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Robbins: The unbearable lightness of being Elizabeth Warren

By Jeff Robbins - | Apr 17, 2024

The 350 missiles fired at Israelis last weekend were fired by Iran, which has consistently pledged to annihilate Israel. This, of course, is a pledge to commit genocide, defined by Oxford Dictionary as “the deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying that nation or group.” To constitute genocide, the United Nations states, “there must be a proven intent on the part of the perpetrators to physically destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.”

Therefore, is Iran pledged to commit genocide? Check.

Since its very founding, Hamas has been doctrinally and operationally devoted to annihilating Israel by murdering Jews. On Oct. 7, when 3,000 Hamas gunmen funded by Iran invaded Israel and slaughtered 1,200 Israelis before being stopped, their mission was to slaughter their way to Tel Aviv, killing as many Jews as possible. Since then, their leaders have vowed to reprise that slaughter over and over until their mission is accomplished.

Attempted genocide? Pledge to achieve genocide? Check. Check.

But when Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, running for reelection and eager to placate the untethered wing of her party, stopped at the Islamic Center of Boston last week, she knew just who to charge with genocide.

Here’s a hint: It wasn’t Iran, and it wasn’t Hamas.

Asked about South Africa’s charge made in the International Court of Justice that it was actually Israel that, trying to defend itself against a genocidal campaign, was the party guilty of genocide, the oh-so-courageous Warren didn’t reply, “Say what?” or, “You’ve got to be kidding me,” or, “That simply isn’t a fair charge to make against Israel.”

What she said, in order to cave to an audience that demanded that she endorse the charge, was, “If you want to do it as an application of law, I believe that they’ll find that it is genocide, and they have ample evidence to do so.”

Ample evidence of genocide by Israel? Like what?

Perhaps it was the obvious intent to destroy Palestinians manifested by the young Israelis who were dancing at a festival when they were raped and executed gangland style en masse. Or the plain genocidal intent of the families sleeping in their beds that peaceful Saturday morning who were dismembered, blown to pieces or bound together and burned to death.

Warren occasionally recites the grudging boilerplate that “of course Israel has the right to defend itself.” She has “ample evidence” that Hamas deliberately causes the killing of Palestinians that it uses as human shields, and that therefore it isn’t possible for Israel to “defend itself” without harming civilians — because that is what Hamas guarantees. First year law students know what “proximate cause” is. A former Harvard Law professor surely does as well.

The charge that Israel seeks to kill civilians is one that is made routinely by Hamas’ defenders every time Hamas starts a war, like clockwork. This charge, let alone the risible charge that Israel seeks to destroy Palestinians as a group, has been repeatedly debunked by American military experts, who actually know what they’re talking about. Gen. Martin Dempsey, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, rejected the charge shortly after the 2014 war started by Hamas. “I actually do think that Israel went to extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and civilian casualties,” Dempsey told the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.

That was in 2014, back when Hamas was “only” firing thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians, before it violated a ceasefire and actually invaded Israel. Asked just recently by the Senate Armed Services Committee whether Israel was committing genocide in Gaza, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, a retired four-star general in the U.S. Army, replied, “We don’t have any evidence of genocide being created. We don’t have evidence of that.”

But Warren, pressured by the far left to recite nonsense, dutifully allowed that there was “ample evidence” that the victim of attempted genocide was actually the perpetrator of one. A cowering pol is what she appears to be. A profile in courage she is not.

Jeff Robbins, a former assistant United States attorney and United States delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, was chief counsel for the minority of the United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. An attorney specializing in the First Amendment, he is a longtime columnist for the Boston Herald, writing on politics, national security, human rights and the Mideast.


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