Joe Scarborough Shouts Down Pro-Israel Guest

Joe Scarborough today continued his new Morning Joe routine of making anti-Israel remarks and then shouting down anyone who disagrees. Unlike the previous editions of the MSNBC morning show in which the former congressman focused on insulting his critics in the media, on the July 5th edition, Scarborough opted to attack a recurring guest at the program’s roundtable discussions, Donny Deutsch, no conservative stalwart he.

The liberal advertising executive had the tenacity to disagree with the MSNBC host about his characterizations of Israel. After Scarborough invited Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd onto the show to emphasize the “deep dismay from the White House and the State Department toward what Israel has done” and how “you get the sense that Israel really listened” to their critiques, Deutsch commented “let’s just not forgot that Hamas is a terrorist organization and Israel is a democracy.” The former Florida Republican immediately became defensive, demanding “Who disagrees with that?” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]

Although Scarborough acknowledged that “Hamas uses children as human shields,” he continued to place the blame on Israel, asking Deutsch “if your child is being held with a gun to their head do you want the cop to shoot through your child to kill you?”

The argument continued to heat up as the MSNBC host claimed that Hamas has become more powerful from the conflict, and that “before this began, 80 percent of Gazans who were against Hamas, Egypt is against Hamas, Saudi Arabia” and by Israel invading and causing collateral damage, “Israeli plays into Hamas' hands.” Scarborough paid no attention to Deutsch’s comments that it’s “great” that these countries line up with Israel against Hamas, “but when they are shooting rockets at you,” foreign alliances really don’t help. [Blog continues below ad]

 


Later in the show, Scarborough invited Ambassador Maen Rashid Areikat of the Palestinian Liberation Organization delegation on to comment on the possibility of resolving the conflict. Scarborough did not object to the ambassador placing all the blame on Israel, with statements like “the only thing that prime minister Netanyahu can brag about is the killing of civilians and the destruction of Gaza,” and assertions that Hamas’s rocketfire and tunnels did not initiate the conflict. When Deutsch tried to protest, Scarborough interrupted to kick Deutsch out of the discussion:

Donny, hold it, hold it. So let me step on here. We're not going to cure 3,000 years of -- in the remaining two minutes that we have.

After the interview, Scarborough condescendingly told Deutsch that there is no need for him to “sit there and scream and wave your arms about Hamas.” He even went so far as to relate Hamas’s attacks to the Irish independence movement, stating “Hamas is a terror organization. Guess what? So was I.R.A. So was Zhengfeng. Guess what? There's peace now.” [As Zion Evrony, Israel’s then-ambassador to Ireland capably explained in a 2007 New York Times op-ed, the Hamas-IRA comparison is patently absurd. You can read that here]

The Morning Joe host asked Deutsch, “what do you expect him (the ambassador) to say?” to which he shot back “how do you expect me to react?” “If we are going to move forward,” Scarborough concluded, “you have to understand, he represents a people who have had 5, 6, 7-year-old people dragged out of their homes dead.” Apparently in Scarborough’s eyes, Palestinian diplomats have no obligation to condemn the terrorist organizations which are doing damage to their stated cause of a peaceful Palestinian state bordering Israel.

See transcript below:

MSNBC
Morning Joe
August 5, 2014
7:09 a.m. Eastern
4 minutes and 26 seconds


JOE SCARBOROUGH: Yeah and of course, Chuck, you saw The Wall Street Journal this morning said the White House, the last attack on the U.N. School was a final straw for the Obama administration. They, obviously, sent out a State Department spokesperson who basically said enough is enough.

CHUCK TODD: And you get the sense that Israel really listened.

SCARBOROUGH: Maybe. I don’t know. I got the sense that Israel had no choice to listen. When the State Department is sending out messages as tough as the United Nations, suddenly--

TODD: And by the way on Friday, the president went out there and gave his most supportive statement of Israel since the war began.

SCARBOROUGH: Yeah.

TODD: So this was a case, which, of course, Netanyahu used to his benefit the next day to basically saying, “Hey, America is standing by us on this” and then that happens. It does feel as if, you know, and Israel will say we accomplished our mission any way.

