Hamas Leader Compares Palestinians to Nelson Mandela and South Africans During PBS Interview

On Monday night’s edition of his PBS show, Charlie Rose aired an interview with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal that he conducted in Doha, Qatar over the weekend and Meshaal took the insane and ridiculous step of comparing himself and the Palestinian people to what Nelson Mandela and South Africa went through under apartheid. This statement is just the latest since excerpts began airing on CBS’s Face the Nation, CBS This Morning, and CBS Evening News on Sunday and Monday.

When asked by Rose for a prediction on how does he believe that the fighting in Gaza will end, Meshaal railed against Israel as carrying out the “occupation” by declaring that: “Every single occupation ought to fail and every single occupation ought to stop and every single settlement ought to perish. Yes, it is difficult, we'll pay a price, Mandela played – paid plenty but he was victorious at the end of the day. Ultimately, the Palestinian people will be independent." [MP3 audio here; Video below]

This was in contrast to an excerpt seen on Monday's CBS This Morning in which Rose did not push back when Meshaal compared the Palestinians to Americans in the Revolutionary War. When it came to invoking Mandela, Rose interrupted Meshaal to remind him that:

he lived with the occupiers the rest of his life, in a sensing coexistence he had with the president, but he also recognized and reconciled with the people that he was in competition with and who put him in jail. 

After being presented with actual facts and history, Meshaal chose to ignore them by instead arguing that:

he didn't live with the occupants, because the system was different. It was a democratic system later on. All of the South Africans lived within democracy, but Israel wants to be occupiers and others ought to live in its shadow. This is unreasonable. Those genuine people who are the landowners, we are the owners of this land and we ought to live free on our land and not under any other tutelage. 

As numerous contributors to Newsbusters have reported, news outlets across the board have flocked to criticizing Israel at nearly every turn, whether it was omitting facts about the location of Hamas rockets or grilling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to name two examples. Credit to Charlie Rose for pushing back on Meshaal for making such crazy statements that have no place in this growing conflict and negotiations for cease-fires.


The relevant transcript from the July 28 episode of Charlie Rose is transcribed below.

PBS 

Charlie Rose

July 28, 2014

11:45 p.m. Eastern

CHARLIE ROSE: How do you think this will end? 

KHALED MESHAAL: Every single occupation ought to fail and every single occupation ought to stop and every single settlement ought to perish. Yes, it is difficult, we'll pay a price, Mandela played – paid plenty but he was victorious at the end of the day. Ultimately, the Palestinian people will be independent. That's why I say to every single soul, I say to the Americans – 

ROSE: And – and he lived with the occupiers the rest of his life, in a sensing coexistence he had with the president, but he also recognized and reconciled with the people that he was in competition with and who put him in jail. 

MESHAAL: Yes, but he didn't live with the occupants, because the system was different. It was a democratic system later on. All of the South Africans lived within democracy, but Israel wants to be occupiers and others ought to live in its shadow. This is unreasonable. Those genuine people who are the landowners, we are the owners of this land and we ought to live free on our land and not under any other tutelage. 

ROSE: You believe that the Israelis want to be occupiers, that they do not want to and will not willingly give up the West Bank? You'll have to take it back?

MESHAAL: These are their statements. These are the statements of all the leaders of Israel even when they negotiate – when they negotiated Yasser Arafat in the past and Mahmoud Abbas, what they say? They compromised, they say we want the Jordan Valley or they procrastinate. We want a settlement to be here and there and Israel in the West Bank. What does it do? Today the West Bank, resembles cantons in order to avoid reaching a Palestinian state because Israel thinks that the West Bank is a part and parcel of Israel, that is why they refuse any solution. 

ROSE: History also shows that Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon, history shows that they withdrew from Gaza and there's no reason to believe they will not withdraw from the West Bank.

MESHAAL: Yes, this is true, but we ought to draw lessons. When did they withdraw? They withdrew under the military pressure from south Lebanon and Sharon withdrew from Gaza under pressure after the second intefada, second uprising and then after the 1973 war, they withdrew from Sinai. Israel believes in the language of power, when they are compelled it to do so, they do withdrew. I have two models here. Israel actually withdrew. It followed – or she followed in – they followed in 1956 after the Tripartite Aggression, after the American administration compelled it and in Lebanon they did so because of the military pressure as well. 

ROSE: So the killing will continue in Gaza?

MESHAAL: We hope that it will not continue one single moment. Who wishes to – for his people to be killed? Israel is more powerful than us. They kill every day 120 civilians. If we kill them, we kill militants who entered Gaza we do not wish for the killings to continue. We wish for our people to live without occupation and for the siege to be lifted. This is a humanitarian right for the people of the world ought to believe in this. 

ROSE: Do you hope Israel survives as a state? 

MESHAAL: I don't want to have my own conjecture. I resemble the resistance, but the CIA and Kissinger, for example, and other pundits say they are aware that Israel is a fragile state. It resorts to occupation and aggression. It services the west and they are looters, they steal our land and that's why they are vulnerable in – at the core and the Israeli leaders know that they are occupies that is why they have anxiety they suffer from anxiety and I think that the occupation has no future and the western politics ought to be reformed. I went to the U.S. and I do understand, I do know that are you a superpower, you are a civilized people and we don't have any problem with the United States or the American people. We have a problem with the foreign policy and the bias vis-a-vis Israel. Arabs and Muslims want to live with all the people. They want to coexist with others to have mutual interests with others, but we do not want for the west to support Israel. 

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is a news analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division