CNN Contributor Gripes That Iron Dome 'Takes Away Hamas's Military Leverage' Over Israel

Complaints from the mainstream media over the disproportionate nature of the Israel-Hamas conflict have reached a fever pitch in recent weeks. The problem for them, it seems, is that not enough Israelis are dying in this conflict between a democratic state and a terrorist-run Islamist territory. Leave it to CNN commentator Marc Lamont Hill to make the point a little bit more explicit.

In a discussion on the August 4 edition of CNN Newsroom, Hill critiqued Israel’s Iron Dome system, almost lamenting the fact that it has limited Israeli deaths, leading to the disproportionate outcome of the war liberals so often mention. He absurdly claimed: [MP3 audio here; video below]

But what the Iron Dome does is it also takes away all of Hamas's military leverage which is very different than say, 10 years ago or 15 years ago in other wars like Lebanon, et cetera. As a result, it not only serves a defensive purpose but de facto serves an offensive purpose. It allows Israel to essentially assault and siege Gaza without any retribution or response on the other side. So again, to some extent, they are not just funding defense, they are funding an offensive war and ultimately an occupation. That for me, is the problem.

In short, it appears Hill objects to U.S. taxpayer funding of Iron Dome because it “serves an offensive purpose” by limiting the ability of the Islamist terror network Hamas to slaughter Israeli citizens in “retribution.” Hill misses the point about military conflicts: the ultimate goal is to win and at the same time limit civilian casualties on your own side.

In making that argument, Hill insinuates that there is moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas, an incredibly dubious claim. This appears to be lost on the HuffPost Live writer.


Earlier in the segment, Hill channeled liberal talking points on the conflict, confessing that he was “pleased to see the United States finally joining the international community in condemning Israel for this reckless assault on innocent lives.”

The Morehouse College professor could not grasp how the United States could fund Iron Dome without “some sort of imposition of peace.” He asserted that America “can’t simply say [they] are going to keep funding an Iron Dome when there is such a disproportionate attack on the people of Gaza.”
                                
Anti-Israel rhetoric from the liberal media has shown no sign of slowing down, and the hostility toward world’s lone Jewish state is growing by the day.

CNN
CNN Newsroom
August 4, 2014
9:35 a.m. Eastern

CAROL COSTELLO, host: So Marc, why complain about civilian casualties if the United States is handing Israel the money to launch the air strikes after the fact?

MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN political commentator: That's a great question. That's a question that many of us have been asking for many, many years. I'm pleased to see the United States finally joining the international community in condemning Israel for this reckless assault on innocent lives, but it is hard to condemn Israel when you fund them with so much of the money and so many of the weapons. Now the United States would reasonably say that the Iron Dome funding was necessary on Friday, $225 million, because they want Israel to the defend itself from rocket fire. You have to have some sort of caveat, some sort of demand, some sort of  imposition of peace. You can’t simply say we are going to keep funding an Iron Dome when there is such a disproportionate attack on the people of Gaza.
        
[...]

COSTELLO: And certainly Ross, Benjamin Netanyahu knows that because he told the Obama administration to quote never to second-guess him again, and not to force to make any sort of truce with Hamas. And then he said, oh, yeah, thanks for the money. It seems like Mr. Netanyahu is actually holding all the cards and the Obama administration is on the sidelines.

ROSS DOUTHAT, New York Times: Alright. Part of the reality here too is that Israel is – I mean look, there's a very good argument that the U.S. should not be sending military aid to Israel anymore and it’s an argument that some Israelis make. It’s an argument that some supporters of Israel, supporters much more hawkish than myself frankly, make domestically because Israel is a very wealthy country and is capable in the long run of defending itself without U.S. aid. So there is certainly an argument to be made that we shouldn't be funding them militarily overall. The question is, once you are funding a country militarily, and once they are engaged in a war that overall you think that they have the right to engage in and that you think is  potentially a just war, does it make sense to start threatening to cut off aid for the Iron Dome system, whose only purpose is protecting civilians in the middle of a conflict?  And I think that is a more debatable proposition. Again, stepping back, yes, there's a case that the U.S. shouldn't be funding Israel militarily because Israel doesn't actually need the money in the long run.

COSTELLO: Gotcha.

MARC LAMONT HILL: I think, though, the challenge is, because if you look at the Iron Dome in isolation, then yes, Ross, I agree with you 100% because the Iron Dome is exclusively a defensive mechanism, but what the Iron Dome does is it also takes away all of Hamas's military leverage which is very different than say, 10 years ago or 15 years ago in other wars like Lebanon, et cetera. As a result, it not only serves a defensive purpose but de facto serves an offensive purpose. It allows Israel to essentially  assault and siege Gaza without any retribution or response on the other side. So again, to some extent, they are not just funding defense, they are funding an offensive war and ultimately an occupation. That for me, is the problem.

Connor Williams
Connor Williams
Connor Williams is a contributing writer for NewsBusters.