In a Sunday appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called out The Associated Press for lying about the Saturday bombing of the building they willing shared with Hamas terrorists. He also schooled CBS fill-in moderator John Dickerson by noting the extra measures Israel took to reduce the number of civilian casualties in the areas they were targeting.
During the course of their interview, Dickerson seemed to scoff at the idea that Israel had proof that Hamas was using the media as human shields. Asking: “It’s inconceivable you would have talked to [President Biden] and not shared proof of Hamas in those buildings that housed the journalists. Did you share that with him?” Dickerson seemed uninterested in why Biden had not condemned the bombing.
Netanyahu noted that they passed the information along through the proper intelligence channels and then went after the AP for their lies suggesting they had only just escaped the building before it collapsed:
The interesting thing is I would say all of the journalists – one of the, I think, AP journalists said ‘we were lucky to get out.’ No, you weren’t lucky to get out. It wasn’t luck. It’s because we took special pains to call people in those buildings, to make sure that the premises were vacated. And that’s why we brought down that building.
Many have pointed out that there was no way that the AP didn’t know Hamas was using the same building as them; they would be very poor journalists otherwise or lying. In 2014, former AP writer Matti Friedman described how Hamas would launch rockets right outside the AP office building and Hamas fighters would raid their bureau to threaten them, and the outlet wouldn’t report it to their readers.
Further, Dickerson wanted to see the “smoking gun” proof that The Jerusalem Post had reported was shown to the United States. “And here’s the intelligence we had: It’s about Palestinian terrorists, an intelligence office for the Palestinian terrorist organization housed in that building that plots and organizes the terror attacks against Israeli civilians. So, it is a perfectly legitimate target,” the Prime Minister said.
Netanyahu went on to school Dickerson on the “special precautions” Israel took to protect lives while Hamas “deliberately” targeted civilians and glorified the deaths of all civilians (Click “expand”):
Now, imagine – Ask yourself, how is that possible? You see the high-rise towers that are used by Hamas, over and over again, they collapsed, and no one is killed. Why does that happen? Because we, unlike Hamas, take special precautions to tell people to leave the building, leave the premises, and we make sure everyone is gone before we bring down those terrorist facilities.
And that’s the difference between Israel and Hamas. They deliberately target our cities. Deliberately target our civilians. They’re glorifying the death of children and civilians and old people. They’re happy with it. I think they’re happy with any deaths that are caused to them. We grieve for every non-combatant loss in Gaza, and we grieve for all our civilians who die. We’re not happy with it and we try to minimize it.
The interview started contentiously as Dickerson suggested the timescale of the conflict was entirely dependent on Israeli military action. “I want to start with yesterday was the worst clash in this seven-day conflict. The last one of a similar sort was in 2014 lasted six weeks. How much longer are these hostilities going to continue,” he demanded to know.
“Well, we hope that it doesn’t continue very long,” the Prime Minister explained. “We’re trying to degrade Hamas’ terrorist abilities and to degrade their will to do this again. So, it’ll take some time. I hope it won’t take long, but it is not immediate.”
And as they were nearing the end of the interview, Netanyahu told Dickerson off by asking: “What would you do if it happened in Washington or to New York? You know damn well what you’d do. You do, at the very least, what we’re doing.”