Is the Biden administration running an anti-Israel con?
On Saturday, Israel announced that it had evidence that Hamas military intelligence assets were operating out of a building with civilian media offices — in essence, using the media as a shield. Because Hamas turned the building into a military site, it became a legitimate target under international law. So the AP and Al Jazeera lost their propaganda sites. Israel gave detailed information about notifying Biden in advance of the strike. However, on Monday, secretary of state Antony Blinken said there was no such evidence. Does this represent some kind of creepy and dangerous game-playing from the Biden administration?
You can read here about Israel's initial targeting of the Hamas building, including Israel's detailed statement about its justification for destroying that building. In the same post, you can see how the Biden administration's knee-jerk reaction was to castigate Israel for having destroyed the AP and Al Jazeera headquarters.
Various media outlets, however, reported that Biden had so much evidence in front of him that he "gave the OK" to Israel's assault on the building:
PRESIDENT Joe Biden "gave the OK" for the huge Israeli blitz that levelled an alleged Hamas building in Gaza after Benjamin Netanyahu shared the "smoking gun" evidence.
The evidence is said to have been handed over by the Israeli President during his telephone conversation with Joe Biden on Saturday.
A source close to Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi is reported to have said: "We showed them the smoking gun proving Hamas worked out of that building".
He added Biden had "found the explanation satisfactory", although did not provide details of the evidence.
The White House "readout" of a Saturday call between Biden and Netanyahu states that Biden "reaffirmed his strong support for Israel's right to defend itself against rocket attacks from Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza." It's not clear whether that call occurred before or after the strike on the Hamas building.
The whole equation changed, though, on Monday, when Secretary Blinken announced that can be distilled to his asking, Hamas? What Hamas?
Secretary of State Antony Blinken claims that he hasn't been shown evidence to justify Israel's airstrike of the building in Gaza, which housed the Associated Press and Al-Jazeera offices.
"Shortly after the strike we did request additional details regarding the justification for it," Blinken said at a news conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, choosing not to address specifics, adding that he "will leave it to others to characterize if any information has been shared and our assessment that information," according to the Associated Press.
"I have not seen any information provided," he continued.
Maybe I'm unduly cynical, but I trust the Israel version of events over anything Blinken has to say. You don't have to rely on my cynical instincts, though.
In 2014, Matti Friedman, a former AP journalist, explained the symbiotic relationship between Hamas and the mainstream media outlets that routinely shared space with it (although neither in 2014 nor 2021 did Friedman have personal knowledge about the specific building Israel targeted):
To be clear, I don't at all think that the AP works with terrorists. I think they just make the calculation that part of the cost of doing business safely in an enclave ruled by terrorists is keeping your head down.— Seffi Kogen (@seffikogen) May 16, 2021
In my two essays from 2014, I gave multiple examples of the way news organizations like the AP had been compromised by Hamas in Gaza. Contrary to what I’ve seen attributed to me today, I didn’t write that Hamas operated out of the same building, and don’t know if that’s true.— Matti Friedman (@MattiFriedman) May 16, 2021
The army legal advisers who approve these strikes were convinced that the intel and the military logic could be defended, meaning they saw proof. And because hitting press offices is a net negative for Israel, the army seems to have had a target it considered worth the fallout.— Matti Friedman (@MattiFriedman) May 16, 2021
Any press organization operating in a dictatorship is going to be compromised, and will further compromise itself to conceal how it has been compromised. It’s not a new story, or one limited to the AP, or to Gaza. I wrote about it here: https://t.co/knuj5T3ce1— Matti Friedman (@MattiFriedman) May 16, 2021
In sum, it's been common knowledge for years that media outlets, for better or worse and whether out of opportunism or fear, routinely work next to Hamas terrorists. It's also common knowledge that Hamas routinely places its military installations among civilians. There's currently a debate about whether Israel informed Biden about its plan to take out the Hamas/journalism building or not. And finally, Matti Friedman points out that Israel took a big risk, so it must have believed there was a big reward, adding that he has a source who says Israel was right.
Based on all the above data, my feeling is that Blinken isn't telling the truth. I also think this was meant to be part of a set-up to put extreme pressure on Israel to stop its powerful attack against Hamas before Hamas — armed with Iranian weapons paid for by American taxpayers — is able fully and finally to implement its openly genocidal agenda.
Image: Israel destroys Hamas building. Twitter screen grab.
To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.