Former President George Bush responded to the Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel by saying, “Negotiating with killers is not an option” for the country.
In a video published by Axios on Friday, Bush spoke with the president and CEO of the LBJ Foundation, Mark Updegrove, where he predicted things are going to get “ugly.”
“My thoughts were that we need to support Israel – no ands, ifs, or buts,” Bush said of his initial reaction to the attack.
“This is an unprovoked attack by terrorist people willing to kill innocent people to achieve an objective.”
“Hamas is a political organization. They do not reflect the majority of the Palestinians, and don’t be surprised if Israel takes whatever action is necessary, defend herself, and it’s gonna be ugly for a while,” he added.
As of Thursday, the death toll of Israelis has surpassed 1,300, with 3,000 wounded, while Hamas abducted another 150 Israelis.
This week, Israel launched “localized raids” on Gaza before urging Gaza residents to evacuate the area.
However, reports said Hamas prevented civilians from evacuating the northern Gaza Strip.
“You know, going in the neighborhoods of Gaza is gonna be tough. And you know, [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyau], he’s got a very seasoned military, but they just called up 300,000 reservists,” Bush said.
“Most of them probably can’t fire a rifle,” Bush contended before adding that putting “in harm’s way” would be “awfully difficult for the prime minister.”
“But he’s got to do what he’s got to do,” Bush told Updegrove.
“You’re dealing with cold-blooded killers.”
“And you can make all kinds of excuses why they are, but they are, and his job is to protect his country, and anyway, we’ll find out what he’s made out of.”
Bush was asked what he thought was the “immediate future for Israel.
It “doesn’t look very bright, particularly if you’re on the Hamas side,” Bush said.
“There’s going to be a weariness, you watch. The world is going to be, ‘Okay, let’s negotiate!’ You know, ‘Israel’s gotta negotiate.'”
“They’re not going to negotiate. These people have played played their cards,” he said.
“They want to kill as many Israelis as they can, and negotiating with killers is not an option for the elected government of Israel.”
“And so we’re just gonna have to remain steadfast, but it’s not going to take long before ‘This is going on too long,” Bush continued.
“Surely, there’s a way to settle this to negotiations. Both sides are guilty.’ My view is one side is guilty and it’s not Israel.”
When Updegrove asked Bush about potential Iranian involvement with Hamas attacks, he said, “I don’t get the intelligence anymore.”
“Their stated objective is the destruction of Israel. That’s what the leaders say, and in this world, you got to take what they say seriously,” he said.
“Iran has been pretty good at using surrogate terrorist groups.”
“These are the kind of people, if you show softness, they will take advantage of it,” Bush went on to add, sharing his philosophy that the U.S. should never “accommodate Iran.”