Pennsylvania Democrat Conor Lamb said he had “absolutely no memory” of saying Israel was guilty of “terrorism” and intentionally targeted civilians, comments from 2002 revealed by the Washington Free Beacon on Monday.
Lamb was asked about the comments by an attendee of a Tuesday event at the South Hills Jewish Community Center who read aloud the full contents of Lamb’s 2002 post on his college newspaper’s website, which remains on the site. The attendee told Lamb “several members of the Jewish community” were “concerned” about Lamb’s comments on Israel, which were sparked by a pro-Israel ad published in the Daily Pennsylvanian.
“It was disheartening to see the add [sic] in the DP the other day which read, ‘Wherever we stand, we stand with Israel,'” wrote Lamb as a student at the University of Pennsylvania.
“Just the other day, the Israeli Government launched an attack on innocent civilians in Gaza, citing them as ‘armed terrorists,'” Lamb wrote. “Among the dead were a 14 year-old boy and woman in her late 40s. The army intentionally fired on a medical facility treating the over 100 wounded.”
“There is no doubt that both sides of this conflict have committed wrongs, but if this latest attack is not terrorism, I don’t know what is,” he concluded.
Lamb’s campaign still has not responded to inquiries on the post, but said he had “absolutely no memory” of it when confronted on Tuesday, according to a recording of the event obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
“I’ve looked at that several times in the last 24 hours and as a prosecutor I’ll give you the most honest and accurate thing that I can say, which is, I have absolutely no memory of ever using those words at all,” Lamb said.
Lamb then appears to suggest that the comments posted on the Daily Pennsylvanian may be fake.
“In the climate we’re in, I think you all can fill in the rest, but all I can tell you is I don’t recognize it,” Lamb says.
Lamb begins his response, which can be heard in full below, by saying he is “not a regular reader of the Washington Free Beacon” and saying, “I’d imagine many of you are not either.”
The Daily Pennsylvanian‘s director of web development said because of its age they couldn’t pinpoint the exact date of Lamb’s post on the article, but “it’s safe to assume that the comment was sometime around when the article was posted” in October 2002.
The site no longer uses the comment system it did in 2002, so the post was not made recently.
Despite saying he couldn’t remember the comments, Lamb ended his response at the event by walking them back.
“In any event, for the amount I paid in college and law school tuition I do hope that my lens is different at age 33 than it was at age 18,” Lamb said. “What I can tell you now is that I am absolutely committed to Israel’s right to exist.”
“In Congress, I would look for anyway I could to contribute to a two-state solution in Israel, that in which Israel and Palestine [sic] could negotiated directly with each other,” he said.
Editor’s Note: It is unclear what Lamb was referring to by “Palestine,” which doesn’t exist. The Washington Free Beacon style guide permits use of the term in a direct quote.