Reema Dodin, announced on Monday as a deputy director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs for the incoming Biden administration, once praised suicide bombers during the Second Intifada.

In 2002, Dodin, then a student at the University of California, Berkeley, spoke about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with residents of Lodi, Calif., saying that “suicide bombers were the last resort of a desperate people,” according to the Lodi News-Sentinel.

The Biden Transition did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Dodin, who was named to her new position alongside Shuwanza Goff, will be the first Palestinian-American to serve as a White House staffer, according to Palestinian media. She currently serves as deputy chief of staff and floor director to Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.).

Dodin participated in a demonstration in 2001 at UC Berkeley that called for the university to divest from Israel. She said that a pro-Israel group on campus “say they want peace, but it’s a peace based on their rules.”

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