ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 143

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Hillary Clinton: Netanyahu ‘has to go, is not a trustworthy leader’

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2016, file photo, Hillary Clinton pauses while delivering a speech conceding her defeat to Republican Donald Trump after the hard-fought presidential election. The AP reported on Nov.
 10, 2017, that an article claiming Clinton didn't give a concession speech was false. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2016, file photo, Hillary Clinton pauses while delivering a speech conceding her defeat to Republican Donald Trump after the hard-fought presidential election. The AP reported on Nov. 10, 2017, that an article claiming Clinton didn't give a concession speech was false. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton lays into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war and calls for his ouster.

“Netanyahu should go. He is not a trustworthy leader. It was on his watch that the attack happened. He needs to go, and if he’s an obstacle to a ceasefire, if he’s an obstacle to exploring what’s to be done the day after, he absolutely needs to go,” Clinton tells MSNBC’s “Alex Wagner Tonight.”

Asked about US President Joe Biden’s relationship with Netanyahu, the former Democratic presidential candidate and first lady says, “I think Biden has done everything that he could do to number one, respond to the legitimate concerns of the Israeli people following October 7, to ally himself with Israel in the face of a terrorist attack from a terrorist organization.”

“But I think it’s also clear that Biden is doing everything he can to influence Netanyahu.”

Clinton is also pressed on pro-Palestinian protests that have taken over many college campuses in the US, including Columbia University in New York City where she teaches.

“There’s a role for protest, and I think there should be rules set, guardrails set. You have to get a permit to have an event or a march here in New York. I’m not saying it’s easy because it’s not. People who violate the rules have to be held accountable. You can’t have a responsible debate about whatever your point of view is if you’re screaming at each other.”

Clinton defends Israel’s conduct in the war, noting that Hamas started it and that Israel has a right to defend itself within the laws of war.

Protesters at the ‘All out for Palestine’ rally at Columbia University in New York on February 2, 2024. (Yuki IWAMURA / AFP)

“Look what Russia has done to Ukraine, destroying hospitals, schools, leveling whole cities, kidnapping children. It’s horrible. When you’re the aggressor, as Hamas was on October 7, or as Russia was in February of 2022, what do you do with an aggressor? You have to stop them,” she says.

“It’s fair to say Hamas cares nothing about the civilians who are being murdered or killed both by Hamas still in Gaza or through military operations by Israel. The Hamas leaders could not be clearer. Hamas is not doing anything to protect Palestinians,” Clinton adds.

Asked about Israel expanding its military operation into the southern Gaza city of Rafah where many Palestinians have fled, Clinton says, “That is horrible.

“We wish there was a ceasefire. If Hamas would agree to a ceasefire, there would be a ceasefire,” she says.

Hamas has, in fact, called for a ceasefire, but is refusing to unconditionally release the remaining 136 hostages or surrender and disarm, as Israel and the US are urging.

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