Video: We need more nuanced coverage of Israel says…Joe Klein?

posted at 10:11 pm on July 24, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham

Andrea Mitchell vs. Joe Klein, the bantamweight match-up of diminutive liberals you’ve been waiting for!

Time magazine’s Joe Klein defended Israel’s operation in Gaza on Morning Joe, while MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell criticized their strikes and called the attacks asymmetrical.

“I think that it’s pretty well known that I’ve been very critical of Israel in the past,” Klein noted. But in this case, Klein said there has been “a failure of reporting on our side about the extent of the Israeli operation.”

“This has been pretty well targeted,” he argued.

Mitchell disagreed, citing civilian casualties, to which Klein curtly replied, “This is war, Andrea.”

On CNN, Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer urged Erin Burnett to turn the outrage of the media, the network, and the international community on Hamas for storing weapons in schools and hospitals.

The latest example came with the story of 16 people killed in a U.N. hospital in Gaza during an strike. Although Israel was blamed for the hit, the Israeli military said the attack could very well have come from Hamas in a misfired rocket, and Burnett asked whether Dermer knew more on the matter.

Dermer reminded Burnett Hamas has been using schools, hospitals and other non-military installations as weapon depots.

“It would be a disservice to your viewers for a reporter from Gaza not to mention that in the last week we had two different UNRWA schools where we had actually rockets found in the schools and handed over to Hamas,” he said.

Dermer grew angrier when he mentioned he’d watched two hours of CNN and not heard a single reporter tell the viewers of this practice.

“I have not heard a single person say what I just said to you now, and I think that that does a disservice to your viewers to not give them the context they need to make these judgments,” he said. “Hamas is placing missile batteries in schools, in hospitals, in mosques, and there must be outrage by the world at Hamas to end this.”

I get veritably Sternian on this subject. It grows ever-more frustrating, frightening and demoralizing to see people who claim to value pluralism, democracy, freedom, tolerance, and modern civilization make excuses for a terrorist regime lobbing rockets by the thousands onto innocent civilians with the express intent of killing them. We never hear about the thousands of rockets that fall in between ground conflicts designed to get Hamas’ rocket fire to go back to relative infrequency. It is not Israel that breaks every ceasefire. None of the media ever reminds us that Israel entirely withdrew from Gaza, forcibly removing longtime residents to give Palestinians exactly what they claim to need to establish a coexistent state, and that Hamas on their border is what they got for their trouble. I’m disturbed by the notion, often communicated explicitly, that the only way Israel’s actions can be just is if the Jews oblige their enemies by dying in greater numbers.

So, good on Dermer and Klein, and to those, left and right, who are able to see this with moral clarity.


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