Kamala Harris Delivers an Uncalled-For and Scathing Critique of Israel
While our greatest ally in the Middle East is engaged in a deadly battle with a brutal, murderous terrorist organization that burns babies and rapes teenagers, Vice President Kamala Harris was dispatched to Dubai to deliver a scolding to Israel to put on a show for the benefit of Arab leaders. Her remarks were morally weak, untethered from reality, and should be considered offensive to anyone who supports Israel.
In the wake of the truly horrific attack on innocent Israeli families on October 7th, when children were literally pulled from the arms of their parents and slain in front of them, President Biden showed righteous anger in his pledge to support Israel. But in the ensuing weeks since, the Biden administration has been bending to public pressure –mostly from the left — that is showing sympathy for Gazans and has, on several occasions, asked Israel to “show restraint” in its efforts to destroy Hamas.
In her remarks in the United Arab Emirates after meetings with leaders of the UAE, Jordan, Egypt, and the Hamas-sponsoring Iranian ally Qatar, Harris delivered a version of the same message. It was rooted in the same failed Obama-era strategy of trying to show “daylight” with Israel in the groundless hope that it will earn more trust in the Arab world. She reiterated the administration’s “steadfast conviction” that “Israel has a right to defend itself” but then insisted, “Too many innocent Palestinians have been killed. Frankly, the scale of civilian suffering and the images and videos coming from Gaza are devastating.”
The reality is that Israel is going above and beyond its responsibilities to minimize civilian casualties, given that it is fighting an enemy that operates from hospitals, UN buildings, schools, and residential neighborhoods. Hamas operates this way as a matter of strategy, and among the objectives of that strategy is eliciting just the reaction that it has from Harris. Israel has provided regular warnings to civilians in areas it plans to target, even though it knows doing so will also alert Hamas fighters. It has allowed trucks of humanitarian aid into Gaza, even knowing that the aid will be diverted to Hamas and that Hamas will steal fuel intended for its people so it can fire rockets at Israel.
Israelis have put more troops in harm’s way by carrying out a methodical ground invasion rather than simply fighting from the skies. The measures that Israel has taken to protect Palestinian civilian lives have put the lives of their own soldiers and civilians at greater risk and have meant that the operation is taking longer than it would without such precautions. And yet, they are getting attacked by the Biden administration
simultaneously for not being surgical enough and for taking too much time — even after having been pressured by the US into pausing combat operations.
Instead of blaming Hamas for the toll on civilians in Gaza — both for launching the war and for using its own civilians as shields — the vice president put the onus on Israel, basically scolding them as she would a defiant child.
A delusional Harris said, “We cannot conflate Hamas with the Palestinian people.”
Perhaps as a matter of the laws of war, this is true, but as a statement about public sentiment among Palestinians, it is an absurd distortion of reality.
On October 7, Palestinians were seen taking to the streets to celebrate the attacks. When a dead Israeli was dragged out from a car in Gaza, a crowd started stomping on his dead body; elsewhere, a crowd cheered as Hamas terrorists paraded a semi-naked dead female body through the streets of Gaza (who we now know to be the murdered German-Israeli Shani Louk). Polling also supports the idea that the scenes were representative of the prevailing sentiment among the population. Three-quarters of Palestinians approved of the October 7 attacks, according to a November poll from the Arab World for Research and Development.
Instead of appeasing Arab autocrats, the Biden administration should deliver one simple message to Israel in its war against Hamas: Get the job done.