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Hamas wants to pile up ‘telegenically-dead Palestinians for their cause’ — Netanyahu, on television

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Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer got a one-on-one with Benjamin Netanyahu and asked him about the disturbing optics of the Gaza onslaught, in which Israel has now killed hundreds of civilians, many of them children:

You see these painful pictures though of these Palestinian children and these refugees, thousands of them, fleeing their homes. It’s a horrendous sight right now– if you look at the images, heart-wrenching. What goes through your mind when you see that?


I’m very sad. When I see that I’m very sad. We’re sad for every civilian casualty. They’re not intended. This is the difference between us. The Hamas deliberately targets civilians and deliberately hides behind civilians.  They imbed their rocketeers, their rocket caches, their other weaponry, which they use to fire on us in civilian areas… What choice do we have?…

All civilian casualties are unintended by us but actually intended by Hamas. They want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can because somebody said, and I mean, it’s gruesome, but they use telegenically-dead Palestinians for their cause. They want– the more dead the better.

This is the Israeli talking point. David Brooks of the New York Times, who has said that he is an ardent supporter of Israel, said on public radio Friday that

Hamas has basically decided they want to see their own people killed as a propaganda coup. And I think here again the administration – Bill Clinton and others – have named things very accurately. And what we’re seeing is sort of a desperate Hamas trying to gin up some sort of publicity coup through the death of their own people.

Brooks is referring to these comments by Bill Clinton:

[Hamas has] a strategy designed to force Israel to kill their own civilians so that the rest of the world will condemn them….

In the short and medium term Hamas can inflict terrible public relations damage by forcing (Israel) to kill Palestinian civilians to counter Hamas.

P.S. And what is Wolf Blitzer’s role here, to promote the Israeli PM? Writes Medea Benjamin.

Thanks to Annie Robbins.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

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30 Responses

  1. Maximus Decimus Meridius on July 20, 2014, 12:59 pm

    The Zionists are going NUTS – literally. Well, I mean they always have been nutty, but now it’s plain for the world to see.

    Their ‘we are the victim’ line is just impossible to sell, with hundreds of dead civilians, many of them children, and almost all the Israelis casualties being soldiers. Even an AIPAC hack like Blitzer has to admit it.

    • Kay24 on July 20, 2014, 5:46 pm

      “Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad”.

      We are seeing Israel getting even more disliked, isolated, regarded as too violent, brutal, and not the victim anymore.
      I think Hamas has damaged Bibi’s huge ego very much, by killing so many Israeli soldiers, and maybe kidnapping one. Bibi looks like a loser, among his blood thirsty knesset members, who urge him to bomb Gaza into oblivion, and take over the city. I feel bad for the Palestinians, because now the lunatic will unleash even more hell on them, to redeem himself among his people. However, as the journalist said this is a morale booster for Palestinians, since they have so so much, and will rejoice that they have scored. They cannot take their picnics to the hilltops to watch the death and destruction, but they might settle for small victories.

      • lysias on July 20, 2014, 5:49 pm

        You don’t kidnap an enemy soldier. You take him prisoner.

      • Kay24 on July 20, 2014, 9:14 pm

        I stand corrected. I just hear Yousef Munayyer say the same thing. He said that because the IDF were in Gaza it is not kidnapping but taking a prisoner.

      • annie on July 20, 2014, 9:16 pm

        yeah, we reported they were captured:

        it’s not kidnapping when you take a soldier hostage.

      • Marnie on July 21, 2014, 8:28 am

        Thanks for pointing what should have been obvious! This is war, not an afternoon frolic. It was the same with Shalit too – he was a POW, a captured enemy combatant. Amazing how language has been kidnapped by the “evil doers” (can you say beebee?). George Orwell must have had a crystal ball.

  2. tillkan on July 20, 2014, 1:01 pm

    Of course it is Netanhayu who wants to pile up Palestinian corpses to feed the bloodlust of his worst people.

  3. Justpassingby on July 20, 2014, 1:08 pm

    This is the result you get when a racist warcriminal gets loose. This man is a psychopath.

