CNN's Peter Beinart Loses His Mind Trying to Defend Omar and Tlaib

A Palestinian protester hurls stones toward Israeli soldiers during a protest near the Gaza Strip border with Israel, in eastern Gaza City, Saturday, March 31, 2018. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)


This is CNN.

Commentator Peter Beinart was on opposite of National Review’s Rich Lowry yesterday to discuss the situation with Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib being barred from Israel over their anti-Semitic BDS promotion. That went about as well as you could expect.

After being asked about the organization that was paying for Omar and Tlaib’s trip, which has a vast history of terror ties, anti-Semitism and pushing blood libels against Jews, Beinart decided he couldn’t simply denounce them. Instead, he had to make excuses, and that meant losing his mind and railing that Palestinians have a right to foment violence.

Beinart could have simply condemned all violence unequivocally. He could have just dodged and stuck with defending the anti-Semitic group Miftah, which would have been bad enough on its own. Nope, he goes right to defending suicide bombings by qualifying why Palestinians think that stuff is ok and that it’s like slavery.


Transcript via Newsbusters.

BEINART: These — this is not — Hanan Ashrawi —

LOWRY: Oh, they just say some racist things!?

BEINART: — I know Hanan. I’m sorry — sorry, Rich.

LOWRY: They support some terrorism, but that’s okay.

BEINART: With all due respect, you have not been there and seen this on the ground. I know Hanan Ashrawi. She is not even close to a white nationalist. She is someone seeking freedom for her people.

LOWRY: Then why does the organization publish things supporting terrorism?

BEINART: Rich, I disagree with violent resistance —

LOWRY: Yeah, but why do they —

BEINART: — because a lot of Palestinians believe that because they are subject to daily violence of a system which denies them basic rights, they have the right to respond violently. I disagree with them —

LOWRY: By killing innocent people.

BEINART: But if an African-American who supported violence against the United States under slavery or Jim Crow, that did not excuse their denial of basic rights because I disagree the tactic they were using to resist it.

These kinds of ridiculous framings ignore the reality of why Israel holds control over the Palestinian territories and who actually runs them. Yes, Israel controls their borders (because shockingly, it’s also Israel’s border) and tries to maintain some level of peace. Israel also is only involved in the areas because numerous Arab nations and the Palestinians tried to destroy Israel multiple times, including in 1967 and 1973. Fun fact, when you attack another country on your border and lose, you don’t typically get your autonomy handed right back to you. In the case of Hebron, which Omar brought up in a tweet, Palestinians slaughtered Jews there. Is it in any wonder the Israelis have stepped up security there?


In the case of the Palestinians though, they’ve been offered their own country numerous times. They’ve rejected it every single time because their authorities keep their power based on grievance and violence. Without the Jews to blame everything on, they’d suddenly be left at the mercy of their people.

Meanwhile, in reality, Gaza and the West Bank are in the condition they are in, not because Israel oppresses them, but because they elected terrorist governments to lead them. Governments which don’t give people basic rights, which spend money on paying suicide bombers instead of medical care, and who can’t even keep up basic infrastructure.

The idea that if only Israel weren’t around that everyone in the region would be living in peace with sunshine and roses is nonsense. What you see in the Palestinian territories today is exactly what you’d see if they were their own nation, but probably worse because Israel wouldn’t be around helping provide many basic necessities.

Beinart should spare us the ridiculous notion that Palestinian violence is justified or that Israel is the one propagating their suffering. Israel is in an impossible position trying to deal with terrorists on their borders who don’t want to negotiate in good faith and seek their annihilation. Instead of holding them to standards no other country on earth is held to in the face of aggression, we should be acknowledging their restraint and pressing the Palestinians hard to finally start making changes.


Unfortunately, with the recent political rise of anti-Semites like Omar and Tlaib, matters seem to being going backwards and that’s not going to work out well for anyone.


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