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Geraldo Rivera: I Regret Not Backing the Palestinians During Their Intifada

FOX News Correspondent Geraldo Rivera attends the Fox News Channel 10th Anniversary celebration on October 4, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)
Peter Kramer/Getty Images

NEW YORK — Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera declared that he regrets not backing the Palestinians during their Second Intifada against Israel.

Rivera was interviewed on Friday on Fox News’s The Five about his memoir, The Geraldo Show, slated for release on Tuesday. He was asked if there was any news story that he regretted doing.

Rivera replied:

I regret in 2002 backing down from backing the Palestinians in their conflict with Israel. The Second Intifada. Because I saw with my own eyes how. And I know how this is going to resonate very poorly with the people watching right now. But still, I have to tell you how I feel. I saw at firsthand how those people were. And now you said 14, 15 people killed in Gaza. Palestinians killed by the IDF forces. I saw what an awful life they live under constant occupation and oppression.

And people keep saying, “Oh, they are terrorists. Or they are this or they are that.” They are an occupied people and I regret chickening out after 2002 and not staying on that story and adding my voice as a Jew, adding my voice to those counseling a two-state solution. It is so easy to put them out of sight, out of mind. And let them rot. And be killed. And keep this thing festering. And I think a lot of our current problems stem from – that’s almost our original sin. Palestine and Israel. I want a two-state solution. I want President Trump to re-energize the peace process.

Watch Rivera’s remarks below (they begin at the 27 minute mark):

The Second Palestinian Intifada, or Palestinian “uprising” against Israel, was a campaign of terrorism in which the Palestinians carried out scores of suicide bombings and shooting attacks targeting Israelis. Over 1,100 Israelis were murdered in the onslaught.

Rivera said he regrets not backing the Second Palestinian Intifada, claiming Palestinians are living under “occupation.” He complained that he should have done more to push the so-called two-state solution, which calls for a Palestinian state.

Rivera failed to note the timeline of the Second Intifada, which started in 2000. It was launched after PLO Leader Yasser Arafat rejected U.S.-brokered talks at Camp David in which the Palestinians were offered a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and eastern Jerusalem, with control over mosques on the Temple Mount. When Arafat rejected the far-reaching offer, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak attempted to continue the talks in Taba, Egypt, but Arafat turned down the continued statehood offers.

The Second Intifada was not launched because Israel rejected the two-state solution. It was started after Arafat walked away from multiple statehood offers made during the course of numerous peace talks.

In 2010, Hamas Co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar explained that Arafat was behind the launching of the Intifada following the failure of the peace talks. “President Arafat instructed Hamas to carry out a number of military operations in the heart of the Jewish state after he felt that his negotiations with the Israeli government then had failed,” Zahar stated.

Arafat’s widow, Suha, told Dubai TV in 2013 that Arafat instructed her to stay away from the West Bank because he was going to launch an intifada. This after Arafat rejected the Palestinian statehood offers.

Suha stated:

Yasser Arafat had made a decision to launch the Intifada. Immediately after the failure of the Camp David [negotiations], I met him in Paris upon his return, in July 2001 [sic]. Camp David has failed, and he said to me: “You should remain in Paris.” I asked him why, and he said: “Because I am going to start an Intifada…”

Rivera, meanwhile, referenced “14, 15 people killed in Gaza. Palestinians killed by the IDF forces.”

Of the 16 Palestinians reportedly killed during the recent violent riots at the Gaza-Israel border, the IDF on Saturday announced that ten were members of Palestinian terrorist groups, publishing their names and jihadist positions.

Hamas itself provided evidence that it is cynically utilizing the cover of civilian demonstrators to attack Israel, drawing Israeli fire toward the crowds. On Saturday, Hamas released photographs of five members of its so-called military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades jihad unit, announcing they were among the 16 Gazans reportedly killed on Friday.

Hamas stated that the five jihadists were killed while taking part “in popular events side-by-side with their people.” In other words, the terrorists were killed most likely attempting to carry out attacks while surrounded by civilian protesters.

The IDF said the Hamas members disguised themselves among the civilian protesters.

According to the IDF, rioters on Friday threw firebombs and hurled rocks at soldiers, attempted to breach the Israeli border, attempted to damage the border fence, and opened fire on Israeli troops.

The IDF released scores of pictures capturing the violence, including Palestinians in the midst of attacking soldiers. The images demonstrate Israel’s need to use force to quell riots in which some Gazans are attempting to violently storm the border of a sovereign nation or attack soldiers.

The Hamas terrorist group organized the mass riots under the banner of the “March of Return,” seeking to escalate protests the next few weeks leading up to Israel’s 70th Anniversary celebrations next month and the relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May.

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

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