  4. Donald on July 20, 2014, 1:10 pm

    How fortunate for Hamas, then, that Israel is willing to oblige.

    This whole “intent” thing is Western BS most of the time. In some cases, yes, there really is such a category as “collateral damage”. I once read someone (a famous writer, but his name slips my mind) who said that we tend to romanticize WWII way too much, but the real war was a bloody mess and he gave as one example the many thousands of French civilians accidentally killed by Allied bombing. But that was a world war with crude 1940’s technology. Obviously there’s a distinction between the accidental killing of French civilians and the quite deliberate firebombing of Hamburg and Dresden, or the machine gunning of random civilians that Chuck Yeager says he was ordered to do in his autobiography.

    Nowadays Westerners are the alleged good guys who never want to kill civilians, yet it’s often thought useful to target civilian infrastructure and maybe even civilians themselves to pressure the other side. The weaponry is far more precise than what was available in 1944. So what to do? Well, hit the infrastructure and employ tactics guaranteed to kill civilians, but not as many as one could do if one wanted to go the Dresden/Hamburg route. And deny any ill-intent. It’s transparently hypocritical, but it fools Westerners who want to be fooled.

    Sanctions also fall into that category. One can tell that Westerners all know that draconian sanctions hurt innocent people, because even the slightest symbolic slap at Israel that only hurt feelings brings out the moral condemnations, but nice little liberals like Nick Kristof think that non-Western civilians are perfectly acceptable targets for sanctions that destroy economies and kill people for lack of medical supplies or lack of good drinking water.

    • John O on July 20, 2014, 3:46 pm

      I have recently been reading British historian Richard Overy’s “The Bombing War”. The ineffectiveness and inaccuracy of all forms of bombing in WW2 is horrifying. The British suffered around 50,000 civilian deaths from German bombing. The Dutch lost nearly as many from British and American attempted bombing of the factories where, under duress, they made material for the German war effort. American daylight “precision” bombing was no better than British night-time area bombing, and both barely dented German war production.

      The technological advances since then are worthless. Yes, you can hit Building X very precisely with a “smart” bomb or missile; but knowing for certain that Building X is the right place to blow up is as elusive as it ever was.

      • lysias on July 20, 2014, 5:53 pm

        Eventually, the strategic bombing had substantial military effect, once we started going after German oil. And of course close air support of ground operations was extremely important throughout the war. But until we went after oil, the chief purpose of strategic bombing was to keep up the morale of the British and U.S. publics, by showing them that something was being done. One has to wonder whether there wasn’t some better, more militarily effective way of keeping up morale.

    • tokyobk on July 20, 2014, 7:28 pm

      I share much of your point but would not say 1940’s tech was so crude even before the uranium and plutonium bombs in Japan. Further to your point in WWII the total aspect of the war was understood and that meant civilians too both intentional (like you mention at Dresden) and well too bad in the way like everywhere else. Admiral Halsey erected a billboard on the side of a hill in the Solomon Islands: “Kill Jap[anese]…Kill Kill More. You will help kill the little yellow bastards if you do your job well.” It left a huge impression on the young naval officer JFK.

      The world makes a big distinction now, as it should, and also the internet, cell phone movies etc… makes this real for everyone even more so than TV did for Vietnam with twice the effect. Its impossible not to see your self or your own children in Gaza, even if you think that its all Hamas’s fault. I see the shift in writing about Gaza and the way this conflict is being spoken about not at MW but among Jewish supporters of Israel and even the settlements.

      • Donald on July 21, 2014, 12:46 am

        ” Its impossible not to see your self or your own children in Gaza, even if you think that its all Hamas’s fault. I see the shift in writing about Gaza and the way this conflict is being spoken about not at MW but among Jewish supporters of Israel and even the settlements.”

        That’s interesting. I’ve seen it too, mostly in the comments and letters to the NYT. To some degree I’m cynical/critical of this. It’s shooting and crying. But still, as someone or other said, hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue. And it is a step forward for people to feel badly for the Gazans even if they tell themselves it is all Hamas’s fault. If they do feel badly then at some level they’re not going to feel entirely comfortable with their rationalizations. They’ll know that incidents like the boys killed at the beach can’t really be blamed on Hamas. They may not be ready to admit it and this does the Gazans no good for now if they don’t push for this to end, but maybe some will.

