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Aryeh Lightstone: "Reprehensible" for Biden admin to hold back intel from Israel

Brian Kilmeade Show / Brian Kilmeade
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May 13, 2024 12:52 pm

Aryeh Lightstone: "Reprehensible" for Biden admin to hold back intel from Israel

Brian Kilmeade Show / Brian Kilmeade

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May 13, 2024 12:52 pm

Aryeh Lightstone served as the Senior Advisor to U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and played a critical role in advancing the Abraham Accords.

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Any objective observer knows Israel has broken international law, it has broken American law, and in my view, Israel should not be receiving another nickel in U.S. military aid. Look, the facts are quite clear. Hamas is a terrible, disgusting terrorist organization that began this war.

But what Israel has done over the last seven months has not just gone to war against Hamas, it has gone to war against the entire Palestinian people, and the results have been absolutely catastrophic. Congratulations Bernie Sanders, I agree with nothing that you've ever said, ever. So this continues, but he's a Jewish guy from Brooklyn who doesn't like Israel and almost immediately started criticizing Israel. Aria Lightstone joins us now. He served as senior advisor to the U.S. ambassador at the time, David Friedman from 2017-2021, but he played a critical role in the formation, the execution of the Abraham Accords.

Great to see you Aria. First off, your reaction to Bernie Sanders? I think you're correct, you are batting 100 with him. He is never right about anything, and this is a place that he could not be more incorrect about if he tried.

Is it damaging? Does that word get out that a U.S. senator, pretty well known, condemns Israel? It does matter, doesn't it? It matters, but it matters in a small comparison to the fact of what the U.S. administration has done. The problem is I think that Bernie Sanders is writing foreign policy for Joe Biden. That's the issue.

It used to be Bernie was an outlier. I think Bernie today is mainstream Democratic Party, and that terrifies not just Israel, not just Jews in America, but frankly all American allies around the world. So where is the Rafa? One of the things is Rafa is the key because we think there's about 8,000 tube battalions, 8,000 Hamas fighters still in Rafa. And then the president of the United States says, I don't want him going into Rafa.

It's already started, I understand. Where is the Rafa attack plan at right now, do you think? Right now, Israel has given Biden space still to say that it's just dealing with precise operations, whatever that specifically means. Essentially, when Israel went into Gaza, went into something similar to what we saw in Iraq with shock and awe. He came in with enormous numbers and tried to divide Gaza, North Gaza from South Gaza, and then went up to North Gaza and tried to rid it from as many Hamas terrorists as it could, and then moved down to Southern Gaza, leaving this pocket of Rafa left at the end. It's now taken the border in between Rafa, which is the southernmost part of Gaza and Egypt, and preventing or is trying to prevent reinforcements coming in through Egypt, which is where they have the primary smuggling tunnels, and is trying to isolate the ability to connect and to contact Hamas terrorists and Rafa. At the end of the day, it's only the very beginning of what needs to be done.

Wow. Only the very beginning of Rafa, but in terms of your operation, you don't think it's at the beginning, do you? I mean, fundamentally, if Israel goes home without completing the operation in Rafa, they may as well have not gone into Gaza in the beginning, because what will happen is they will leave Gaza, and as long as Hamas is intact in any way, shape, or form in Rafa or anywhere else in Gaza, as soon as Israel vacates Gaza, nobody else is running in, so Hamas by definition will fill that vacuum, and we are back to October 6th all over again. I see that this published today, I think the New York Times, that they came out and said Israel is able to recover this network, it looks like the KGB of Gaza and the West Bank, and they talk about how Hamas had tracked everybody's personal and professional life, anything they said against the organization, against the terrorist group, and they would kill you, and they basically were terrorizing the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip with this about a thousand person group that basically went for trade families and organizations to find out if anyone's speaking out against Hamas. What do you think that says about life in Gaza before the invasion took place?

It says exactly what we knew it to be. It is not a territory, it is not a country, it is a crime family. Hamas is a crime family that competes with other crime families like Islamic Jihad, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and what they do, they could not care less about the Palestinians, they care completely and totally about owning their fiefdom. Why do they care right now about the tunnels that come from Egypt? Because they make a tax, they get a tax on every person who pays to leave, and they get a tax on every piece of good that comes in.

