The State Department Stands by Its Hypocrisy on Civilian Casualties in Gaza

General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently praised Israel’s extraordinary efforts to prevent civilian casualties in Gaza and mentioned that the Pentagon sent a team to Israel to learn from the IDF’s policies. Yet the U.S. State Department is standing by its critique of Israel for not doing enough on this score. David Bernstein writes:

Incredibly, when asked about Dempsey’s statement, State Department spokesperson Jan Psaki asserts “it remains the broad view of the entire administration that [Israel] could have done more and they should have taken more—all feasible precautions to prevent civilian casualties.” First, Dempsey is an Obama appointee, so the idea that the “entire administration” agrees with this is nonsense. Second, we have the informed judgment of America’s top military commander against State Department civilians who don’t even bother to wait until the facts are established before condemning Israel, plus Benjamin Rhodes, whose only claim to military knowledge is that he’s been serving as President Obama’s mouthpiece on foreign-policy matters since 2007 . . .

Read more at Washington Post

More about: Civilian casualties, Laws of war, Protective Edge, State Department

 

The Diplomatic Goals of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Visit to the U.S.

Yesterday, the Israeli prime minister arrived in the U.S., and he plans to address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, but it remains uncertain whether he will meet with President Biden. Nonetheless, Amit Yagur urges Benjamin Netanyahu to use the trip for ordinary as well as public diplomacy—“assuming,” Yagur writes, “there is someone to talk to in the politically turbulent U.S.” He argues that the first priority should be discussing how to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons. But there are other issues to tackle as well:

From the American perspective, as long as Hamas is not the official ruler in the Gaza Strip, any solution agreed upon is good. For Israel, however, it is quite clear that if Hamas remains a legitimate power factor, even if it does not head the leadership in Gaza, sooner or later, Gaza will reach the Hizballah model in Lebanon. To clarify, this means that Hamas is the actual ruler of the Strip, and sooner or later, we will see a [return] of its military capabilities as well as its actual control over the population. . . .

The UN aid organization UNRWA . . . served as a platform for Hamas terrorist elements to establish, disguise, and use UN infrastructure for terrorism. This is beside the fact that UNRWA essentially perpetuates the conflict rather than helps resolve it. How do we remove the UN and UNRWA from the “day after” equation? Can the American aid organization USAID step into UNRWA’s shoes, and what assistance can the U.S. provide to Israel in re-freezing donor-country contributions to UNRWA?

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Gaza War 2023, U.S.-Israel relationship