      • tokyobk on July 21, 2014, 3:00 am

        Donald, I understand the shooting and crying phenomenon. I mean in conversations with people I have discussing this for years, some of them quite committed and connected to the Israel project in the US and Israel, the tone is different in spoken and unspoken ways, more somber and more reflective. I don’t know if/how this will change things.

      • Donald on July 21, 2014, 10:35 pm

        “the tone is different in spoken and unspoken ways, more somber and more reflective.”

        Well, that’s good. I don’t want to be reflexively cynical. I have a friend who is a Christian Zionist and we were exchanging emails today and he hadn’t changed a bit. I can’t tell if anything I say gets through–I think the whole Israel thing is so deeply tied in with other stuff he believes it would be really difficult to break through, but one never knows. Not that it actually matters in his case, or mine, what we think.

  5. Marnie on July 20, 2014, 1:42 pm

    I think that’s about the sickest thing that SOB has said so far, I’m sure there will be more unless he chokes on one of his lies and suffocates. Why didn’t they cut his mic? He’s nobody, he’s a rotten piece of human waste with that awful smirk on his face how could anyone let him speak? I think what he described is probably what he’d like to do himself because I don’t believe he or his cabinet or any of the criminals in the knesset gives a good damn about anything but themselves and their bank accounts. Dear God make it stop!

    • Kay24 on July 20, 2014, 3:51 pm

      I think CNN executives rather cut off their arms, than cut their Master’s mic off.
      I did not watch, because it makes me sick, but it seems the journalist who interviews him are in awe of the lies, and you expect them to kiss his ring at the end of the interview.

      • Marnie on July 21, 2014, 7:04 am

        I sure hope it stops at the ring.

  6. justicewillprevail on July 20, 2014, 1:54 pm

    These people are certifiable. Do they ever wonder how they got to be so twisted, so devoid of humanity, or logic that they come out with such gross distortions of reason as this? ‘They’ forced you, somehow, so weak and easily led, so docile, like lambs to slaughter the innocents. So unable were you to employ reason, will or any normal human response that you were shamefully led by the nose, blind to the consequences to carpet bomb trapped people. Well, what extraordinary evil geniuses these Hamas people are, that they have such incredible mind powers that they can make you do this although you say you really don’t want to – what amazing telepathic or paranormal abilities they have to defeat the enormous might of the apparently feeble-minded IDF. Israel is clearly lacking here, proven by their corresponding inability to force Hamas to do the same. Try thought they might, Israel just hasn’t been able to force Hamas to kill enough Israelis that they too can parade the ‘telegenic’ (WTF? with make-up?) bodies before the world’s press. Bibi is obviously smarting as this failure. He is completely sane and rational of course, and is not scraping the bottom of a desperate barrel in order to excuse mass slaughter.

  7. Blownaway on July 20, 2014, 2:17 pm

    How many civilians have been killed on either side prior to this onslaught? Israel? Zero. Palestine? Dozens. So if killing civilians really pains Netanyahu then he should simply stop. This talking point started-by the perfidious Bill Clinton that Palestinians sacrifice their children at the Zionist alter is plain sick. Hillary will do anything ( like all slimy politicians) to become President. Can’t you become President of the US by appealing to Americans? Rand can’t you?

  8. Balfour on July 20, 2014, 2:56 pm

    Just imagine if the Nazis had used the victim defense in their search for Lebensraum.

    • lysias on July 20, 2014, 4:23 pm

      They did use a victim defense, They claimed they were the victims of encirclement by the other powers and of a worldwide Jewish conspiracy that had caused almost the whole world to make war against them.

  9. can of worms on July 20, 2014, 3:08 pm

    The ‘khamas’ want to pile up telegenically dead Palestinians? Can an argument be more sick? Imagine this sentence: “in the Holocaust the zionists wanted to pile up 6 million telegenically dead Jews.”

    Is this diseased utterance really the #1 usable item on the hasbara repertoire?

