Danny DeVito introduced Sen. Bernie Sanders at a campaign rally in St. Louis, Missouri last month, and has been acting as a surrogate of sorts for the presidential candidate.
Speaking to the Daily Beast on Friday, DeVito criticized Israel’s response during the 2014 Gaza War, and ripped into Hillary Clinton for her defense of the Jewish state:
“I thought last night, in New York City, where the Israeli lobby is big and everybody is talking about Israel, Bernie really stood up for the Palestinians,” says DeVito. “Just say that you think there was excessive force the last time the Israelis attacked Gaza! No. She couldn’t say it. It’s gettin’ sticky because you don’t want the same thing to happen there that happened in South Africa. You don’t want that.”
DeVito was referring to Thursday night’s debate, where Sanders repeated his claim that Israel’s response during the Gaza War was “disproportionate.”
As I noted in response to Sanders’s claims:
First, let’s not forget why the Gaza War was launched in the first place. Hamas repeatedly violated a truce by firing scores of rockets from Gaza into Israeli civilian population zones. In one day alone, July 8, Hamas launched 40 rockets into Israel, prompting Israeli retaliation and the start of the conflict.
What nation on earth would allow a terrorist army to amass a rocket infrastructure in a neighboring territory and use that land – which Israel evacuated in hope of peace – as a staging ground for constant terrorist rocket attacks?
And by calling Israel’s self-defense “disproportionate,” what exactly is Sanders advocating? That instead of acting to minimize the terrorist threat against its civilians, Israel should respond to every act of Palestinian terrorism with an equivalent act? So if Hamas fires a rocket into a Jewish city, Israel should therefore respond by indiscriminately launching a terror rocket into a Palestinian city with the intent of killing civilians? That the next time a Palestinian stabs an Israeli, the Jewish state should send one of its own into Ramallah to stab a Palestinian civilian?
Sanders’s statement is preposterous, nonsensical, and negates Israel’s ability to defend itself and degrade Hamas’s terrorist infrastructure.
Sanders has repeatedly criticized Israel’s performance during the Gaza War, including utilizing false statistics to make his point.
In an interview with the New York Daily News two weeks ago, Sanders vastly inflated the number of Palestinians killed by Israel in during the 2014 Gaza War.
“I don’t remember the figures, but my recollection is over 10,000 innocent people were killed in Gaza,” Sanders told the paper’s editorial board.
I noted at the time:
Here, Sanders actually outdoes Hamas’s own anti-Israel disinformation.
Israel and the Palestinians published different figures for the death toll of Operation Protective Edge, as Israel dubbed it, but both put the number of dead well below 2,500, including both civilians and militants. Israel says 1,408 of 2,203 Palestinians killed in the war were militants. Hamas claimed more than half were civilians.
When discussing civilian casualties, let’s remember that Palestinian militants use civilians as human shields and house their terrorist infrastructures in densely populated civilian areas.
Still, Israel goes beyond what many other countries do to protect civilians. The IDF regularly warns civilians of incoming attacks with phone calls and text messages. It further employs “roof knocking” – or firing warning shots before any aerial bombing. If civilians still don’t evacuate, the Israeli army often makes announcements on loudspeakers. The IDF has called off scores of military raids because civilians were in the way.
Sanders further wrongly stated that Israel bombed “hospitals” during the war.
“My understanding is that a whole lot of apartment houses were leveled. Hospitals, I think, were bombed. So yeah, I do believe and I don’t think I’m alone in believing that Israel’s force was more indiscriminate than it should have been,” Sanders told the Daily News.
Sanders left out that the IDF bombed a wing of Gaza’s empty Al-Wafa Hospital, with the Israeli army saying the building was being used as a Hamas terrorist command center and a launching site for rockets. No casualties were reported in the bombing, and Israel first fired numerous warning shots and ensured that the building was entirely evacuated.
Haaretz reported at the time:
Israel bombed Gaza’s Al-Wafa Hospital from the air on Wednesday, saying it was being used as a Hamas command center and rocket-launching site.
The hospital was empty, after its patients and medical staff had left on July 17. Contrary to reports, militants had not been in the hospital before its evacuation.
The Israel Defense Forces said the strike was aimed at “specific terror targets within the hospital compound.” It said Hamas operatives had fired at IDF forces in recent days from the compound, using light weapons and anti-tank fire “which increased in recent hours, endangering our troops.”
Instead of blasting Hamas for using a hospital to house it’s terrorist infrastructure and a launching pad for rockets fired at Israel, Sanders mindlessly defamed the IDF and continued to expose his own stupidity on Mideast affairs.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.