And, uniquely in the savagery of warfare – WAR CRIMES AGAINST THEIR OWN PEOPLE.
There is no denying it. Except in the White House and at Foggy Bottom, where President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry companied repeatedly about Palestinian deaths with the clear suggestion that Israel was at least partially to blame for them.
From Netanyahu’s remarks at the United Nations today:
And the truth is this: Israel was doing everything to minimize Palestinian civilian casualties. Hamas was doing everything to maximize Israeli civilian casualties and Palestinian civilian casualties. Israel dropped flyers, made phone calls, sent text messages, broadcast warnings in Arabic on Palestinian television, all this to enable Palestinian civilians to evaluate targeted areas. No other country and no other army in history have gone to greater lengths to avoid casualties among the civilian population of their enemies. (Applause.)
Now, this concern for Palestinian life was all the more remarkable given that Israeli civilians were being bombarded by rockets day after day, night after night. And as their families were being rocketed by Hamas, Israel’s citizen army, the brave soldiers of the IDF, our young boys and girls, they upheld the highest moral values of any army in the world. (Applause.) Israel’s soldiers deserve not condemnation but admiration, admiration from decent people everywhere. (Applause.)
Now, here is what Hamas did. Here is what Hamas did. Hamas embedded its missile batteries in residential areas and told Palestinians to ignore Israel’s warnings to leave. And just in case people didn’t get the message, they executed Palestinian civilians in Gaza who dared to protest. And no less reprehensible, Hamas deliberately placed its rockets where Palestinian children live and play. Let me show you a photograph. It was taken by a France 24 crew during the recent conflict. It shows two Hamas rocket launchers, which were used to attack us. You see three children playing next to them. Hamas deliberately put its rockets in hundreds of residential areas like this — hundreds of them.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a war crime. And I say to President Abbas, these are the crimes, the war crimes, committed by your Hamas partners in the national unity government which you head and you are responsible for. And these are the real war crimes you should have investigated or spoken out against from this podium last week. (Applause.)
Ladies and gentlemen, as Israel’s children huddle in bomb shelters and Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense knocked Hamas rockets out of the sky, the profound moral difference between Israel and Hamas couldn’t have been clearer. Israel was using its missiles to protect its children. Hamas was using its children to protect its missiles. (Applause.)
Where was the outrage from the United States about what the Palestinians were doing? Why all the equivalency from Obama and “It’s a helluva pinpoint operation” Kerry.
“Part of the reason why we’ve been pushing so hard for a cease-fire is precisely because it’s hard to reconcile Israel’s legitimate need to defend itself with our concern with those civilians,” Obama said August 1. Essentially, while Obama did note that Hamas was contemptibly hiding behind civilians, he was also succumbing to the tactic with his constant lamentations and demands for a ceasefire.
The cause of the civilian casualties was not the Israeli assault on Gaza, but the circumstances that led to it. Pressing early and hard for a ceasefire was counterproductive in that, if successful, it would have inhibited Israel from eliminating the threat.
Fortunately, Israel, against the advice of the United States, continued its fight against Hamas for a substantial and maybe even sufficient amount of time. I haven’t heard much about Hamas rockets being launched into Israel lately, have you?
And that will limit Palestinian casualties in the future. And maybe the Palestinians will think twice next time about voting into power a terrorist organization.