Palestinian Propagandists: Nets Blame U.S. and Israel for Gaza Violence

Following Monday’s ceremony opening the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, on Tuesday, all three broadcast networks were eager to denigrate the move and blame the United States and Israel for violence in the Gaza Strip that was encouraged by Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. In a series of dramatically one-sided reports, the NBC, ABC, and CBS morning shows offered propaganda instead of news.

“Breaking overnight, on edge. New violence erupts in the Middle East....The opening of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem fueling outrage, with more protests planned today,” announced co-host Hoda Kotb at the top of NBC’s Today show. In a report moments later, Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel declared “another day of rage” for Palestinians.

 

 

The reporter solely blamed Israel for Monday’s deadly protests: “There are many funerals in the Gaza Strip today, and they are angry. 60 Palestinian protesters, hospital officials say, were killed, nearly all shot dead by Israeli forces.” He then pointed to the U.S. embassy opening as the catalyst: “Palestinians have been protesting here against their lack of freedom for weeks, but their fury boiled over on Monday, when the U.S. embassy was officially moved to Jerusalem with President Trump’s blessing.”

Engel proclaimed: “The goal of the protests, to show their outrage. Some say they can’t take it anymore.” He briefly noted that Israel and the U.S. “blamed Hamas” for the violence, followed by a clip of him grilling the American ambassador to the Jewish state: “People here, including yourself, talked a lot about peace, how this could open the door to peace. But today we saw a lot of violence, a lot of death in Gaza. How do you square the two?”

Later, the correspondent offered this dismissive conclusion: “President Trump says moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was long overdo and will open the door to peace. So far, no sign of it.”

Co-host Savannah Guthrie fretted that there may be “no hope for a peace process now,” with Engel doubling down on the pessimism:

...they are not talking about a peace process at all. They say there can be no peace process with President Trump, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And then, what happened, moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, they say it takes away their hope of having Jerusalem as their capitol as well. So not only is there no talk of peace process now, there’s not even talk of peace.

On ABC’s Good Morning America, co-host Robin Roberts described Monday’s protests as “the deadliest day there in years” and made sure observe that it was “A dramatic contrast to what was happening just 40 miles away as the U.S. opened its embassy in Jerusalem.”

Reporting live from more protests in Gaza, correspondent Terry Moran wailed: “No fatalities, but here, as in every Palestinian community today, there is shock and sorrow and rage at that decision by President Trump to move the embassy to Jerusalem.” Moments later, he repeated: “These communities still seething with rage and despair over the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.”

Like Roberts, Moran juxtaposed the violence with the embassy ceremony: “It was all smiles there, as First Daughter Ivanka Trump did the honors....President Trump speaking via video, beaming with pride.”

A soundbite followed of the President telling attendees: “Our greatest hope is for peace.” Moran promptly trashed the sentiment: “But peace seemed a pipe dream at the Gaza border. An unforgettable scene there, tens of thousands of Palestinians marched towards the border, urged on by their leaders.”

The reporter bemoaned: “The White House refusing to criticize Israel at all for the violence, declaring that the bloodshed is the fault of the Palestinian group Hamas.”

Wrapping up the slanted segment, Moran sneered: “President Trump believes that moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem will actually make peace more likely by taking the city off the table. But for the people here and for virtually every single Palestinian that makes no sense.”

On CBS This Morning, correspondent Holly Williams echoed her NBC and ABC colleagues in making sure that the U.S. and Israel got the blame:

Most of the dead were killed along the border fence that separates the tiny poverty-stricken Gaza strip from Israel, where tens of thousands of Palestinians held angry demonstrations yesterday, furious after the U.S. embassy was moved to Jerusalem. Israel responded with deadly force. Live ammunition aimed at those, it says, got too close to the fence.

As she ended the report, Williams seemed to lament that Tuesday’s demonstrations were smaller than Monday’s: “There were more protests planned for today to mark the 70th Anniversary of what Palestinians call their day of catastrophe, following the founding of the state of Israel. But so far, very few demonstrators have gone to the border fence today.”

On Monday, Williams similarly referred to the “catastrophe” of Israel’s existence while reporting for the morning show. Later, on CBS Evening News, she worried that the Palestinians were “dancing with death.”

Here is a full transcript of the May 15 report on NBC’s Today show:

7:02 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: And we’ve got a lot to get to. Let’s start in the Middle East. It’s a volatile situation there.

HODA KOTB: It is. There’s been violence along the Israeli border this morning on the heels of Monday’s clashes, among the deadliest in years. NBC’s Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel is right there in the thick of it. Hey, Richard,

RICHARD ENGEL: Good morning. This is one of the main conflict areas here in the Gaza Strip. What’s been happening here is Palestinian protesters have been crossing this open stretch of land, they’ve been heading toward the Israeli fence, which is right behind me. And when they’ve reached that Israeli border fence they have been shot at. And today is another day of rage.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Middle East on Edge; Israel Strikes Hamas Targets in Wake of Deadly Protests]

There are many funerals in the Gaza Strip today, and they are angry. 60 Palestinian protesters, hospital officials say, were killed, nearly all shot dead by Israeli forces. Among the victims, seven under the age of 18. 2,700 others were injured when Palestinians rushed toward the closed and heavily fortified Israeli border.