All they do is make money. If you look at the leadership of Hamas sitting in Qatar, they are worth more than the top billionaires in the United States of America. I think some total value of the three leaders sitting in Doha is more than $10 billion from US taxpayers and other people attempting to help the Palestinians. If we can go back to Bernie just one second, the most fraudulent part about all of their comments, whether it's Bernie or President Biden or Blinken, if they truly cared about the Palestinian people, which they do not, they truly cared about the Palestinian people, they would be standing on top of the table demanding that Israel finish the job in Rafah, because they know that Hamas hurts the Palestinians far more than Israel would ever hurt the Palestinians. See, I watched Jen Psaki over the weekend, who's still a spokesperson for the administration, and she says what everybody wants is a ceasefire.

No, they don't. People want the hostages out, but a ceasefire without the job done is a victory for Hamas, and that's the way the world would see it. Here's Senator Joe Manchin, about the age you guys are bringing in.

This is what he told me on Saturday night, cut 19. There's a lot of disturbing things coming out. Cindy McCain, I was with Cindy at the McCain Institute over last weekend, Brian, and Cindy told me, she said, you know what they don't know? She says, I had 30 trucks full of food, 30 trailer trucks that were hijacked by Hamas, that their own people, it wouldn't let them feed their own people. We're not hearing any of that on the news.

You're not, and we're trying to run it down to verify it, because we had heard that too, but the other thing is they get it and they will sell it back to the Palestinians, aid that we're bringing. Have you heard this? We've heard it, we've seen it. It's well documented. The fact that it doesn't get into the mainstream media is because it destroys the narrative. There's this concept that Gaza is being starved by Israel.

That's baloney. There's more humanitarian aid going to Gaza today than there was prior to the war. The challenge is Hamas takes all of it and gives it to the Hamas leaders and then resells anything else that they need to the people.

So Hamas has figured out how to game the system and they've got Joe Biden firmly on their side. So Aria too, people have said, well, why do you need 5,000 pound bombs? Well, one of the reasons is the tunnels. You have 500 square miles of tunnels. How do you expect to get to them? Well, they're going to be on the ground and they're going to, you're going to lose a lot of IDF fighters.

I got it. And you guys realize that and they realize that I should say, but having said that, there's no reason you shouldn't be able to use bombs that you paid for to blow up an enemy that massacred 2000 plus of your people. And there's kits that could make these smart devices, that could make them precision weapons, correct?

Absolutely. Today, Israel will finish Rafah. If they use it with precise munitions that they're looking to buy from the United States of America, it will spare more Palestinian civilians. If they don't have the precise munitions, they'll have to use less precise munitions and that will only hurt the Palestinians. Again, all of this is performance theater. None of this has to do with the care of the Palestinians.

If they did, they would come to like secondary thinking, which they're not capable of doing. Here, just so you know, I'm sitting in Israel today. It's Memorial Day in Israel.

And this is the most tragic Memorial Day certainly of my lifetime. And when you're looking at the tragedies of the young men and women who have died in the last seven months, and they're sitting here looking at the United States of America saying we're not going to arm you to finish the job, there's a feeling of enormous uncertainty here in the air. It's palpable.

You can feel it. So if you're trying to get the Abraham Accords, which they don't want to say Abraham Accords because it's a Trump thing. So they're trying to get Saudi Arabia to recognize Israel and back and forth. Now, if you're trying to get a mutual defense pack, if you're Saudi Arabia, that's one of the things they want. How assured are you right now that America will be there if things get a little dicey? Because war is not pretty in anybody's war is not pretty.

Certainly the way the people you're fighting against, the more people dead, the better. With us, the less people that we just want terrorists dead. So Saudi Arabia is going to be saying, why should I sign on to this? When things get tough, America gets going. When America says don't do Iran, they send under over 300 rockets.

Why should they do it? Don't you think this weakens the case? It weakens the United States of America broadly across the world and in the region enormously. Look, Lee Smith, who's a fantastic writer, has described that either you're strong or you're dead in the Middle East. And the United States of America is looking to weaken the state of Israel. At the same time, Saudi Arabia has only two choices. It's got China or the United States of America. And because the greatness of the United States of America, we're blessed that they still want us. They still want the United States.

But they're double checking that or they're thinking about it twice because they know no matter how much people are suspicious of China, they're likely to be there over the next 50 years. This administration and other administrations like this have proven and continue to prove that they will not be with you when the chips are down. And that's terrifying. It is. And the great leadership is keeping your focus. And if we had a different leader, they would be constantly speaking about the need to understand that anybody who any some people that dies, the blood's on Hamas, his hands, the idea of subjective, one of the finest fighting forces in the world is not to kill one single civilian.

