During MSNBC’s coverage of the Hamas attack on Israel on Saturday, MSNBC host Ayman Mohyeldin argued that the attacks on Israel are due to “people who have been living in Gaza,” being “blockaded, besieged, decimated economically and politically” and host Ali Velshi stated that Israel’s behavior is “why they voted for Hamas in the first place.”
Mohyeldin stated that “if you do not have some kind of mechanism that delivers justice for Palestinians, you are never going to have peace in the region. That’s what this is about. And I wrap up with a central point about, when we look back at the Oslo Accords, this was supposed to be the beginning of a two-state solution. The fundamental equation of Oslo was land for peace. And anyone who saw that unfold at the time, and looks at it now, tells you that, fundamentally, that is flawed. The Palestinians were not seeking land. Israel was seeking peace, but the Palestinians were seeking freedom. The very nature of the equation by which we have been looking at this conflict, the narrative of which we have been trying to understand what is happening has not been accurate. So, we are not able to accurately solve the problem, because we don’t actually understand what the reality is on the ground. Most Americans do not understand what does it mean to be living under occupation? What does it mean for 70 years to be dispossessed of your land, to be dispossessed of your self-determination? What does that ultimately mean for the people who are willing to go out and carry [out] these attacks? Why would anyone, why would anyone –.”
Velshi then cut in to say, “Why would you make a war with Israel, which you know has military might that’s ten times yours, or 100 times yours?”
Mohyeldin responded, “Exactly. Why are you going to war with a nuclear-armed country? … [T]here was this equation of deterrence that Israel wanted to impose on all of its neighbors. And it can, because when you are fighting conventional wars, countries will be afraid of nuclear weapons. But the people who have been living in Gaza, blockaded, besieged, decimated economically and politically, have nothing to lose. So, ultimately, when they’re making these kinds of calculations –.”
Velshi cut in to state, “That’s why they voted for Hamas in the first place.”
Mohyeldin cut in himself to say, “They have described them as nihilistic movements, and ultimately, when you see what you’re doing today and the consequences that Palestinians in Gaza are going to pay the price for, you have to wonder. Just, final point…the humanity of how we describe the victims on both sides is not equal. And we see that from our coverage today, and we understand it, rightfully so. But as others have been pointing out, where was the systemic coverage of all of the victims over the past several years, on both sides? Certainly the Palestinian side of it. That humanity is missing in the coverage.”
Velshi responded that there’s blowback every time they do cover it.
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