Biden in Tel Aviv: Looks Like 'The Other Team' Hit That Hospital ... I Guess

Better late than never? After Hamas and other Gazans accused Israel of targeting a hospital, Joe Biden issued a statement expressing “outrage” and disgust. Biden had set up a meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as part of his trip to the region, and apparently wanted to keep it from being canceled, to no avail as Jazz wrote earlier.

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And of course, the IDF insisted that the hospital got hit by a misfired Islamic Jihad missile in the first place, and later produced captured Hamas communications to prove it:

Beege will have more on Hamas’ hospital hoax later, especially on the fools who fell for it — which still seemed to include Joe Biden. He landed in Israel overnight and held a joint press appearance with Benjamin Netanyahu, where he declared that America would support Israel all the way to victory. When it came to the hospital strike, though, Biden didn’t seem terribly enthusiastic about putting blame where it belonged.

This begins at the three-minute mark, just after Biden gets lost in an anecdote, dumps it, and then speed-reads a note he’s holding in his hand to declare his sadness and outrage before bouncing off script again:

“I was deeply saddened and outraged by the explosion at the hospital in Gaza yesterday,” said Biden, sitting alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a Tel Aviv hotel. “Based on what I’ve seen, it appears it was done by the other team, and not you.”

At the same time, he added, “there’s a lot of people out there who are not sure. So we’ve gotta overcome a lot of things.”

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This is the dumbest some people say in US diplomatic history. Why even say that unless it’s to forcefully debunk it? Biden clearly ad-libbed this, which makes one wonder just how sincere his “other team” position really is. (Biden later confirmed that the DoD had data showing that Israel didn’t strike the hospital, which was not actually hit, although its parking lot was.)

There may be “a lot of people out there who are not sure,” but that’s in large part because of stupidly credulous reactions to Hamas claims in the first place. Not only does Hamas regularly lie about these matters, their entire strategy is to force these kinds of deaths for propaganda purposes. This rocket misfire was clearly unintentional, but Hamas and Islamic Jihad purposely fire rockets from positions near hospitals, schools, and mosques to produce dead civilians when Israelis return fire. Even if Israel had hit this hospital in returning fire, the responsibility for any deaths belongs to Hamas — both as the initiating aggressor in the war and by their deliberate human-shield strategy in waging war.

Besides, if Israel wanted to target a hospital, it would have been Al-Shifa in Gaza City. Why? Hamas has its command headquarters in Al-Shifa, an open secret for more than a decade. The Washington Post wrote about it in 2014 during the last major Israel-Hamas conflict. Guy Benson also wrote about it here nine years ago, linking a Tablet blast against the media for ignoring it — even though reporters routinely met with Hamas propagandists at Al-Shifa:

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The idea that one of Hamas’ main command bunkers is located beneath Shifa Hospital in Gaza City is one of the worst-kept secrets of the Gaza war. So why aren’t reporters in Gaza ferreting it out? The precise location of a large underground bunker equipped with sophisticated communications equipment and housing some part of the leadership of a major terrorist organization beneath a major hospital would seem to qualify as a world-class scoop—the kind that might merit a Pulitzer, or at least a Polk.

So why isn’t the fact that Hamas uses Shifa Hospital as a command post making headlines? In part, it’s because the location is so un-secret that Hamas regularly meets with reporters there. On July 15, for example, William Booth of the Washington Post wrote that the hospital “has become a de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders, who can be seen in the hallways and offices.” Back in 2006, PBS even aired a documentary showing how gunmen roam the halls of the hospital, intimidate the staff, and deny them access to protected locations within the building—where the camera crew was obviously prohibited from filming. Yet the confirmation that Hamas is using Gaza City’s biggest hospital as its de facto headquarters was made in the last sentence of the eighth paragraph of Booth’s story—which would appear to be the kind of rookie mistake that is known in journalistic parlance as “burying the lede.”

Read it all, and see just how applicable it is in this war as well. Hamas made it into a legit military target almost from the beginning of their rule, and Israel has not yet struck it in that entire time. What does that say about the moral standing of Israel and Hamas, and which deserves the benefit of doubt on such claims?

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Now, here’s a mission for Hot Air readers. Take a look at recent reporting about Al-Shifa and its travails in this war, and see how many mainstream-media news outlets include this fact. It will be a little tougher to suss this out from coverage of the other hospital hit by the missile, but this came up a few days ago in the New York Times’ coverage of the power crisis in Gaza. They amplified the accusations of doctors at Al-Shifa that Israel would be responsible for all the deaths there from a lack of electricity, while never mentioning that Hamas co-located its main HQ in the hospital. If you find one that does, contact the Pulitzer committee.

That’s not the only way in which Biden and American media have played along with Hamas propaganda in this incident. They have all expressed their outrage over a single missile attack on a civilian target in Gaza, when Hamas and Islamic Jihad have launched tens of thousands of unguided missiles at civilian population centers in Israel over the last 17 years — and maybe hundreds of thousands. They launched 5,000 missiles at civilian population centers at the start of this conflict alone. Israel has spent a fortune building an anti-missile system to live with this horrendous threat, but not one of the American media outlets ever expresses any outrage over those attacks.

But when Israel and the Jews fire back? Katy bar the door on their hypocritically sanctimonious outrage and performative horror!

Finally, back to Biden’s weak and distracted performance here. The prepared remarks seemed fine, if rather uninspiring in the moment, and the Israeli press seems satisfied with the response. However, Biden hardly projects strength or energy here, spends most of his time struggling to sit upright and open his eyes fully, and is clearly so lost without his notes that he seems to almost snap back to attention when reading them. He’s not up to the job now, and has not been for a while — and that kind of weakness at moments like this is dangerous.

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Addendum: My friend Scott Johnson has more on stupidly credulous regurgitation of Hamas propaganda at Power Line, highlighting the IDF’s pushback.

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Duane Patterson 10:00 PM | July 11, 2024
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