Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to budge on growing calls for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, and said those protesting in favor of such a stoppage are nothing more than today’s Nazi supporters.
Netanyahu has faced a growing call from leaders from the Global South to stop the killings of innocent Gazans. He has even rejected calls for a “pause” in the fighting because he said it will only benefit Hamas fighters.
The prime minister appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and was asked if it will be increasingly difficult to ignore the outcry, and he said he had no other choice. He called those seeking a peace resolution misguided or supporters of evil.
“There are a lot of misguided people out there who don’t know the facts. You’re talking to people who deliberately targeted civilians, who raped and murdered women,” he said.
He compared the fighting in Gaza to the Allied Forces in WWII who were taking on the German Nazis, The Daily Beast reported.
“Obviously, the Nazis are fighting within civilian quarters, and civilians get killed. In fact, many of them were killed,” he said. “Millions were killed. Now, who do you protest against? Do you protest against the Nazis or do you protest against the allies? And what these people are doing is protesting for sheer evil. That’s wrong. And by the way, it’s a condemnation. It’s an indictment of higher education in some of our universities.”
A day earlier, Netanyahu said Israel will take control of the security oversight in Gaza after the war and—no matter who ends up governing the city in the future—Israel will need to have the ability to enter the city at any time to “kill the killers.”
Netanyahu also said the Palestinian Authority will not take control of the territory after the war, which was a direct contradiction of what U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said about the future framework.
Netanyahu said there could be no “civil authority there that educates their children to hate Israel, to kill Israelis, or to eliminate Israel.”
Netanyahu said during his press conference on Saturday that Hamas will be crushed.
“The war against [Hamas] is advancing with full force, and it has one goal: to win. There is no alternative to victory,” he said.
At least 1,200 people have been killed in Israel, according to Israeli officials, of which over 500 were soldiers, police and security forces. The Associated Press, citing the IDF, reported that five reserve soldiers have died and 46 Israeli soldiers have been killed in Gaza since the ground offensive began.
Israeli forces on Sunday focused their attacks around Al Shifa hospital in Gaza City, which was “totally surrounded and bombardments are going on nearby,” Mohammad Abu Salmiya, the director, said in a statement obtained by The Guardian.
Netanyahu has said he will not consider a cessation of fighting until all hostages are released by Hamas—over 240. He told NBC News that there could be a deal in the works between Hamas and Israel to release the hostages, but did not go into detail.
“We’ll talk about it when it’s there. We’ll announce it if it’s achieved,” he said.
“I can say that we weren’t close [to a deal] at all until we started the ground operation. In fact, we heard that there is an impending deal of this kind or that kind, and then we learned that it was all hokum. It was nothing. But the minute we started the ground operation, things began to change,” he said.
TRENDPOST: It is worth noting that there have been differing opinions in the West about the need for a ceasefire. While French President Emmanuel Macron spoke out about the need for an end of the fighting, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has sided with Israel. (See “WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS THEY TAKE YOU TO WAR: NETANYAHU KNEW ABOUT LOOMING ATTACK” 7 Nov 2023, “ISRAEL WILL MAKE HEZBOLLAH PAY IF PARAMILITARY GROUP ENTERS WAR, NETANYAHU SAYS” 24 Oct 2023, and “POLL: MAJORITY OF JEWISH ISRAELIS SAY NETANYAHU MUST RESIGN AT THE END OF THE WAR” 17 Oct 2023.)
“I don’t think the calls for an immediate ceasefire or long pause—which would amount to the same thing—are right,” Scholz said, according to The Times of Israel. “That would mean ultimately that Israel leaves Hamas the possibility of recovering and obtaining new missiles.”
Even Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who keeps selling the line that he is for peace and ran as a peace candidate, who has—in the past—irked Israel for its actions against Palestinians, is in full support of Israel’s War against the Palestinians.
When asked about his opinion on a ceasefire during an interview with CNN, Sanders said he can’t imagine how you could even have one with a group like Hamas, which “is dedicated to turmoil and chaos and destroying the state of Israel.”
Briahna Joy Gray, the top spokeswoman for Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign, posted: “Biggest political disappointment of our generation.”
Norman Finkelstein, the Palestinian scholar, said the remarks made him furious.
“The senator from Vermont says Israel must destroy Hamas because Hamas wants to destroy Israel,” Finkelstein said. “Yes, Bernie, you’re so right. You are so right, Bernie. Until Oct. 7, Israel didn’t want to destroy Gaza, it just wanted to mow the lawn.”
(Mowing the lawn is a reference that Israeli officials use to describe conflicts in Gaza to kill off some percentage of the population and infrastructure.)
Finklestein said he felt betrayed by Sanders—who he said has no idea about the realities in Gaza. He said he could barely say Sanders’s name without “being filled with contempt and disgust.”