Secretary of State John Kerry was caught on a hot mic on Fox News Sunday apparently disparaging Israel’s claim to be conducting a “pinpoint” operation in Gaza.
Host Chris Wallace explained that while Kerry spoke with an aide between his interviews with multiple Sunday shows, a microphone picked up his rather candid remarks in what Wallace called an “extraordinary moment of diplomacy” about the violence there.
“It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation,” Kerry said. “It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation … We’ve got to get over there. Thank you, John. I think, John, we ought to go tonight. I think it’s crazy to be sitting around.”
Wallace asked him after playing the recording whether he was upset that the Israelis were going too far, and Kerry appeared to go into damage control mode.
“I think it’s very, very difficult in these situations, obviously very difficult, Chris,” Kerry said. “You have people who’ve 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 continuing to come in. Hamas has started this process of rocketing … It’s disgraceful. It’s tough to have this kind of operation.”
This isn’t the first time Kerry has been caught criticizing Israel when he didn’t think others were listening. The Daily Beast reported in April on Kerry warning a closed-door meeting of world leaders that Israel could become an “apartheid state” soon if a peaceful, two-state solution wasn’t reached.