    So sick: “I’m very sad. When I see that I’m very sad. We’re sad for every civilian casualties.” Meanwhile… pan to photos of the sad jewish Israeli citizens in Sderot sitting on lawn chairs gazing at the show of gazan civilians being bombed, drinking beers and making barbecues.

    • Kay24 on July 20, 2014, 3:53 pm

      Well, to your point, Israel does use the Holocaust to justify their crimes, so in a way they are using the images of their unfortunate past, to get away with violence against their neighbors. Never again, is the refrain.

  10. Pat Kittle on July 20, 2014, 3:17 pm

    Well that’s taking “blame the victim” to a whole new level…

  11. ahhiyawa on July 20, 2014, 3:42 pm

    Netanyahu’s grandstanding to the contrary, does not disqualify HAMAS fighters as an effective and competent asymmetric fighting force. It’s a deadly error to make judgments regarding HAMAS combat capabilities against the conventionally armed forces of Israel, which has led to massive underestimation of HAMAS by the Israelis.

    The Israeli incursion into Shijaiyah, a Gaza suburb, is piling up scores of dead and wounded Palestinian civilians, a part of Gaza city where Israel claims its fighting HAMAS and destroying tunnels. However this may be, HAMAS has continued to launch a counter offensive of its own by invading Israeli territory by means of tunnels and killing IDF soldiers under the hostile conditions of a war fighting environment.

    Despite Israeli Push in Gaza, Hamas Fighters Slip Through Tunnels

    >…”The morning clash was the first time in the current war that the militants killed soldiers inside Israel. It came just days after 13 Hamas gunmen poured from another tunnel into Israel in an attempted assault. Israeli officials framed the encounters as successes in thwarting attacks on Israel. But they were also an indication that Hamas could strike even during the invasion through a tunnel network that Israeli officials just revealed they had been studying for a year to plan a way to destroy them”…<

  12. seafoid on July 20, 2014, 6:08 pm

    Israel is the butcher. Hamas know Israel loves butchery.

  13. Qualtrough on July 21, 2014, 9:08 am

    Only the mind of a sick monster could describe the burned and torn bodies of women and children as ‘telegenically dead’. If there was any doubt that this man is a psychopath, there is none now.

  14. lysias on July 21, 2014, 2:49 pm

    Glenn Greenwald has now compared this comment of Netanyahu’s to a passage in Goebbels’s notorious Die Juden sind Schuld! article in Das Reich of Nov. 16, 1941 (an article that I cited a few days ago here on MW as an example of a self-genocide accusation). Netanyahu’s ‘Telegenically Dead’ Comment Is Grotesque but Not Original. Greenwald cites this passage from Goebbels:

    The Jews gradually are having to depend more and more on themselves, and have recently found a new trick. They knew the good-natured German Michael in us, always ready to shed sentimental tears for the injustice done to them. One suddenly has the impression that the Berlin Jewish population consists only of little babies whose childish helplessness might move us, or else fragile old ladies. The Jews send out the pitiable. They may confuse some harmless souls for a while, but not us. We know exactly what the situation is.

    Here’s the German original:

    Die Juden sehen sich nun allmählich ganz auf sich selbst ge­stellt und versuchen jetzt, einen neuen Trick anzuwenden. Sie kennen doch den gutmütigen deutschen Michel in uns, der immer gerne bereit ist, für eine sentimentale Träne alles ihm angetane Unrecht zu vergessen: plötzlich hat man den Eindruck, als ob es unter den Berliner Juden nur noch putzige kleine Babies, die durch ihre kindliche Hilflosigkeit rühren sollen, oder gebrechliche alte Frauen gibt. Die Juden schicken ihre Mitleidgarde vor. Sie mögen [Seite 88] damit einige harmlose Gemüter in momentane Verwirrung bringen, uns nicht. Wir wissen ganz genau, woran wir mit ihnen sind.

  15. talknic on November 2, 2014, 4:57 am

    Here … I’ve re-arranged a few things in the Hasbara> to suit a different occasion.
    Zionists wanted Yehuda Glick killed to garner sympathy and publicity

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