Seattle City Councilmember Licata won’t call Hamas a Terror Organization.
The Mike Report has recently become aware of and grown to appreciate Jason Rantz, a KIRO Radio talk show host. He has been all over the Kshama Sawant Gaza controversy and in fact was present and reported on the same pots and pans banging extravaganza that The Mike Report had attended.
Like all of his colleagues on the Seattle city council, Nick Licata declined to sign on to Sawant’s Israel-critical letter that she was to send to Congress. Unlike his colleagues Licata penned his own letter perhaps slightly less strident but equally critical of Israel.
Jason Rantz conducted a fascinating interview with Licata this past week. Only a few minutes into the conversation it became painfully evident that Licata’s depth of understanding of the conflict in Gaza is shallow at best. For example Licata plead ignorance when asked about UNRWA storing rockets in Gaza schools.
“We had UN buildings being bombed by Israeli bombers, resulting in a lot of civilian casualties,” Licata told the Jason Rantz Show. “Now, I understand the argument is that there were weapons hidden there but I can’t imagine the UN would allow them being hid in their buildings.”
Rantz immediately reminded councilman Licata that Hamas weaponry has been found housed in UN agency buildings. In fact, on July 22, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency admitted Hamas improperly used their building for storage (UNRWA, in fact, gave back the weapons to Hamas, causing an uproar). The U.S. State Department spoke out against those actions and members of the Senate are demanding an independent investigation. Councilmember Licata didn’t appear aware of this story.
Most disturbingly Licata refused to identify Hamas as a terrorist organization while at the same time implying that Israel might just be a terrorist state. Rantz asked Licata point blank “Do you think Hamas is a terrorist organization” to which Licata replied “If we define terrorism as killing civilians indiscriminately than it would be difficult to avoid that description being added to any organization engaged in that activity”. Latching onto the suggested implication, Rantz asked Licata incredulously “So you think Hamas is as much a terrorist organization as Israel?”. Licata answered “I’m not going to make a judgement as to which countries or groups are terrorist”.
LIcata criticized Israel for the disparity of civilian casualties on the Gazan side.
Rantz went on to explain the reason the civilian casualties are so high is Hamas is firing weapons from hospitals and schools. “Your statement is a statement,” said Licata to Rantz. “I don’t have the time nor the inclination to do the research on both sides.“
Licata went on to say that he doesn’t “…see the harm in bringing [information] together to allow for a public discussion in Congress. The reason that we’d be doing it on this specific topic is because we have U.S. tax dollars involved in it.” Rantz mentioned that the U.S. has given a $15 million grant to UNRWA and asked if Licata would join Rantz in writing a letter to Congress asking them to demand a bigger investigation. Licata wouldn’t commit.
You can read the entire article and listen to the Rantz/Licata interview HERE.