MSNBC's Velshi Frets Palestinians Seen as 'Exclusively the Bad Guys'

October 10th, 2023 6:55 PM

On Saturday morning, as MSNBC's Ali Velshi devoted his eponymous show to covering the terrorist attack by Hamas that had already killed hundreds of Israeli civilians, the liberal weekend host joined one of his anti-Israel guests in trying to see moral equivalency in a terrorist attack versus legitimate defensive actions by the Israeli military.

Velshi fretted over why the deaths of Palestinians in the past year have received no "traction" from the media, and his guest, Palestinian activist Diana Buttu, not only blamed Israeli "occupation" for 56 years but also the "Nakba" that occurred 75 years ago. ("Nakba" is the Arab word for "catastrophe" used by anti-Israel activists to refer to Israel's founding in 1948.)



After Axios's Barak Ravid concluded his commentary by invoking the 9/11 attacks and seemingly hinted that Israel would take Hamas out of power like the U.S. did the Taliban, Velshi fretted over the "scary thought" of what might be to come, and then went to his next guest, Buttu. In her opening comments, she was quick to blame Israel:

...but I don't think that we should underestimate the desire of people to actually free (sic) and the fate that Palestinians have been going through this for 56 years. So the fact of we -- the fact that just this year alone we've seen 255 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces -- that 47 of them were children. While many of us were surprised, we actually shouldn't be surprised by what's happening now. This is the natural consequence, unfortunately, of 56 years of military occupation and the denial of freedom.

Velshi accepted the premise of his anti-Israel guest and fretted over President Joe Biden being so one-sided in supporting Israel:

Why, Diana, though, does that not play as clearly as this does? So here you have a world and western leaders and the White House and the President who have all said this is a terrorist act that must be condemned because there were over 2,000 rockets that were fired, and, as you heard Barak (Ravid) just talk about their hostages being taken in southern Israel, but over the last year, 200 Palestinians have died -- some of them with the supervision of the Israeli Defense Forces on the ground. That got no traction from anybody, and it's not getting traction today. In other words, the idea here is that the Palestinians are exclusively the bad guys here and "there's no justification for this." President Biden said that very clearly -- "There's no justification for this" -- and anybody who decides they want to help the Palestinians today, watch out.

Buttu responded:

Well, this is exactly the problem, Ali, is that everybody has turned a blind eye to what's happened to Palestinians for the past 56 years -- actually, it's 75 years when you look at the Nakba and the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, and the problem is, is that it's the slow death by a thousand cuts that becomes ignored by the international community by the western media that isn't ignored by Palestinians. And when something like this happens, all eyes then turn to Israel. But they should be asking themselves: What is that that we should have been covering for the past 56 years?

After complaining about violence by Israelis, she added: "Occupation is violent, and unless we cover that violence as it should be covered and understand the occupation to be violent, then we won't be able to understand what's happening today."

After Buttu wondered if Israel would "learn a lesson," and end its "occupation," Velshi took a swipe at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "But you are a realist, Diana, for as long as I've known you. You can't possibly think that that's the outcome, right? Especially with Benjamin Netanyahu. He is going to use this as his justification to be the person he's been for a long time."

Picking up the cue from the MSNBC host, Buttu expanded on it.



This anti-Israel commentary on MSNBC was sponsored in part by 4Imprint. Their contact information is linked.