DONNY DEUTSCH: Let's just, let’s just  not forgot that Hamas is a terrorist organization and Israel is a democracy. Just saying.

TODD: The only democracy. There is only one.

MIKE BARNICLE: We agree with you.

DEUTSCH: Okay, just saying.  

SCARBOROUGH: Who disagrees with that?

DEUTSCH: Nobody, but Hamas, you know, obviously, we can go on with this for hours and, obviously, seeing children killed is an atrocity. But it is--

SCARBOROUGH: Obviously, it is. And seeing it day after day after day after day--

DEUTSCH: But we also know they use children as shields, school’s as shields--

SCARBOROUGH: Exactly, exactly–

DEUTSCH: So who is to blame? Is Hamas to blame?

SCARBOROUGH: Hamas is to blame. Let me just ask you something, if your child is being held with a gun to their head do you want the cop to shoot through your child to kill you?

DEUTSCH: Uh, I’m going to say it again. Hamas uses children as  human shields. They are the aggressor--

SCARBOROUGH: Of course!

DEUTSCH: And if somebody is shooting at my children and if that child has to die to save my child--

SCARBOROUGH: It is absolutely abhorrent. But, but, but the question is if the United Nations warns 17 times, 17 times.

DEUTSCH: Our nation is not living in Israel.

SCARBOROUGH: This is a shelter. So, Donny, should this have continued?

DEUTSCH: I think Israeli accomplished its mission.

SCARBOROUGH: Which is what?

DEUTSCH: Which was to shut down the tunnels and keep Israeli safe. Hamas wants to obliterate Israeli. We forget that is their mission.

SCARBOROUGH: No, none of us forget that. Hamas is a terror organization. I've said it. They are our enemy. They want to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth. They are a scourge. But Hamas is not going to be able to obliterate Israel. You know why? Because Hamas is loathed by their own people. Before this began, 80 percent of Gazans who were against Hamas, Egypt is against Hamas, Saudi Arabia--

DEUTSCH: Great they are against it but when they are shooting rockets at you–

SCARBOROUGH: Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia–

DEUTSCH: Okay, great!

SCARBOROUGH: Let me finish my point. Saudi Arabia is against Hamas. The U.A.E. is against Hamas.

DEUTSCH: Hamas is not attacking these people.

SCARBOROUGH: Jordanians are against Hamas

DEUTSCH: But they are not attacking Jordanians. They are not tacking those people.

SCARBOROUGH: It shows you how isolated they are. Donny, when you continue attacks that continue to show across the world 5, 6, 7-year-old children dragged out of rubble dead when they are running with their parents to try to hide in a U.N. School, who does that help? Who does that help?

DEUTSCH: It helps no one but --

SCARBOROUGH: No.

DEUTSCH: It is a casualty, it is a casuality--

SCARBOROUGH: You are incorrect. It is a tragedy, first of all, and do not even come close to saying it's collateral damage--

DEUTSCH: I didn't say that--

SCARBOROUGH: No, a lot of people call that --

DEUTSCH: What it is the end result is a result of Hamas aggressive moves.

SCARBOROUGH: I need you to calmly answer my question.

DEUTSCH: Okay.

SCARBOROUGH: Who is helped when a young --

DEUTSCH: Nobody.

SCARBOROUGH: No, that's wrong.

DEUTSCH: Who is helped?

SCARBOROUGH: Hamas is helped.

DEUTSCH: Oh, yes, of course. Well, when you -- I'm literally answering the question.

SCARBOROUGH: Israeli plays into Hamas' hands.

DEUTSCH: The tunnels are shut down

SCARBOROUGH: Hamas celebrates when their civilians are killed, so what does Israeli not do?

DEUTSCH: So let’s not--

SCARBOROUGH: And what does Israel do? Israel needs to figure out a way to work with the Palestinian authority to minimize Hamas’s influence. Does anybody around this set, does anybody watching on TV, Andrea Mitchell, I'll ask you. I know it's harder for you to answer, but have you heard anybody suggest that Hamas has not been aided the past three and a half weeks by these attacks, when they were more isolated than ever before? Andrea, maybe I should ask you a news question. Was Hamas more isolated than it's ever been three and a half, four weeks ago and desperate to strike an alliance with the Palestinian authority because it had run out of cards to play?

