It’s about time a President said it. Too bad it’s not the one currently occupying the White House. Via Mike Wereschagin and Salena Zito from the Tribune-Review:
Former President Bill Clinton on Saturday sharply criticized Hamas for deliberately endangering civilians and using international aid to build a network of tunnels into Israel.
Speaking at a memorial service for Tribune-Review owner Richard Mellon Scaife, Clinton lamented the series of foreign policy crises that have cropped up from Eastern Europe to the Middle East in recent weeks.
“How could the people in Gaza, who started rocketing Israel, think that it was OK to use international aid money to dig tunnels to increase their ability to destabilize the region and kill people?” Clinton told about 150 Trib Total Media employees at the memorial service at Scaife’s boyhood home in Ligonier.
Israeli officials list the destruction of the tunnels, which Hamas has used for a series of incursions into Israel, as a chief objective of the 26-day-old war in Gaza.
The Israeli government has come under increasing international pressure, including criticism from the United States, for bombing and shelling that killed more than 1,600 Palestinian civilians, many of them children. About 60 Israeli soldiers and three Israeli civilians have died.
But Clinton blamed the rising civilian death toll on Hamas as well, saying they deliberately placed munitions where civilians seek shelter, then use their deaths to foment international anti-Israeli sentiment.
“How could they put rockets in a school to follow a deliberate strategy to force the deaths of their own civilians so as to make Israel look bad in the world?” Clinton said.
Meanwhile, the dangerously clueless wonders in the White House all but accused Israel over the weekend of deliberately targeting civilians (including children). Criticism of Israel isn’t in and of itself wrong, but can’t they at least get their facts right before they condemn a staunch ally in public statements and on national television, in effect further fanning the flames of discontent and rage? Is that really too much to ask of this administration?