(November 12)  Let’s liberate the people of Gaza.

It was not some ignorant, hateful, sheltered American college student who said that today. It was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in one arresting sentence during an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press.

It was a stray comment, hardly Netanyahu’s main focus, but it also was consonant with his overall message both on NBC and on CNN’s State of the Union. The message was that the Palestinian Hamas terrorists are pure “evil,” and thus a proper enemy to the whole world, not just to Israel. And, part of that world beleaguered by Hamas’ evil is the civilian population of Gaza.

Despite repeated questions by CNN’s Dana Bash and NBC’s Kristin Welker springing from the premise that Israel is responsible for Palestinian civilian deaths, Netanyahu was right to insist that both the moral and the practical blame for those deaths belongs to the butchers of Hamas. It is Israel that provides “safe corridors” through which Israel all but begs the civilians to leave the war zone; it is Hamas that literally fires into those corridors. It is also Hamas that has put up roadblocks and, in some cases, even explosives to keep the civilian population in place.

Netanyahu said Israel offered fuel to keep power on at the hospital under which a Hamas headquarters operates, while Israel begs the international community to help set up “field hospitals” to which to move the patients. He said Hamas declined the offer of fuel.

It is indisputable that Israel has taken extraordinary measures to try to keep civilian casualties down. Still, as Netanyahu repeatedly insisted in both interviews, the primary goal is and must be to “eradicate Hamas.”

This is war. It is a war Hamas began through the worst atrocities this young century has yet seen…. [The full column is at this link.]


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