "But sadly for the Jewish people, it’s not new."
"Like every nation in the world, Israel has the right to respond — indeed has a duty to respond — to these vicious attacks. I just got off the phone with — the third call with Prime Minister Netanyahu. And I told him if the United States experienced what Israel is experiencing, our response would be swift, decisive and overwhelming."
Cherry's past social media posts attacking police officers as racist and boosting the "Russiagate" conspiracy theory during the Trump administration recently came to light. While the White House declined to comment on those posts, it attacked conservatives for what it characterized as personal attacks on Cherry.
"No one should be targeted simply for being themselves. It is cruel and unacceptable," a White House spokesperson told The Advocate, an LGBT-focused news outlet, last week. "This is an administration that believes to our core in the principle that out of many we are one — and we are proud that the people who serve in it reflect those values as well."
"Tyler is an invaluable member of our team who continues to deliver for the Department of Interior and the American people."
Cherry, who has served at the Interior Department since early 2021, previously worked for President Biden's presidential campaign, left-wing consulting firm SKDK, and Media Matters for America, a progressive publication.