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Biden adviser faces scrutiny for calling Palestinian suicide bombings 'last resort'

Reema Dodin was recently named Biden's deputy director for legislative affairs if he assumes the White House in Janaury.

Biden introduces nominees and appointments to foreign policy and national security positions
Biden introduces nominees and appointments to foreign policy and national security positions
(Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Updated: November 29, 2020 - 7:47am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Reema Dodin, who was named by Joe Biden to be his deputy director of legislative affairs, is coming under fresh scrutiny for comments she made nearly two decades ago suggesting Palestinian suicide bombing were a "last resort for a desperate people."

Dodin, a former volunteer for Barack Obama's campaign and Biden transition official, has secured deep roots with Capitol Hill Democrats. including her work as deputy chief of staff for Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois. She was named last week to a senior role should Biden assume the White House on Jan. 20.

The daughter pf Palestinian immigrants, Dodin attended the University of California at Berkley, where in 2002 as a senior she gave a two hour presentation at a church on the Palestinian conflicts in Israel that was covered by the Lodi News-Sentinel.

"The suicide bombers were the last resort of a desperate people," Dodin is quoted by the newspaper as saying during the speech.

“The American public has a history of being a fair-minded people, but the information the public is getting is biased, awful and wrong,” Dodin said at the time. "If you’'re going to present this information to the public, you need to do it in a holistic manner.”

During her speech, she also stated that water is so scarce in the Palestinian territories that the Israeli government will cut off the supply to coerce the Palestinian population, the newspaper reported.

The Biden campaign is defending Dodin, saying she "is the first to tell you she has grown from her youth in her approach to pushing for change."

“She harnessed her activism into action, becoming a well-respected and trusted leader in the US Senate. Her years of Senate experience and perspective will help President-elect Biden and Vice-President Harris respond to our nation’s most urgent challenges," the campaign said.