Speaking at this year’s Christians United for Israel gala, Israeli ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer claimed that, contrary to what human rights groups and the United Nations have claimed, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has conducted its assault on Hamas in Gaza with such caution and care for civilian lives that it deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for “unimaginable restraint.”Israeli ambassador to US says IDF deserves nobel peace prize for unimaginable restraint
“Some are shamelessly accusing Israel of genocide and would put us in the dock for war crimes,” Dermer said during a speech that was repeatedly interrupted by protestors. “But the truth is that the Israeli Defense Forces should be given the Nobel Peace Prize … for fighting with unimaginable restraint.”
Dermer went on to compare Israel’s warfare with that of the United Kingdom during World War II, arguing that while he had no interest in criticizing Winston Churchill for his decision to repeatedly bomb civilians in Germany, the nearly 70-year-old historical example was a reminder that, when it comes to protecting civilian life, Israel could be doing much worse.
“[N]o one should accept criticism of Israel for acting with restraint that has not been shown and would not be shown by any nation on Earth,” Dermer continued. “I especially will not tolerate criticism of my country at a time when Israeli soldiers are dying so that innocent Palestinians can live.”
The ambassador expanded, as if he could possibly improve on his first comments:
Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer on Tuesday defended the country’s military action against Hamas in Gaza, but acknowledged the growing number of civilian deaths and said Israel is “not perfect.”Israeli official: 'We're not perfect'
“I don’t think Israel should be judged by a standard of perfection,” Dermer told reporters at breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. “We’re not perfect, we make mistakes.”
Dermer said repeatedly that Israel was not targeting Palestinian civilians and insisted Hamas was using human shields “in an unprecedented way,” which he argued was leading to the large number of civilian deaths.Dermer also said people should asked themselves how other countries would react if in a similar situation.
“We are in a situation where we have to defend our people, and we’re doing it in ways that other countries have not done and would not done,” Dermer said. “If 200 million Americans were sitting in bomb shelters day after day, the U.S. military, the U.S. government, would not take action that is less forceful than Israel.”
Dermer noted a recent incident in which Hamas fighters and civilians were killed by Israeli forces.
“In this case, none of those people [civilians] should have been there,” he said. “Forty-eight hours before, we told everybody to get out of those areas and to go. We told them exactly where they should go to get out of the way of the fighting. A lot of them chose to stay. Some of them, I think, were forced to stay.”
Dermer also rephrased reported comments he made Monday that the Israeli Defense Forces should receive a Nobel Peace Prize for its “unimaginable restraint.” On Tuesday, he instead said Israel should earn global admiration.
“A missile can hit the wrong place, you can have intelligence failure, but we don’t target civilians. And I think, given the fact that we’ve got our people in bomb shelters, I think Israel should earn the admiration of the international community for the restraint that it has shown in the face of these threats,” Dermer said.