8:30 a.m. Eastern
1 minutes and 26 seconds


AMB. MAEN RASHID AREIKAT: It takes two to tango. Israel also needs to understand that its blockade of the Gaza strip for the last seven years have [sic] left people in Gaza without any hope. So what do they expect an oppressed people -- when you address an oppressed people through violence, what do you expect the oppressed people to respond by? Through violence!

DEUTSCH: Mr. Ambassador, I think Mr. Netanyahu is bragging not necessarily about killing civilians, but basically about shutting down tunnels and pushing back rockets that were meant to try and hurt Israel. And I love when you use the word pragmatic about Hamas. It's a terrorist organization. Nothing pragmatic about that.

AMB. MAEN RASHID AREIKAT: What about the Israeli government, members in the Israeli government who are calling for the transfer of the Palestinians? What about members who are calling for the death of Palestinian mothers and the snakes that they have in their wombs? Listen, in order to get over this cycle of violence and make sure that it's not repeated we need to put an end to the root causes. You cannot tell me that this whole conflict began because of Hamas building tunnels or launching rockets. Before 2007--

DEUTSCH: It did start with rockets from Hamas. That's exactly where --

SCARBOROUGH: So, so, so let me--

AMB. MAEN RASHID AREIKAT: It didn't start with the rockets from--

DEUTSCH: It has nothing else to do --

SCARBOROUGH: Donny, hold it, hold it. So let me step on here. We're not going to cure 3,000 years of -- in the remaining two minutes that we have.

8:33 a.m. Eastern
2 minutes and 29 seconds


SCARBOROUGH: So, Donny, I just, I mean obviously, we could sit here and debate. You're not going to have a guy that's in charge of the PLO delegation going out, attacking Hamas. Of course, Hamas is their enemy domestically as well. So I’m just saying for people at home why didn't you sit there and scream and wave your arms about Hamas, we can do that. But what they're trying to do, though, is what happened in Ireland. Where you actually had guys like Jerry Adams that basically had to drag the most violent factions of the IRA. over and -- drag them over, not attack them publicly and quietly say -- got to say, Jerry Adams, still, one of the -- it's just a shock that Jerry Adams has been able to keep the violent factions in line as long as he has.

BARNICLE: That is, that is.

SCARBOROUGH One thing publicly but privately, he’s like “don't screw with me. Do not step out of line.” And, Donny, I know, this is a very emotional moment. But we don't want to see this in two or three more years. We don’t want this cycle of violence to continue.

DEUTSCH: No, we don't.

SCARBOROUGH: And Hamas is a terror organization. Guess what? So was I.R.A. So was Zhengfeng . Guess what? There's peace now--

DEUTSCH: I got it.

SCARBOROUGH: In Northern Ireland--

DEUTSCH: And it's about the violent Israelis and the pragmatic hamas.

SCARBOROUGH: Well what do you expect? Donny, Donny --

DEUTSCH: That's exactly what he said.

SCARBOROUGH: Donny, what do you expect him to say?

DEUTSCH: How do you expect me to react?

SCARBOROUGH: Donny,  I understand. I am just explaining. If we are going to move forward, you have to understand, he represents a people who have had 5, 6, 7-year-old people dragged out of their homes dead.

DEUTSCH: Yes, of course because they’re used as shields.

SCARBOROUGH: That does not matter to the father of a 5-year-old child.

DEUTSCH: It matters to this discussion.

SCARBOROUGH: It does matter to this discussion, Donny. Don't talk to us like we're 2-year-olds. We know Hamas uses children as shields. We know Hamas uses people to protect their missiles and Israel uses their missiles to protect people. We understand. Netanyahu is right but sometimes being right does not --

DEUTSCH: Doesn't solve the problem.

SCARBOROUGH: Does not solve the problem.

DEUTSCH: Alright, let's leave it at that.

SCARBOROUGH: We'll leave it at that.

Laura Flint
Laura Flint is a 2014 summer intern for the MRC's News Analysis Division.