Far-left comedian John Oliver trashed Israel on his HBO show this past weekend, accusing the U.S. ally of war crimes and of apartheid.
According to Oliver, Israel’s sophisticated defense system — The Iron Dome — prevents Hamas rockets from hitting Israeli targets, which Oliver considers an unfair power imbalance.
“Israel has [the] so-called Iron Dome. And I know ‘What if we blew up the rockets with more rockets?’ Sounds like something someone drunkenly wrote down on a napkin once, but it is a real military defense system that works,” argued Oliver. “And I also know not all the rockets were shot down. Israeli civilians were killed this week, which is terrible. But the point is, this isn’t ‘Tit for tat.’ There is a massive imbalance when it comes to the two sides’ weaponry and capabilities.”
Oliver then compared the Hamas rocket strikes with Israeli airstrikes, which he characterized as overwhelmingly violent and unnecessarily destructive. Oliver referred to some of these attacks as “war crimes.”
“While most of the rockets aimed toward Israeli citizens this week were intercepted, Israel’s airstrikes were not,” he said. “They hit their targets, including a house in a refugee camp, a building housing the associated press and Al Jazeera, and this 13-story office and apartment building. And while Israel insisted that there were military targets in that building and that they’d destroyed it as humanely as possible, even warning people to evacuate beforehand. For the record, destroying a civilian residence sure seems like a war crime regardless of whether you send a courtesy heads-up text.”
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the strike against The Associated Press building as a legitimate target that housed Hamas.
“We shared with our American friends all that intelligence,” Netanyahu said on “Face The Nation.” “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 terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. So it’s a perfectly legitimate target.”
Netanyahu also asserted that Israel took all possible precautions to protect civilians.
“No people were killed,” Netanyahu said. “Now imagine, ask yourself, ‘how is that possible?’ You see these highrise towers that are used by Hamas. Over and over again they collapse 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.”
“We make sure everyone is gone before we bring down those terrorist facilities,” he said. “And that’s the difference between Israel and Hamas. They deliberately target our cities, deliberately target our civilians. They glorify the death of children and civilians and old people. They’re happy with it. I think they are 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.”