Politics

Israel Can’t Do More to Avoid Civilian Casualties ‘Unless You Just Want to Surrender’

On Tuesday’s broadcast of Bloomberg’s “Balance of Power,” Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) stated that Israel has done as good a job as the U.S. has avoiding civilian casualties and that because Hamas has decided to hide behind civilians, “it is very hard to minimize civilian casualties, unless you just want to surrender to the terrorists, and I don’t think anybody’s suggesting that.”

Co-host Kailey Leinz asked, “[T]he U.S. relationship with Israel, at least at the Biden administration level, does seem to be getting more tense. Obviously, there was a conversation that took place between President Biden and Bibi Netanyahu yesterday in which there was a warning not to go into Rafah, that that could be a mistake if there isn’t a credible plan in place to protect civilians. I know, Congressman, that you’ve been very supportive of Israel as a U.S. ally, but does Israel deserve to continue to have that staunch support if it is ignoring the warnings of the Biden administration about civilian casualties in Gaza?”

Sherman answered, “I don’t think Israel is ignoring those warnings and they certainly shouldn’t. In fact, the number one expert at West Point in urban warfare has said that Israel has done at least as a good a job as the United States in avoiding civilian casualties in an urban warfare situation. We, of course, had Fallujah, Mosul, other experiences with urban warfare, and when you can have a 1:1 ratio of civilian to combatant casualties, that’s about as good as you can possibly do in an urban warfare situation. Keep in mind, Hamas, was in southern Israel and could’ve stayed there and fought. Instead, they decided to retreat behind their human shields and fight from behind Palestinian civilians. And once a force does that, it is very hard to minimize civilian casualties, unless you just want to surrender to the terrorists, and I don’t think anybody’s suggesting that.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett



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