In response to “unacceptable” comments made by Jesse Watters, a spokesperson for the White House said the broadcaster “owes an apology to every single viewer”.
Speaking on the highly-rated Fox News show The Five on Wednesday, Mr Watters commented on various reports of people removing posters of Jewish hostages taken by Hamas from public display.
“If you’re an Arab American in this country, and you rip down posters of Jewish hostages, American hostages, no. No, no, no. Someone is going to get punched in the face,” he said.
In the same segment, Mr Watters said: “I want to say something about Arab Americans and about the Muslim world. We – and when I say we I mean the west and western technology – have created the Middle East.
“We made them rich. We got that oil out of the ground, our military protects all of these oil shipments flying around the world, making them rich. We fund their military. We respect their kings. We kill their terrorists. Okay? But we’ve had it. We’ve had it with them.”
Israel says more than 1,400 people were killed and more than 5,400 injured during the surprise attacks by Hamas on 7 October. According to the Gaza health ministry, Israeli airstrikes have killed more than 9,000 and injured almost 25,000 Palestinians.
In a statement shared with The Guardian, White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates said: “These hateful lies about ‘Arab Americans and … the Muslim world’ highlight the urgency of President Biden’s work to ensure hate has no safe harbor in America, and why he committed to the first national anti-Islamophobia strategy in our history.”
Mr Bates also noted the “spike” in threats against Muslim and Arab Americans since the beginning of the conflict, highlighting the case of six-year-old Wadea Al Fayoume, who was stabbed to death in Chicago on 14 October.
He added: “Fox News owes an apology to every single viewer for this sickening attack on the rights and dignity of their fellow Americans.
“President Biden will always stand up against Islamophobia, antisemitism and all forms of hate. Fox News should learn from his example.”
Mr Watters did not appear on topical news show The Five on Friday, with fellow host Dana Perino saying she believed he was taking some time off at “an event in California”.
A spokesperson for Fox News toldThe Independent that he was giving a keynote speech at a meeting of California’s agricultural industry leaders in the city of Tulare.
On Friday, the Biden administration stepped in again, this time criticising remarks made by Fox News host Mark Levin about the Jewish heritage of two anchors at rival network CNN.
Mr Levin, a right-wing talk personality and Fox News weekend host, raged against CNN stalwarts Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper on his nationally syndicated radio show. He falsely claimed Mr Blitzer’s parents “weren’t victims in one way or another, of the Holocaust”.
Mr Levin also attacked Tapper as a “self-hating Jew” and said he is “a propagandist for the enemy.”
In a separate statement on Friday, Mr Bates denounced Fox News for “standing up on behalf of hate” and boosting the salaries of those who “fan the flames of hate”.
Per CNN, Mr Bates said: “Lying to insult the pain that families suffered in the Holocaust has absolutely no place in America. None. Sadly, this is not the first time in recent months that a Fox News host made sickening remarks about the Holocaust.
“What’s more, it isn’t even the first time this week that a Fox host chose to abuse their platform and spread hate.
“Even after the heartbreaking killing of a 6-year-old Palestinian American child and a surge in violence against Muslims and Arab Americans, two nights ago Jesse Watters made vile comments that attack the dignity of all Americans, saying he’s ‘done’ with Arab Americans and Muslims.”
Mr Levin has denied his comments regarding the two CNN anchors were antisemitic.