Things Got Heated Between a Sky News Journalist and Former Israeli PM Naftali Bennet

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On Thursday, things got heated between a Sky News journalist and former Israeli PM Naftali Bennet. The confrontation began when the reporter asked about Israel cutting off electricity to Gaza as a preparation for its ground assault.

This has been a popular topic of discussion in recent days. The idea is that Israel must be somehow responsible for providing electricity free to an enemy territory that just invaded and killed over 1,200 people. The term “collective punishment”, which was used by pro-Palestinian groups, including Democrat members of Congress, quickly spread.

Bennett exploded when the reporter Kamali Melbourne asked him about the power cut in Gaza.

MELBOURNE: What about the Palestinians in hospitals who are on life-support and the babies in incubators, whose incubators and life-support will need to be shut off because Israel has cut power to Gaza?

BENNETT: Do you really keep asking me about Palestinians? What’s the matter with you? What’s wrong with you? We are fighting nazis. We do not target them. They can bring anything they like. You can bring electricity if you like. I won’t give electricity or water to my enemies. We’re not responsible if anyone else does.

Crosstalk and shouting

MELBOURNE: This is my show. It’s my show and I ask the questions. Stop raising your voice and letting me finish.

Crosstalk and shouting

BENNETT: I can tell that when Britain and the UK were fighting against the nazis in World War II, nobody asked about what was happening in Dresden. The nazis were attacking London, and you were targeting Dresden. Shame on you, then, if you continue to spread this false narrative.

MELBOURNE: Many people have redressed this kind of carpet bombing in hindsight.

BENNETT: Ah, I see. You’re Mr. Clean. Shame on you.

Bennett was then asked what he would do to “ensure” that innocents in Gaza wouldn’t be killed.

Simple. Hamas must allow for the evacuation of civilians after a 24-hour warning. Bennett also pointed out that international organizations are free to provide medical care in the Southern part of Gaza. Contrary to popular opinion, the Gaza Strip does not consist of a single contiguous area. Israel has already designated evacuation zones where civilians may go to escape bombings or ground operations.

No other nation has ever been asked to supply electricity to its enemy in a war of self-defense. Hamas is in control of Gaza. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t feel sympathy for the innocents who are caught up in this conflict. Since 2006, Hamas has been the ruling authority in Gaza.

Israel should expect to be allowed the same latitude as any other country in a similar circumstance. It is not more, but the exact same amount of leeway. This means that civilians should not be targeted directly, but it also means understanding that terrorist groups cannot use civilians to bargain with. Hamas’ invasion and destruction is taking place.

Melbourne knows that his questions are loaded. He wants to portray Israel as the sole responsible party for the welfare and well-being of Gazans, instead of the government that they elected (and which polls show is widely supported). Civilians dying in war is tragic. But it’s not realistic to expect that. Hamas should ultimately be held responsible for the deaths that occur.

What Melbourne doesn’t tell you is that the stated condition to turn the power back on is simple: Release the hostages. Why is it not incumbent on Hamas to make that concession to ensure their own hospitals have power? There are options on the table right now to save lives. If Hamas refuses to take them, Israel can’t be expected to simply do nothing.