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by
Bridget Johnson

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July 31, 2014 - 8:53 am

Israel’s ambassador to the United States fired back at the White House for saying the Jewish state needs to do more to “live up” to its wartime standards.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Tuesday said the “Israeli right to self-defense is something that the president doesn’t just respect, he supports.”

“What we have also suggested is that Russia — that the Israelis need to do more to live up to the standards that they have set for themselves to ensure the safety of innocent civilians on both sides of that border, including Palestinian people,” Earnest said.

“So it is apparent from the reports that we have seen about the civilian deaths that there is more that the Israeli military can and should do to account for the safety of Palestinian civilians. It’s important to remember, though, that there is a distinction here, which is that Hamas is routinely targeting innocent civilians on the other side of the border. The Israeli military puts in place standards to try to protect Palestinian civilians — innocent Palestinian civilians. That said, we believe that the Israeli military should do more to live up to those standards.”

That was reiterated yesterday aboard Air Force One by White House spokesman Eric Schultz, who said, “We’ve been very clear that Israel needs to do more to live up to its own standards to limit the civilian casualties.”

Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer told MSNBC he didn’t understand what standard the White House is talking about.

“No country in the world has set a higher standard than Israel. I would remind the White House spokesperson — I didn’t hear exactly what he said, but we have two-thirds of our country in bomb shelters,” Dermer said. “And I would ask him to ask himself a question. If 200 million Americans were in bomb shelters, would the United States use less force than we’re using? Would they take greater care with civilians than we’re using? I think — I think he knows the answer to that, and I think hundreds of millions of Americans know the answer to that.”

“We have the highest standards of any military in the world at keeping the civilians of the other side out of harm’s way. We drop leaflets, make phone calls, send text messages, tell people to evacuate areas. Right now our soldiers are fighting in areas that other countries faced with similar threats would never put their ground forces into. And we are taking great risk to our own soldiers.”

Dermer stressed that they “deeply regret any civilian casualties.”

“We don’t target them. But Hamas embeds itself in these civilian areas, in mosques, in hospitals, in schools. They use all their people as human shields. That’s the enemy that we’re fighting,” he said.

“…This is al-Qaeda. This is Israel’s al-Qaeda. That’s what Hamas is. They are committed to our destruction. They’re a genocidal organization. They don’t care about their own people. They were dancing on 9/11 — dancing. Hamas was dancing on 9/11 with thousands of Americans dead.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
Top Rated Comments   
This is surreal. Israel bends over backwards to notify civilians of bombing because it knows that Hamas is hiding weapons in their midst. The White House insists it's not enough, even though no one in the history of warfare has problem done this much (as far as I know).

I think the White House wants Israel to give 24 hours notice, not just a few minutes, on the pretense that it will give those "innocent civilians" enough time to evacuate. The problem is that it also gives Hamas enough time to relocate the rockets, mortars and whatever other weapons they have. It also gives their fighters - who Hamas often claims are just innocent civilians in their propaganda - plenty of time to get out of the way. This would inevitably be counter-productive to the task of disarming Hamas and any damn fool should see that.

I think the White House is doing everything it can to help Hamas survive and preserve as many weapons and fighters as they can. I can't think of any other plausible explanation. Protecting civilians is just a smokescreen.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (11)
All Comments   (11)
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The UNITED STATES is lecturing ISRAEL on "living up to its own standards"? That is high irony indeed.

Memo to John Kerry, and to the rest of the Obama Administration: Israel takes better care of Palestinian noncombatants... than you did of your own Ambassador in Benghazi.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
To my liberal Jewish friends: if you're thinking of voting Democrat again in November like
You did when you helped put this enemy of Israel in
The White House twice, just remember the blood will be
On your hands.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
HAMAS DOESN'T JUST USE GAZANS FOR HUMAN SHIELDS:
1) It kills Gazans who don't want to be human shields and who want to evacuate their homes
2) It kills Gazans, summarily, who it thinks have been cooperating with the IDF.
3) It kills Gazans when dud rockets break up over Gaza
4) It targets buildings that the IDF enters -- even if the building also contains Gazans.
5) It uses child labor to dig out the terror tunnels and it's unknown how many children have died from being overworked.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
"the Israelis need to do more to live up to the standards that they have set for themselves"
"Israel needs to do more to live up to its own standards"

Pity we don't have follow-up questions. Such as: "Dear flunky, are those Israeli standards higher or lower than the American ones? If you claim they are lower, then how do you explain, for example, our drone strikes with their significant collateral damage? And if the Israeli standards are higher than ours, where do you get off lecturing them?"
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Demanding that one's adversary "live up to his standards" is pure Alinskyism.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
If Israel simply lives up to the bulk of the Geneva protocols, that would be fine. The problem is that Hamas lives up to NONE of them, and by the protocols, that means Israel does not even have to either.

Instead, Israel is going ridiculously beyond the protocols, and still gets skewered by most of the low-information JOURNALISTS who, in the most charitable view possible, haven't the foggiest f'ing ideas what they are talking about.

I feel mildly sorry for the innocent Palestinians, if any, but 1000% of the blame goes on Hamas, and at some point on any Palestinian who does not actively oppose Hamas. A lesson we in the US might learn from as well.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well said. Though I heard that there was a small anti-war protest in Gaza during a humanitarian ceasefire, Hamas pulled 20 of them away and shot them dead in the street. It's why I try not to be too hard on the Germans in WWII for not getting themselves shot for treason. It's just that they shouldn't act so surprised when they get hit by the crossfire - whether Israeli shells or Hamas misfiring rockets - when they shelter terrorists, willingly or not.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Greetings:

Ambassador Dermer has been doing Herculean work during this current conflict. He has admirably stood up to the slings and arrows of the media's "outrage" and, if he were a boxer, I'd have to say the media hasn't laid a glove on him. It's nice to see a diplomat who keeps him reverse gear under adult supervision.

Also, earlier this morning, I saw Israel's UN Ambassador Prosor responding truthfully and forcefully to another one of those UN Security Council Israel bashing ceremonies.

Stand-up guys both. I hope Prime Minister Netanyahu can give then both a healthy raise in the near future. And I wouldn't mind at all if Ambassador Dermer became Prime Minister sometime in the future.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is surreal. Israel bends over backwards to notify civilians of bombing because it knows that Hamas is hiding weapons in their midst. The White House insists it's not enough, even though no one in the history of warfare has problem done this much (as far as I know).

I think the White House wants Israel to give 24 hours notice, not just a few minutes, on the pretense that it will give those "innocent civilians" enough time to evacuate. The problem is that it also gives Hamas enough time to relocate the rockets, mortars and whatever other weapons they have. It also gives their fighters - who Hamas often claims are just innocent civilians in their propaganda - plenty of time to get out of the way. This would inevitably be counter-productive to the task of disarming Hamas and any damn fool should see that.

I think the White House is doing everything it can to help Hamas survive and preserve as many weapons and fighters as they can. I can't think of any other plausible explanation. Protecting civilians is just a smokescreen.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
#Hamas==Amalek
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
In every generation, they have arisen to destroy us...

Memo to Hamas: you will not succeed. We Jews have outlived the Pharoahs that tried to destroy us. Then came the Babylonians, the Greeks, the Romans, and a great many others.

They survive only in the pages of dusty history books. We're still here... and we're not going anywhere.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
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