Photo Credit: From CNN screenshot
CNN's Jake Tapper interviewed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, May 21, 2024.

In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attacked the charges brought by the ICC prosecutor against himself and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant as “beyond outrageous.”

Here’s the full, 14-minute interview. I copied some of the transcript because Netanyahu’s response is so forceful, that you might want to print it out to read to your liberal guests around the Shavu’ot table.


Jake Tapper: Prime Minister Netanyahu, thank you so much for joining us. A central part of the ICC charges against you and Gallant is, quote, starvation of civilians as a method of warfare. Now, I know that Israel repeatedly claims that enough aid is getting in and there is not a purposeful starvation of those claiming otherwise are misinformed, are lying. Is Israel going to send a delegation to the Hague to present any evidence to defend itself?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: I think these charges are exactly what President Biden called them. They’re outrageous. They’re beyond outrageous. This is a rogue prosecutor that has put false charges and created false images that that are both dangerous and false. And first of all, the symmetry – he equates the democratically elected leaders of Israel with the terrorist tyrants of Hamas.

That’s like saying that, well, I’m issuing, you know, arrest warrants for FDR and Churchill, but also for Hitler, or I’m issuing arrest warrants for George Bush, George W Bush, but also for bin Laden. That’s absurd.

An aside: Politico used the above metaphor for one of the nastiest headlines in recent journalistic history: “Netanyahu compares himself to FDR and Churchill,” as if the Israeli PM was boasting of getting Israel out of the Depression, or winning WW2.

Netanyahu: Secondly, the charges are completely false. Let’s take this charge of starvation. We’ve put in 500,000 tons of trucks of food and medicine for this population. We’ve taken 20,000 trucks. We’ve paved roads to put those trucks in. We’ve opened border crossings that Hamas closed down. I’ve had airdrops that have facilitated sea routes, supplies. I mean, the whole thing is absurd.

You should know this. I mean, the price of food in Gaza has dropped by 80%. The markets don’t lie. They talk about 23, I think, or 30 cases of malnutrition, in a population of 2 million. Okay. The United States in 2022 had 20,000 deaths of malnutrition. That’s three times more than in Gaza. This is completely false. It’s the kind of slander that has been leveled at the Jewish people for ages. And it’s renewed now against the Jewish state. It was false then. It’s false now.

But one thing, this prosecutor, this rogue prosecutor, didn’t even bother to come here. He said he’d come here to check the facts. He didn’t check the facts. He just went out and demonized the Jewish state. And he’s taking the ICC down the route of the General Assembly that passes infinite resolutions, flat earth resolutions against Israel, or the Human Rights Council that used to have a reputation that is completely blown because half the resolutions are against Israel, not against Iran, not against North Korea, not against Syria.

It’s the same thing. It’s so outrageous. And false. It’s dangerous because it endangers every democracy. We should note, though, it’s not just the ICC expressing concerns about the lack of humanitarian aid getting into Gaza. President Biden and his administration and their officials, not to mention European allies of Israel and their officials. They’ve all been making this case for months that Israel is not letting enough aid in.

Tapper: So, when President Biden expresses concern about you not letting enough aid in, is he wrong?

Netanyahu: Well, we had the same concerns. We were trying to get the aid in. We got the aid in and Hamas was looting the aid. That’s what was happening. They were taking it for themselves or extorting the population. We were letting the aid in from the start.

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