CNN's Beinart Calls It 'Racist' to Warn Jews Would Be Killed in Palestinian Arab State

On Thursday's New Day on CNN, during a segment pitting liberal CNN political commentator Peter Beinart against former CIA director James Woolsey, Beinart bristled at Woolsey's warnings that Jews trying to live in a Palestinian Arab state would be in grave danger of being attacked and killed as he asserted that it was a "racist claim" for the former CIA director to make. Beinart found comfort that "many" Palestinians do not kill Jews as he admitted that "some" do. Beinart: "The claim that Palestinians would inevitably kill Jews in the West Bank, I have  I have Jewish friends, Israelis who live in the West Bank. It's frankly a racist claim to suggest that Palestinians would inherently kill Jews. That's -- some Palestinians commit terrorism and many don't."



The liberal CNN commentator and contributor for The Atlantic also dismissed complaints about the Palestinian Authority's refusal to recognize Israel as a "Jewish state," without acknowledging that the point of such a recognition would be that the Palestinian leadership would not only call off their stated goal of taking over all of Israel, but also also stop pressing for Israel to accept several million Palestinian Arabs who are the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Arab refugees as part of that goal to make Jews a minority who would lose control of Israel. Palestinian leaders have repeatedly refused to drop the Right of Return demand as they have rejected Israeli offers to recognize a Palestinian Arab state in 2000, 2001 and 2008.

Woolsey argued that the reason there is not peace between Israel and Palestinian Arabs is because of Arab hostility toward Jews as he recalled that Arabs who are residents of Israel are given rights and are protected in ways that would not happen for Jews in a Palestinian Arab state. Woolsey:

Israeli Arabs -- that is, Muslim usually -- as citizens of Israel, about one-sixth of the Israeli population, can go to bed at night without fear that someone is going to bash in their front door and kill them. They have their own members in the Knesset, they have supreme court justices, they have their own publications, they lead a very reasonable life, particularly for the Middle East.

That sort of life is not possible for a Jew living in the West Bank governed by the Palestinians. They will be killed. And if you even sell property to an Israeli, you'll get killed.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Thursday, December 29, New Day on CNN:

6:18 a.m. ET
JAMES WOOLSEY, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: Israeli Arabs -- that is, Muslim usually -- as citizens of Israel, about one-sixth of the Israeli population, can go to bed at night without fear that someone is going to bash in their front door and kill them. They have their own members in the Knesset, they have supreme court justices, they have their own publications, they lead a very reasonable life, particularly for the Middle East. That sort of life is not possible for a Jew living in the West Bank governed by the Palestinians. They will be killed. And if you even sell property to an Israeli, you'll get killed.

(...)

WOOLSEY: There's always an effort to, coming from the Palestinians, to effectively get rid of Israel. They don't recognize its right to exist.

POPPY HARLOW: So, Peter Beinart, to you, the question that Ambassador Woolsey brings up is an important one. Where is the Palestinian leadership condemnation of this violence? We have seen Netanyahu in the past multiple times condemn any violence on the part of Israelis. Do we need to see more of that from Palestinian leaders?

PETER BEINART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: First of all, I just, to say that the Palestinians don't accept Israel's right to exist, the PLO recognized Israel's right to exist in 1993 at the beginning of the Oslo Accords.

HARLOW: But not as a Jewish state. The point is, not as a Jewish state.

BEINART: No, no, in fact, the United States, but, yes, the fact is that Israel at that point did not ask the PLO to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Israel itself has never defined what it means to be a Jewish state.

HARLOW: But now they are.

BEINART: And the United States -- the United States did not -- the United States did not recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Egypt did not recognize Israel as a Jewish state when it made peace -- this is a new request that Benjamin Netanyahu made that was not made by previous Israeli prime ministers precisely because Benjamin Netanyahu is fundamentally hostile to the idea of a two-state solution. In 2014, he himself said there will be no circumstance -- under no circumstance could he envision Israel removing its troops from west of the Jordan River, which means the West Bank. I just need to say one more thing which is-

WOOLSEY: I think this is nonsense.

BEINART: The claim that Palestinians -- Jim -- the claim that Palestinians-

WOOLSEY: This is nonsense.

BEINART: -would inevitably kill Jews in the West Bank, I have  I have Jewish friends, Israelis who live in the West Bank. It's frankly a racist claim to suggest that Palestinians would inherently kill Jews.

WOOLSEY: Not if you read the newspapers, no.

BEINART: That's -- some Palestinians commit terrorism and many don't.

CyberAlerts Foreign Policy Israel/Palestine Middle East Religion Islam Judaism CNN New Day Video Peter Beinart James Woolsey Poppy Harlow John Kerry