FOLLOW THE WEEK ON FACEBOOK
August 5, 2014
Lexey Swall/Getty Images

Retired Major Gen. Giora Eiland thinks Israel is making a big mistake in its weeks-long Gaza offensive. In an opinion column in Israel's Ynet News, the former head of Israel's National Security Council argues Tuesday that his country should not "feel obligated to supply Gaza's residents with food, fuel, and electricity," because "in Gaza, there is no such thing as 'innocent civilians.'"

Purposefully punishing the entire population of Gaza, instead of targeting Hamas, may sound harsh, Eiland concedes, but the Gaza residents "are to blame for this situation just like Germany's residents were to blame for electing Hitler as their leader and paid a heavy price for that, and rightfully so." He continues:

Hamas is not a terror organization which came from afar and forcibly occupied Gaza. It's the authentic representative of the population there. It rose to power following democratic elections and built an impressive military ability with the residents' support. Its power base has remained stable despite the suffering.... Because we want to be compassionate towards those cruel people, we are committing to act cruelly towards the really compassionate people — the residents of the State of Israel. [Ynet News]

Eiland's column isn't the first controversial opinion on Gaza published in Israel — on Friday, The Times of Israel posted, then pulled, an op-ed exploring the idea of "When Genocide is Permissible." But Israel, in fact, appears to be attempting to wind down its ground incursion into Gaza, with or without Hamas sticking with the new 72-hour ceasefire scheduled to start Tuesday morning.

Israel has faced some pretty strident criticism over its shelling of civilians, including from the U.S. "We struck a very severe blow at Hamas and the other terrorist organizations," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday, citing the destroyed network of Hamas tunnels into Israel. "We have no intention of attacking the residents of Gaza." Peter Weber

2:07 p.m. ET
iStock

A Georgia appeals court ruled that a man who took pictures up a woman's skirt did not break any law, The Washington Post reports. Brandon Lee Gary admitted to "upskirting" at a store, but the court ruled that a law that prohibits photographing people "in any private place" means a physical location, not a part of the body. A dissenting judge argued that a woman should be able to expect privacy "in the area under her skirt." The Week Staff

1:22 p.m. ET

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine contradicted reports Friday from both his camp and running mate Hillary Clinton's that he'd come around to supporting Clinton's stance against the anti-abortion Hyde Amendment.

Just a few days ago, Bloomberg reported that Kaine will support Clinton's plan to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding from being used for abortion, and which Clinton contends is "making it harder for low-income women to exercise their full rights."

However, when CNN's Alisyn Camerota asked Kaine about that change of heart Friday, he denied it had ever happened. "I have been for the Hyde Amendment, and I have not changed my position on that," said Kaine, a Catholic who has said he's personally opposed to abortion.

So, what gives? A Kaine-Clinton spokesperson's comment to The Wall Street Journal this week might clear up the seeming contradictions. The spokesperson said that while Kaine is "not personally for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment," he is "committed to carrying out Secretary Clinton's agenda."

It seems the Democratic duo has agreed — to disagree. Becca Stanek

1:17 p.m. ET
Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled against North Carolina's voter identification law, deciding unanimously that the "North Carolina General Assembly enacted the challenged provisions of the law with discriminatory intent." Judge Diana Gribbon Motz wrote the opinion, which is yet another victory for civil rights and voting rights groups; the court also struck down changes the state made in 2013 to restrict early voting.

The decision noted the "new provisions target African-Americans with almost surgical precision," and as a result the restrictions on voting and registration "disproportionately affected African-Americans." "'In essence, the State took away [minority voters'] opportunity because [they] were about to exercise it,'" the decision read, quoting the case League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry.

North Carolina can appeal the decision to the 4th Circuit Court or to the Supreme Court. Becca Stanek

1:07 p.m. ET
PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

The Navy plans to commission an oiler and name it after gay rights activist Harvey Milk, an official confirmed Friday to CNN. The first openly gay man to be elected to office in California, Milk was assassinated in 1978.

The USNS Harvey Milk will join the John Lewis class of oilers, which are named after civil rights leaders. Other ships will honor former Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren and women's rights activist Sojourner Truth.

Milk was a member of the Navy himself, having taught diving lessons in California during the Korean War; he was wearing his Navy belt buckle when he was killed. Still, some are upset over the Navy's decision, given Milk's outspoken opposition to the Vietnam War. Jeva Lange

12:49 p.m. ET

Sure, people are allowed to change their minds, but Donald Trump changes his mind ... a lot. Take, for example, this video dug up by former NYC deputy mayor Howard Wolfson, in which Trump sings the praises of then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in October 2013:

Maybe it was a…slip of the tongue? Nope:

After Bloomberg's endorsement of Hillary Clinton at the Democratic convention this week, though, Trump seemed to suffer a bout of convenient amnesia:

Just keep telling yourself that. Jeva Lange

12:05 p.m. ET

If it weren't for the sage words of an unnamed "highly respected" Republican governor, Donald Trump would've been taking out all the people at the Democratic National Convention who said bad things about him. "The things that were said about me. I mean, should I go through some of the names," Trump said at a rally in Davenport, Iowa. "You know what? I wanted to. I wanted to hit a couple of those speakers so hard."

Trump said he wanted to hit one person in particular — a "very little guy" — "so hard his head would spin, he wouldn't know what the hell happened." "They'd never recover," he said of all the Democrats he would've hit, before adding, "that's why I still don't have certain people endorsing me. They still haven't recovered."

Watch Trump's tough talk, below. Becca Stanek

11:35 a.m. ET
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Another six Michigan state employees have joined the growing list of officials facing criminal charges over the Flint water crisis. On Friday morning, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed charges including misconduct in office, willful neglect of duty, and various conspiracy counts against three employees from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and three from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, The Associated Press reported.

This marks the second round of charges Schuette has filed in connection to Flint's lead-contaminated water scandal. In April, two Michigan Department of Environmental Quality employees and one City of Flint official were hit with felony charges, including official misconduct and tampering with evidence.

Flint has been dealing with its drinking water being contaminated with dangerous levels of lead since 2014, when the local government, under a state-appointed emergency manager, switched the city's water sources. Becca Stanek

See More Speed Reads