Hot Mic Catches Kerry Mocking Israel's ‘Pinpoint Operation’

"...I reacted, obviously, in a way that anybody does in respect to young children and civilians."

A hot mic on CBS’ “Face the Nation” last Sunday caught Secretary of State John Kerry apparently mocking Israel’s strategic assault on Hamas in Gaza, saying sarcastically to an aide on speakerphone, “It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation,” adding "We've got to get over there." When Fox News’ Chris Wallace confronted Kerry on the statement Sunday, he explained that the remark came as reaction to his concern for children and civilians and reconfirmed his support of Israel's right to defend itself.  

Kerry’s “pinpoint operation” reference is a phrase often used by Israeli officials to describe their careful targeting of Hamas operatives, who consistently use human shields as cover for their rocket attacks on Israel. Kerry has been strongly supportive of Israel’s right to defend itself and critical of Hamas’ use of human shields. But his open mic remark drew the attention of Fox’s Wallace, who asked Kerry Sunday, if his comment was made because he was “upset that the Israelis are going too far?”

Kerry clarified that he did not think so, calling the situation in Gaza "very, very difficult," and explained that he was reacting at the moment on a human level to the threat Israel's operation posed to children and other civilians:

I think it’s very, very difficult in these situations. Obviously very difficult, Chris. You have people who come out of tunnels. You have a right to go in and take out those tunnels. We completely support that, and we support Israel’s right to defend itself against rockets that are, you know, continuing to come in. Hamas has started this process of rocketing after Israel was trying to find the people who killed three young… one American kid and three Israeli citizens. It's disgraceful.

And so, yeah, it’s tough. It’s tough to have this kind of operation. And I reacted, obviously, in a way that anybody does in respect to young children and civilians. But war is tough. And I said that publicly and I'll say it again: We support Israel's right to do what it is doing to get at those tunnels...

Video via Weekly Standard.