Andrea Mitchell Pushes Anti-Israel Propaganda on Gaza Civilian Casualties

One of the biggest recurring problems with the dominant liberal media’s coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the tendency to report claims from anti-Israel sources that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) mostly kills civilians in its military actions.

Detailed reports by the IDF concluding that most of those killed were combatants are always ignored, and, every time there’s a new war, the same liberal journalists do not bother to learn from history in their reporting of casualties.

On her Thursday afternoon MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell pushed anti-Israel propaganda as she spoke with Michael Oren — former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. — brushing aside his attempts to correct her on the issue of civilian casualties. After Oren asserted that the “vast majority of those Palestinian casualties are terrorists,” Mitchell followed up by trying to discredit him:

Well, Ambassador Oren, I don’t think you or I can say who the casualties are, but people on the ground say that the casualties are women and children — people in the hospitals — that there are civilian casualties — that it is not just the Hamas fighters that you managed to kill in the tunnels. I just have to dispute that.

She then blamed Israel for starting the war:

And they may — they fired the rockets first, for sure, but what precipitated it, in part, was firing rubber bullets into the Al Aqsa mosque on a Friday night during evening prayers. So I’m not saying there’s an equivalence there, but you know the symbolic importance of that and the outrage that was felt over that as well. We’re going to have to leave it there —

The exchange became heated as Oren jumped back in to dispute her claims:

OREN: We know exactly how many people have been killed and how many terrorists have been killed. We know exactly how many Palestinians have been killed by Hamas rockets. We do know this — I’m sorry — and —

MITCHELL: It was disputed in the General Assembly today by the secretary general of the United Nations, and you may not think that is a fair forum for Israel, but with the help of the U.S., you have managed to avoid a statement or a resolution up until this point, but now France and Germany are leading the charge, and there is international criticism here.

As Oren followed up, he pointed out that the Hamas terrorist group uses civilians as “human shields,” adding that Hamas, unlike Israel, tries to kill civilians:

And that’s a huge difference between an enemy that is firing thousands of rockets at four million Israelis for the express purpose of massacring. If you don’t internalize that difference, then, I don’t know — then you’re inhabiting a moral universe which is very, very dark. And we cannot afford that. We have to defend ourselves and will continue to defend ourselves against an enemy which is not seeking a two-state solution. It’s not seeking peace. It is seeking to annihilate us. Period.

Unconvinced, Mitchell concluded: “Well, let’s just say the civilians are suffering on both sides.”

By contrast, on Monday’s show, Mitchell was less aggressive in pushing back against an anti-Israel guest who accused Israel of “war crimes” and of “indiscriminate killing of civilians,” and who complained that Hamas was being “demonized.”

Thursday’s episode of Andrea Mitchell Reports was sponsored in part by Liberty Mutual. Click on the link to let them know what you think. 

Transcript follows. Click “expand” to read more. 

MSNBC

Andrea Mitchell Reports

May 20, 2021

12:26 p.m.

MICHAEL OREN, FORMER ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: The vast majority of those Palestinian casualties are terrorists, and you’re not even signifying the 20 plus Palestinians who have been killed so far by the 400 rockets that fell in Gaza itself. And so this all somehow gets ascribed to Israel. And, frankly, I think Israel is kind of fed up with that, too. They’re fed up with being blamed for war crimes for defending themselves against war criminals. It’s as simple as that. And they’re looking at what’s happening to Israel’s image in the foreign press and saying, “Well, if we’re getting blamed like this — if we’re getting tarnished and libeled like this, well, we might as well keep fighting.”

ANDREA MITCHELL: Well, Ambassador Oren, I don’t think you or I can say who the casualties are, but people on the ground say that the casualties are women and children — people in the hospitals — that there are civilian casualties — that it is not just the Hamas fighters that you managed to kill in the tunnels. I just have to dispute that. And they may — they fired the rockets first, for sure, but what precipitated it, in part, was firing rubber bullets into the Al Aqsa mosque on a Friday night during evening prayers. So I’m not saying there’s an equivalence there, but you know the symbolic importance of that and the outrage that was felt over that as well. We’re going to have to leave it there —

OREN: We know exactly how many people have been killed and how many terrorists have been killed. We know exactly how many Palestinians have been killed by Hamas rockets. We do know this — I’m sorry — and —

MITCHELL: It was disputed in the General Assembly today by the secretary general of the United Nations, and you may not think that is a fair forum for Israel, but with the help of the U.S., you have managed to avoid a statement or a resolution up until this point, but now France and Germany are leading the charge, and there is international criticism here. And, getting back to my first question, do you think there will be a ceasefire in the next 24 hours?

OREN: I don’t know. I know that Israeli domestic opinion is very much set against it. And I can understand why. My own family, which, you know, doesn’t always agree with me politically, but are people with children, and they want to create a situation — they want to see a situation created where they don’t have to relive this nightmare every several years. They want deterrence restored. They understand what’s happening in international opinion. They understand that there’s no distinction made between the terrorists killed in Gaza and the civilian casualties that are caused by the fact that Hamas is using civilians as human shields. And we regret those casualties — we deeply regret it.

And that’s a huge difference between an enemy that is firing thousands of rockets at four million Israelis for the express purpose of massacring. If you don’t internalize that difference, then, I don’t know — then you’re inhabiting a moral universe which is very, very dark. And we cannot afford that. We have to defend ourselves and will continue to defend ourselves against an enemy which is not seeking a two-state solution. It’s not seeking peace. It is seeking to annihilate us. Period.

MITCHELL: Well, let’s just say the civilians are suffering on both sides. Thanks again.

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