CNN's Gregory Presses PLO Guest on Palestinians Refusing to Accept Israel

On Tuesday's New Day, CNN political analyst David Gregory again showed himself to be one of the very few journalists in the liberal media who will actually make an effort to inform viewers of Palestinian intransigence and hostility toward the existence of a Jewish state in the Middle East.

As he substitute hosted the show and interviewed former PLO official Diana Buttu about the violent protests in Gaza, Gregory repeatedly brought up Hamas's desire to take over Israel rather than co-exist.



At 7:32 a.m. Eastern, Gregory correctly identified Hamas as a "terror group" as he recalled that the White House had condemned the violent protests next to Israel's border in the Gaza Strip. He began the interview by asking Buttu what the "declared goal" of Hamas is for the March of Return demonstrations.

After Buttu tried to distance Hamas from the protests to portray them as innocent political events, Gregory jumped in to correct her: "But Hamas organizes the Gazans -- Hamas organizes the protesters, and you know that." He soon followed up: :"In fact, Hamas has indicated that its declared goal is to end the Israeli state through this March of Return to reclaim all of Palestine. Is that correct?"

After his guest argued that Palestinian Arabs in Gaza just want to return to their homes in Israel -- even though the overwhelming majority had not been born in 1948 and have never lived in Israel -- Gregory followed up: "I want to clarify this because, to return to Palestine would be to displace Israel. Is that not the express goal of Hamas with these protests?"

Buttu claimed that "all of the Palestinian factions have indicated that they are willing to accept a two-state settlement," and that "it is Israel that has never recognized Palestine's right to exist," before complaining about what she called "Jewish privilege and Jewish supremacy."

The CNN host followed up by asking her directly if she accepts that Jews have a right to move to Israel and live there: "Do you recognize -- because you raise a really good point about recognizing Palestinian sovereignty and a Palestinian state. Do you also recognize that Israelis have a right to return -- that, in fact, the country of Israel is a fulfillment of that right to return to its ancient homeland, and that it has a right to exist?"

After she tried to change the subject, Gregory persisted: "Diana, this is not a filibuster opportunity. I'm asking you a simple question. Do you believe that Israel has a right to exist alongside the legitimate Palestinian sovereignty in a state as well?"

Buttu then deceptively claimed that Palestinian Arabs accept the right of Israel to exist and declared that "Israel has never recognized my right to exist."

By this point, Gregory backed off and switched to another question. But it would have informed the audience if Gregory had pointed out that the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority leadership have repeatedly been offered an Arab state that even includes East Jerusalem as its capital, but President Mahmoud Abbas and his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, refused to accept the plans largely because several million of Palestinian Arabs who are descended from the 1948 refugees would not have been allowed to move into Israel as desired by most Palestinians.

In fact, polling of the Palestinian Arab population has indicated that a majority agree with the position of refusing to accept a plan that does not include allowing millions of alleged refugees to move into Israel -- which would then cause Israel to no longer be a predominantly Jewish nation state.

In contrast with Gregory, when MSNBC host Ayman Mohyeldin interviewed Buttu on his Sunday show, he did not delve into these issues and was less challenging of her than he was toward Israeli official David Keyes in an earlier interview.



NBDaily Israel/Palestine Middle East Hamas CNN New Day MSNBC MSNBC Live Video David Gregory Ayman Mohyeldin

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