Bernie Sanders Accuses Israel of War Crimes, Goes Easy on Hamas

AP Photo/Abed Abu Reash

Here we go again with the one-sided condemnations of Israel, which was viciously attacked by Hamas on Saturday. The assault claimed the lives of hundreds of Israelis, many of whom were civilians deliberately targeted by the organization’s operatives.

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After striking back, Israel began facing criticism from the left for defending itself. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) recently issued a statement echoing the same claptrap coming from his contemporaries.

In his statement, Sanders criticized Hamas for its murderous rampage through the streets of Israel. “The gunning down of young Israelis at a music festival is an image the world will not soon forget,” he wrote. But just after that, Sanders shifted gears and began doing some serious propaganda work for Hamas, explaining that “people of goodwill throughout the world, including some brave Israelis, have struggled against the blockade of Gaza, the daily humiliations of occupation in the West Bank, and the horrendous living conditions faced by so many Palestinians.”

He noted that “it is no secret that Gaza has been an open-air prison, with millions of people struggling to secure basic necessities” and acknowledged that “Hamas’ terrorism will make it much more difficult to address that tragic reality and will embolden extremists on both sides, continuing the cycle of violence.”

The senator went on to blast Israel for laying siege to the Gaza Strip, which is governed by Hamas, after the initial assault. “The targeting of civilians is a war crime, no matter who does it,” Sanders wrote before arguing that “Israel’s blanket denial of food, water, and other necessities to Gaza is a serious violation of international law and will do nothing but harm innocent civilians.”

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This last line echoes what officials with the United Nations argued earlier in the week.

Sanders then noted that the U.S. “has rightly offered solidarity and support to Israel in responding to Hamas’ attack” but also argued that America “must also insist on restraint from Israeli forces attacking Gaza and work to secure UN humanitarian access.”

Sanders’ condemnation of Israel came after Defense Minister Yoav Gallant declared a “complete siege” on Gaza in reaction to the widespread carnage inflicted by Hamas operatives. “We are fighting against human animals, and we act accordingly,” he said. “There will be no electricity, no food, no water, no fuel.”

The siege was followed by massive airstrikes and ground operations to root out the terrorists who participated in the initial attack.

However, Sanders’ statements were par for the course for leftists seeking to minimize Hamas’ actions. To be fair, he did criticize the organization. However, his harshest words were for Israel. The lawmaker didn’t bother to characterize Hamas’ actions as war crimes even though the organization beheaded babies. He didn’t call on the terrorist group to show restraint—but he believes Israel should try to minimize casualties.

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There is no denying the complex political, military, and humanitarian issues at play in the Israel-Gaza conflict. Moreover, this isn’t to say that Israel’s government is not worthy of criticism. There are valid questions one can ask about the siege and lack of humanitarian aid.

But the fact remains that Hamas started this conflict by launching an attack that deliberately targeted innocent men, women, and children while also taking hostages. Moreover, Hamas has endangered innocent Palestinians who had nothing to do with the violence as well. They are the true villains in this story, and those seeking to downplay their role in this tragedy are showing how little they care about innocent civilians on either side of the conflict.

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