Israel’s ambassador to the United States stressed on CNN that the Jewish state cannot be accused of a disproportionate response to Gaza rockets because “it has nothing to do with a body count on both sides.”
“Twenty times as many Germans died in World War II than Americans. It didn’t make the American response disproportionate and didn’t make the Nazis right,” Ambassador Ron Dermer said.
Furthermore, he said, Israel is not targeting any civilians, unlike Hamas.
“How many of the total number of people who were killed were non-combatants I don’t know the exact number. After any time you have these types of activities, military activities we have an investigation into each and every incident. We do not target civilians. That’s is the difference between us and Hamas. We’re doing everything to keep their civilians out of harm’s way. We’re not perfect. It’s a very dense urban area,” Dermer said.
“We have an issue now where we have nearly three-quarters of our population, the equivalent of 200 million Americans in bomb shelters. We have to defend ourselves. They put their missile batteries next to schools, next to mosques, next to hospitals. We’re doing everything we can to keep their innocents out of harm’s way.”
Israel is “sending flyers, text messages, or phone calls” to warn Palestinian civilians of the bombings, but Hamas is “saying go into harm’s way.”
“Hamas is telling the Palestinians in Gaza to ignore the warnings of the Israeli Defense Forces and to go into harm’s way,” Dermer said. “…It’s very important to understand what it means for a disproportionate response. Sometimes say Israel is being disproportionate because more Palestinians have been killed than Israelis, 200 versus one.”
The ambassador disputed the Palestinians’ claim that Israelis targeted a charity for the disabled.
“We didn’t bomb a disabled center. Here’s the people you have to ask are the people using these civilians as human shields. They are using civilians as human shields. It’s a tactic of war. If the international community condemns Israel for defending itself legitimately, and you’ve heard the words of the American president, you’ve heard the secretary of state. We’ve appreciate the strong backing they’ve given for Israel’s right to defend itself. If you place the blame on Israel, Hamas is going to put more civilians in harm’s way,” said Dermer.
“We call off actions time after time. If you can really tell me that if 200 million Americans were in bomb shelters then the American government and the American military would use less force than Israel then that’s very surprising.”