The Corner

Editing the State Department’s ‘Disgraceful’ Press Release About a Lawful Israeli Air Strike

Yesterday, acting in response to an Israeli air strike outside a UNWRA school, the State Department lapsed into anti-Israel hysteria, calling a precise and successful attack that killed multiple Hamas militants, who were — as usual — seeking refuge by civilians, “disgraceful” and declaring itself “appalled.” Anyone with a kindergarten knowledge of the laws of war can spot the multiple problems with the State Department press release, but rather than assume State should know what it’s talking about, I thought I’d edit its press release to reflect the legal and tactical reality of fighting a terrorist enemy that does its best to blend in with the civilian population.  Edits below, with additions in bold:

The United States is appalled by today’s disgraceful shelling that Hamas continues to conduct military operations amidst civilians, including just outside an UNRWA school in Rafah sheltering some 3,000 displaced persons. Israel has a right to attack Hamas fighters, and Hamas’s intentional proximity to known civilian shelters renders Hamas legally responsible for the civilian casualties that result, including for the civilians among the in which at least ten more Palestinians civilians were tragically killed in this latest precision strike. The coordinates of the school, like all UN facilities in Gaza, have been repeatedly communicated to the Israeli Defense Forces are well known to Hamas. We once again stress that Hamas must do more to meet its own standards and comply with the most basic norms of international law and avoid civilian casualties. UN facilities, especially those sheltering civilians, must be protected, and must not be used as bases from which to launch attacks. The suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians. We call for a full and prompt investigation of this incident as well as the recent shelling of other UNRWA schools the multiple additional incidents where Hamas misused UNRWA facilities, including as facilities to store weapons and as locations for booby-trapped tunnels.

We continue to underscore that all parties must take all feasible precautions to prevent civilian casualties and protect the civilian population and comply with international humanitarian law.

I look forward to Jen Psaki reading the corrected version at today’s press briefing.

Most Popular

Media

The Unseemly Urge to Excuse Jeffrey Toobin

Jeffrey Toobin, legal analyst for CNN and The New Yorker, was suspended from his jobs and subjected to a round of public mockery for visibly exposing himself while masturbating on a Zoom call with New Yorker colleagues. The call was designed to role-play post-election scenarios for a contested election; Toobin ... Read More
Media

The Unseemly Urge to Excuse Jeffrey Toobin

Jeffrey Toobin, legal analyst for CNN and The New Yorker, was suspended from his jobs and subjected to a round of public mockery for visibly exposing himself while masturbating on a Zoom call with New Yorker colleagues. The call was designed to role-play post-election scenarios for a contested election; Toobin ... Read More
Media

Jeffrey Toobin and Our Public-Hate Ritual

Oh, Jeffrey Toobin — let him among us with a free hand cast the first stone. Toobin, a writer for The New Yorker and fixture on CNN, was participating in a role-playing exercise on a Zoom call with his magazine colleagues, wargaming election-night scenarios. Toobin was standing in for the courts when he ... Read More
Media

Jeffrey Toobin and Our Public-Hate Ritual

Oh, Jeffrey Toobin — let him among us with a free hand cast the first stone. Toobin, a writer for The New Yorker and fixture on CNN, was participating in a role-playing exercise on a Zoom call with his magazine colleagues, wargaming election-night scenarios. Toobin was standing in for the courts when he ... Read More
Elections

Biden Is Still Underperforming Hillary

On October 20, 2016: Hillary Clinton was up 6.8 in the RealClearPolitics average in Pennsylvania. Today, Biden is up 3.8. (that race only tightened to 2.1 in the last week of 2016.) Clinton was up twelve points in Michigan on that day. Biden is up 7.5 right now. Clinton was up 6.5 in Wisconsin. Biden is ... Read More
Elections

Biden Is Still Underperforming Hillary

On October 20, 2016: Hillary Clinton was up 6.8 in the RealClearPolitics average in Pennsylvania. Today, Biden is up 3.8. (that race only tightened to 2.1 in the last week of 2016.) Clinton was up twelve points in Michigan on that day. Biden is up 7.5 right now. Clinton was up 6.5 in Wisconsin. Biden is ... Read More
Media

The Biden Protection Racket

Joe Biden is the most cosseted presidential candidate in memory. He’s run a minimalist campaign that’s avoided the press as much as possible, while the press hasn’t been braying for more access and answers, but eager to avoid anything that could be discomfiting to the campaign. Never before have the ... Read More
Media

The Biden Protection Racket

Joe Biden is the most cosseted presidential candidate in memory. He’s run a minimalist campaign that’s avoided the press as much as possible, while the press hasn’t been braying for more access and answers, but eager to avoid anything that could be discomfiting to the campaign. Never before have the ... Read More