But they hide in hospitals, they hide in schools, they hide in playgrounds. You have no choice. I want you to this is not going to make you happy. But Senator Chris Murphy is going to bat for Joe Biden. This is his pitch.

Tell me if you buy it. Cut twenty nine. I don't mind the fact that the president isn't paying attention to the politics. And I think, you know, frankly, when you're being a good leader, you are often upsetting people on the right and left. And so President Biden advertised himself when he ran for office as someone who would often play it down the middle, who would not pay attention to the extremes of the debate, would just do what he thought was right for the country and what the broad middle of the country wants. And I actually think that's where the broad middle of the country is. I think the broad middle of the country wants to support Israel's ability to destroy Hamas, but is very concerned about the fact that there are so many kids dying that for the last week there's been no humanitarian assistance getting into the country. I think that's not true.

That's not true about assistance getting into the country. But your thought is, is Joe Biden perceived to be playing it down the middle? No, Joe Biden is successfully upsetting everybody, specifically because he can't actually choose a cohesive plan.

He says one thing and then he does another thing and nobody likes that. And by the way, that message confusion causes more death and destruction. As Chris Murphy does not point out the fact that the United States of America is now willing to trade intel to Israel in order not to go into Rafah. If the United States of America has intel on where hostages are and where the leadership of Hamas is, where has that intel been for the last seven months? Do we not know that there are American hostages there?

You're talking about a Washington Post story that cites four administration officials. They don't name them, but says that we have intelligence where Sinwar is and the higher ups in Hamas in Gaza and we will give it to Israel if they don't go into Rafah. Whoever thought that that would be acceptable, whoever thought in a million years we'd be holding back intelligence to Israel. John Kirby denied it, but what do you believe?

Well, I believe the following thing. When I had a chance to work with Ambassador Friedman, the amount of times that he carried intel from Israel to the United States of America in the middle of the night because Israel came up with intel to save Americans, there was never any hesitation. There was never any pause in terms of whether Israel would share information for the United States.

There was no barter, there was no trade that was called a partnership. And to think that the United States of America has intel that would help Israel save their own soldiers and to bring back hostages and hasn't used that intel, to me it's the most reprehensible form of evil that you can imagine. And the fact that it's being reported, how do you think the Saudis feel? How do you think the Brits feel?

At what point in time does anybody believe that this guy who's supposedly the adult in charge actually cares about anything other than 100,000 voters in Michigan? I wish I could push back more, but I just can't because you're just making logic. You're not talking about extremists.

You're not talking about a political view. You're talking about backing up an ally, an elite fighting force that prides itself on killing terrorists, not innocent people. And you also, I understand Israel does their own investigations, just like we do with Abu Ghraib and others.

When there's an incident of dicey outcome that people think to be investigated, you pull the people out and you do an investigation on it, just like we would do. But now we ask the State Department to use our sources inside Gaza to do a study on how you guys are performing. And among the people that think that should have gone further and condemned Israel's actions as a war crime is Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, cut 28. Do you fear that this report helped essentially give political cover to Prime Minister Netanyahu to continue to do what he's doing? Well, I fear that by not providing an unvarnished accounting of the facts and the law, we have essentially stated that what is happening in Gaza. So, for example, with respect to the delivery of humanitarian assistance and the total restriction of delivery of humanitarian assistance since the beginning of the war, by not calling that out flatly and saying that there have been arbitrary restrictions put on it, I fear that we have set a very, very low bar, a very low standard for what's acceptable. Just want you to understand, final thought here, because this is what you're going to be fighting against or what Israel is going to be fighting against for the next seven months.

It is not true. He is lying to the people. There is no arbitrary there in the history of warfare, never has a country spent more time and effort caring about the civilians of their enemy than the country of Israel right now fighting this battle. In the history of all warfare, this has never happened. And to not praise Israel, what's the lesson that Israel is going to learn from all this?

They went slowly in order to be precise and to minimize civilian casualties. They're being taken to International Criminal Court. They're being condemned by the President of the United States of America. Democratic Senator after Democratic Senator is saying that they are violating international law. So what's the lesson that Israel is going to have? Israel will say we will destroy Gaza in three days from now on because you can't be more condemned than you are right now. You want to protect Palestinians, praise what Israel is doing and support them in their precision attacks.

Don't condemn them because then they will just follow through on what you're demanding from them. Aria Lightstone, thanks so much. Served as Senior Advisor to Ambassador Friedman.

Who knows, they might be back together there starting in January of next year. Thanks so much. Appreciate it. Thank you, Brian.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-13 14:24:50 / 2024-05-13 14:31:51 / 7

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