Israel has been sharply criticized for civilian casualties in Gaza, so I imagined how Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would address the issue if asked. Here is the result.
"Let me tell you what practically nobody out there--especially John Kerry--understands: I'm fighting a war on three fronts.
First of all, I'm defending Israel against the terrorists of Hamas who are out to destroy us, who have sworn to annihilate Israel, the nation that Jahweh gave to his chosen people more than three thousand years ago. Jahweh did not give it to the Muslims or the Crusaders, who took turns stealing it from us. Nor to the Ottoman Turks, nor the British, nor the Palestinians, nor to Fatah, and above all not to Hamas. Jahweh gave this land to Israel and nobody else. That's why we must never let Hamas plant a nation of its own here, a nation with its own army and the right to fight for itself. Only Israel has that right. To defend ourselves and our right to exist as a nation, we must retaliate against Hamas every time it fires a rocket at us, and it has done that more than 3000 times since this war began. Before it ends, we must take out all of their rocket launchers and destroy all the tunnels they've been using to infiltrate our land and smuggle the weapons they use against us.
The second thing I have to fight in this war, believe it or not, is the superhawks of my own party: the guys who want to take out Gaza once and for all, to obliterate the whole strip or at the very least annihilate Gaza City. Whenever I tell them that's going too far, or whenever I talk about a ceasefire and negotiations, or whenever I withdraw ground troops, as I did from Gaza on Sunday, do you know what the superhawks call me? A bleeding heart! But I'm really a man of peace. Whenever I order an attack on any part of Gaza, it's in the name and in the cause of peace. I don't mind being called a bleeding heart--I've been called much worse. I don't mind as long as I'm finally remembered as a guy who did everything he could for peace.
The third front is the hardest front of all. Just because civilians have been getting killed in Gaza, Israel has been accused of war crimes. War crimes! What about the war crimes committed by Hamas, who not only use their own civilians as human shields but also fire rockets again and again into Israel--with absolutely no concern for where they land? Now it's true that hardly any Hamas rockets ever hit populated areas--because our iron dome defense system knocks them down first. But do you know that every time we knock one of their rockets down, it costs us $50,000? That's a lot of money, and it adds up fast. And even though we don't spend it on rockets that we know are headed for open fields where nobody will get hurt, do you have any idea how much damage those rockets do to our fields? Over and over again, they have to be re-turfed and re-seeded. It's a royal and costly pain.
Furthermore, every time Hamas launches a rocket that might threaten our people, they have to hear the wail of a siren and run for cover. Do you know how annoying that is, day after day? When the siren goes off, all you can do is run and hide. It's an outrageous inconvenience.
Worst of all, Hamas kills. It has not only killed 64 Israeli soldiers; it has also killed three Israeli civilians. Three.
You might say that's a tiny fraction of the number of Palestinian civilians killed in this war. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the war has cost the lives of at least 1,033 Palestinian civilians, including 329 children and 187 women. But of course we all know that the UN is biased against Israel. Just because UN shelters have been struck seven times in this war, we've been slandered by Ban Ki-moon. Just because the latest airstrike--on Sunday-- took ten more lives at a UN school in Rafah that was holding 3000 people, the Secretary-General has called it a "moral outrage and a criminal act." Let me tell you about moral outrage. I'm morally outraged that Hamas uses its own civilians--including its own women and children--as human shields. We never aim at civilians or UN shelters. Since we've been repeatedly told where they are, we take special pains to spare them. Unlike Hamas, we know how to strike with surgical precision. But once in a while, accidents happen. On Sunday, we were aiming at three militants on a motorcycle near the UN shelter in Rafah. If those guys insist on riding near the shelter, what are we to do? We have no choice but to strike them as well as we can. But have you any idea how hard it is to hit a motorcycle from way up in the air? Just once, just once, I wish the UN and all other critics of Israel could try to see things from our point of view.
Finally, before the UN Secretary-General attacks Israel again, I wish he would realize that I'm fighting this war on three fronts--all in the name of peace."