MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan Is Back on Air and as Anti-Israel as Ever

Hamas now has its own TV station and journalist on American television.

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Mehdi Hasan and his disproportionate disdain for the world’s only Jewish-majority state are once again front-and-center at MSNBC.

After a brief hiatus, Hasan, who previously worked at Al-Jazeera, the de facto mouthpiece of the Qatari government, has returned with his typically misleading rants — buoyed only by his British accent — in tow.

Reacting to President Joe Biden’s Oval Office address on Chris Hayes’ show late last week, Hasan rejected Biden’s comparison between Hamas and Russia, instead submitting that the real similarities lie between Israel and Russia.”

Hope the NBC stockholders understand their money is being used to promote Hamas and terrorism.

MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan Is Back on Air and as Anti-Israel as Ever

Isaac Schorr, Media-ite,  10/23/23    https://www.mediaite.com/opinion/msnbcs-mehdi-hasan-is-back-on-air-and-as-anti-israel-as-ever/

Mehdi Hasan and his disproportionate disdain for the world’s only Jewish-majority state are once again front-and-center at MSNBC.

After a brief hiatus, Hasan, who previously worked at Al-Jazeera, the de facto mouthpiece of the Qatari government, has returned with his typically misleading rants — buoyed only by his British accent — in tow.

Reacting to President Joe Biden’s Oval Office address on Chris Hayes’ show late last week, Hasan rejected Biden’s comparison between Hamas and Russia, instead submitting that the real similarities lie between Israel and Russia.

“It’s interesting that he decided to do a whole thing about Hamas and Russia, and linking them together. It was slightly Axis of Evil-y, putting them together, cause they’ve really got very little in common just when you look at them,” argued Hasan. “Because a lot in the rest of the world would say ‘Okay, if you’re gonna compare Ukraine and Israel,’ Biden and a lot of people in America may see Ukraine and Israel as the same. A lot of people around the world see Russia and Israel the same.”

“Israel is the occupier of the West Bank and Gaza,” he insisted, apparently unaware that Israel unilaterally pulled out of Gaza in 2005.

Hasan’s alternative comparison is strained.

The unquestioned aggressors in the two conflicts are Russia and Hamas, both of which launched brutal attacks with the explicit goal of bringing about the total destruction of their victim states, and have used the indiscriminate torture, rape, and slaughter of civilians as a means to that end.

Moreover, while Israel and Ukraine are both tolerant, multiethnic democracies that largely — if imperfectly — protect the rights of their own citizens, Hamas’ Gaza and Vladimir Putin’s Russia are two of the most notorious human rights abusers on the planet.

Likening Israel to Russia because the former has responded militarily to a ghastly terrorist attack isn’t just morally backward victim blaming, it’s intellectually embarrassing.

Hasan continued along these lines during a monologue on his own show Sunday night.

“The line that stood out on Thursday came not from Joe Biden’s Oval Office speech. It came from one of Israel’s top officials, a senior member of Netanyahu’s security cabinet speaking to reporters,” said Hasan.

He continued:

‘Hostages and civilian casualties will be secondary to destroying Hamas, Economy Minister Nir Barakat told ABC News. Even if it takes a year.’ Hold on, saving the hostages is secondary to destroying Hamas? Shouldn’t that be the main mission? There are still around 200 people being held by Hamas, according to the Israeli military, despite the freeing of two American hostages on Friday. And avoiding civilian casualties is also secondary to destroying Hamas? Isn’t making sure civilians don’t get unnecessarily killed in conflict a key part of international humanitarian law? So tonight, with an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza still looming, is this the kind of war, a year long war, perhaps, according to Israel’s own top minister, that the Biden administration has really signed up for?

It’s hard to tell if Hasan is playing dumb in this attempted indictment of Israel.

Of course, Israel will do what it can to extract the hostages taken earlier this month, but it cannot reward Hamas by sacrificing its strategic objectives to do so. The entire purpose behind Hamas’ hostage-taking was to compel Israel to negotiate after the massacre of hundreds more of its citizens. To allow the hostages’ plight to take precedence over the more important objective of eliminating Hamas would be to reward Hamas for its war crimes, encourage hostage-taking in the future, and endanger the safety of all of its citizens moving forward.

Hasan is also twisting the meaning of Barakat’s pronouncement on civilian casualties in Gaza to the benefit of Hamas. Barakat is not celebrating Israel’s intentional targeting of civilians because Israel is not intentionally targeting civilians. In fact, to the extent it can, Israel has been warning civilians to evacuate areas it intends to bomb and has issued an advisory asking civilians in the north to move south.

Hamas is attempting to stop them.

Why? Because incurring civilian casualties is a key part of Hamas’ strategy. Its perverse hope is that it can limit the consequences it suffers for its purposeful murder of Israeli citizens by sacrificing Palestinian citizens and blaming Israel for their tragic deaths. That’s also the transparent reason for its placing of missiles and other military equipment within schools, hospitals, and other ostensibly civilian infrastructure.

The use of human shields, it should be noted, is explicitly outlawed by international law. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court states that “utilizing the presence of a civilian or other protected person to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations” is a war crime. But neither Hamas’ use of human shields, nor the human rights violation that constitutes merited mention from Hasan. Nor does the continued targeting of Israeli civilian centers by Hamas’ rockets, another war crime.

Hasan’s online activity has been no less biased. Last Friday — well after it became clear that an explosion at a hospital in the Gaza Strip was caused by a misfired rocket aimed at Israel by Palestinian terrorists — Hasan was peddling a report from an NGO with terrorist ties purporting to prove that Israel was responsible.

There is nothing inherently wrong with debating the merits of individual actions taken by the Israeli government over the course of the coming months. There’s little doubt that it will make costly mistakes; that’s among the prices it will pay for being dragged so cruelly and unwillingly into a war.

But Hasan’s misleading commentary, anchored as it is by grievous omissions, can only be explained by a blinding myopia.

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

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