The administration is obviously frustrated by the Gazan war. Hamas’s terror tunnels and rockets make a mockery of its delusion that the “peace process” and “land for peace” are viable. The war has aptly demonstrated the fecklessness of the Palestinian Authority, which has neither the capability nor the will either to control or supplant Hamas. Watching the polls, as they do, the president’s brain trust must see the overwhelming American sympathy for the Israelis and very little for the Palestinians. Americans can see for themselves which party is using human shields and which is shielding its citizens. All of this is revealing the absurdity of the administration’s notion of meeting the parties half-way (Wipe half the Jewish state off the map?). No wonder President Obama gets such rotten marks on his handling of the conflict.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, June 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty, Pool)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem in June. (Dan Balilty/Associated Press)

On Sunday, the administration really seemed to lose it. The State Department and White House called a strike on a United Nations facility appalling and “indefensible.” The great foreign policy expert Valerie Jarrett said the president “couldn’t condone” an attack  on a hospital. (Really, what is a political hack doing pontificating on the subject? The degree to which national security has been corrupted by domestic partisanship and electoral politics is stunning.)  Has she not heard that hospitals, schools and such are used as armories and staging grounds? Or perhaps she and the State Department simply don’t care.

While they parrot the line “Israel has a right to defend itself,” in Obama-speak that means “Israel has a right to defend itself only until the other side runs up the fatalities of their own civilians” or “Israel has a right to defend itself but not if terrorists commit war crimes by situating themselves, their arms and their tunnels amidst the civilian population.”

On Sunday, it took Michael Bloomberg (fast showing his knowledge and moral judgment are superior to the Obama team) to explain it to them:

NORAH O’DONNELL: I want to get your take on Israel. Another cease-fire has collapsed. How is this going to end?

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Well, I think you look at most of the Arab countries, they have been, I think, very quiet in criticizing Israel. Hamas is a dangerous group of terrorists who wants to destabilize people and governments and take away peoples’ rights. And Israel’s position is that rockets have been fired from Gaza. They have a right and an obligation to protect their people. Israel, in all fairness, thirteen years ago, pulled out of Gaza demilitarized it and today you see Egypt and other Arab countries wanting to contain Gaza and keep the borders closed, as does Israel, because there are terrorists among them mixes. And, unfortunately, the Palestinians are paying a terrible price. It is a great tragedy because Hamas is putting themselves and their rockets in places where if Israel strikes back to stop the rockets, which they have no choice, you are, unfortunately, going to see casualties. And I think in all fairness, Secretary Kerry, at the request of the President, has been trying to find some solution to the problem. But whether there is a solution to the problem, I don’t know. There’s no simple answer to these kinds of things.

NORAH O’DONNELL: Yeah.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: You can’t walk in and say the good guys are wearing white hats and the bad guys are wearing black hats. You don’t know everybody has got the same color hat on and that’s the thing that American troops have had to deal with in Iraq and Afghanistan. Exactly the same thing. You can’t tell who you are fighting in this kind of war.

NORAH O’DONNELL: It’s difficult to watch the images that we air on our network and other networks. This week a school attack that had thousands in there. It was described as bloody mattresses. Children killed who were sleeping next to their parents. The U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday, “Nothing is more shameful than attacking sleeping children.” Did Israel go too far?

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Israel cannot have a proportional response if people are firing rockets at their citizens. Can you imagine if one of the contiguous countries to America were firing rockets at America, the same people who are criticizing the Israelis would be going crazy demanding the President does more. Unfortunately, if Hamas hides among the innocent, the innocent are going to get killed because Israel just does not have any choice but to stop people firing– Hamas firing rockets at their citizens. They have a right to defend themselves and America would do exactly the same thing.

NORAH O’DONNELL: Doesn’t the Geneva Conventions lay out that you cannot attack schools or hospitals.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Nobody is attacking schools or hospitals. We are attacking Hamas. But Hamas is standing in the middle of a hospital. If they had — standing in the middle of a hospital and firing rockets at your kids, what would you expect us to do? Would you really want us to not try to stop them?

NORAH O’DONELL: Mm-Hm.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: And, unfortunately, if there are innocents getting killed at the same time it’s not Israel’s fault.

(To be more specific the Geneva Convention only covers armies which wear uniforms — so as to distinguish themselves from the civilian population.) O’Donnell and Jarrett personify the liberal elite mindset, flabbergasted by the concept that in war you defend your people and eradicate a ruthless enemy that would otherwise destroy you. They continue to make the same moral blunder time and time again — judging the regrettable results of war rather than citing  Hamas’s actions in endangering innocents and Israel’s intentions (to hit terrorists, not innocents) and elaborate efforts to spare civilians. What is appalling is Hamas’s continued sacrifice of Gazans, and what is inexcusable is the administration’s continued condemnation of our ally that is fighting a common foe.

 

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.