The Gaza Strip, run by Hamas, is sealed off. Palestinians have been protesting here against their lack of freedom for weeks, but their fury boiled over on Monday, when the U.S. embassy was officially moved to Jerusalem with President Trump’s blessing. The Palestinians saying it negates their claim to the city.

The goal of the protests, to show their outrage. Some say they can’t take it anymore. Israel says it will and must defend its borders, and blames Hamas for pushing people to violence. At the U.S. embassy opening ceremony, the American ambassador, David Friedman, also blamed Hamas.

[TO FRIEDMAN] People here, including yourself, talked a lot about peace, how this could open the door to peace. But today we saw a lot of violence, a lot of death in Gaza. How do you square the two?

DAVID FRIEDMAN: Hamas has to end its siege on Gaza. It’s a terrorist organization that’s besieging its own people, forcing its own people to act against their own interests.

ENGEL: President Trump says moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was long overdo and will open the door to peace. So far, no sign of it.

GUTHRIE: And Richard, I mean it’s hard to summarize the views of an entire people, but Palestinians in Gaza that you’ve been speaking to, seeing what happened in Jerusalem, are they saying there’s no hope for a peace process now?

ENGEL: In a word, yes, they are not talking about a peace process at all. They say there can be no peace process with President Trump, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And then, what happened, moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, they say it takes away their hope of having Jerusalem as their capitol as well. So not only is there no talk of peace process now, there’s not even talk of peace, Savannah.

GUTHRIE: Richard Engel, thank you very much.


Here is a full transcript of the May 15 report on ABC’s GMA:

7:05 AM ET

ROBIN ROBERTS: Overseas now to another day of protests along Israel’s border with Gaza. Dozens killed Monday, the deadliest day there in years. A dramatic contrast to what was happening just 40 miles away as the U.S. opened its embassy in Jerusalem. ABC’s Chief Foreign Correspondent Terry Moran is in the West Bank with those details. Good morning, Terry.

TERRY MORAN: [audio cut out] We’re just about eight miles outside of Jerusalem on the outskirts of the city of Ramallah. This small skirmish has been going on all morning. No fatalities, but here, as in every Palestinian community today, there is shock and sorrow and rage at that decision by President Trump to move the embassy to Jerusalem. It feels, for the whole region, like a fateful step.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Deadly Protests Erupt on Gaza Border; Dozens Killed as Palestinians Clash With Israeli Troops]

This morning, more clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians. And a general strike has shut down both the West Bank and Gaza. These communities still seething with rage and despair over the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. It was all smiles there, as First Daughter Ivanka Trump did the honors.

IVANKA TRUMP: We welcome you officially and for the first time to the Embassy of the United States here in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.

MORAN: President Trump speaking via video, beaming with pride.

DONALD TRUMP: Our greatest hope is for peace.

MORAN: But peace seemed a pipe dream at the Gaza border. An unforgettable scene there, tens of thousands of Palestinians marched towards the border, urged on by their leaders. Israeli forces used tear gas at first, then opened fire. At least 58 Palestinians were killed. At least 2,700 wounded. Jerusalem, claimed by both Palestinians and Israelis as their capital, has long been one of the most emotional issues in this conflict.

The White House refusing to criticize Israel at all for the violence, declaring that the bloodshed is the fault of the Palestinian group Hamas.
            
RAJ SHAH [WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY]: This is a gruesome and an unfortunate propaganda attempt.

MORAN: So you can see behind me here a small fire, some tear gas. Earlier, the Israelis were firing a lot of tear gas in this direction, but the wind has shifted, and so they’ve calmed down on that.

President Trump believes that moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem will actually make peace more likely by taking the city off the table. But for the people here and for virtually every single Palestinian that makes no sense. They feel Jerusalem [audio cut out] ...long way off.  

ROBERTS: Alright. Terry, we apologize for the technical difficulties. But everyone taking precaution there, it was good to see him wearing the flak jacket as he was.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: He has to be protected.

ROBERTS: Yes.

 

Here is a full transcript of the May 15 report on CBS This Morning:

7:07 AM ET

NORAH O’DONNELL: The leaders of deadly anti-Israeli protests in Gaza say today is a day for funerals. There were new demonstrations in the West Bank after yesterday’s repeated clashes along Israel’s border. The White House blamed Hamas, the radical group that runs Gaza, for the deadliest day of violence in nearly four years. The United Nations condemned the appalling deadly violence. Holly Williams attended one of this morning’s funerals in Gaza. Holly, good morning.

HOLLY WILLIAMS: Good morning. They have just buried two Palestinian men who were killed at yesterday’s protests here at Martyr Cemetery in the Gaza Strip. The death toll, according to officials here, is now more than 60. And that is a stunning loss of life for many Palestinians.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Deadly Gaza Protests; Dozens of Palestinians Killed as Israel Celebrates Opening of U.S. Embassy]

They’re carrying their dead to be buried here in Gaza, including several children. The youngest, an 8-month-old baby, Lela al-Ghanduor, who died of teargas inhalation. Today, Lela’s grandmother cradled her tiny body.

Most of the dead were killed along the border fence that separates the tiny poverty-stricken Gaza strip from Israel, where tens of thousands of Palestinians held angry demonstrations yesterday, furious after the U.S. embassy was moved to Jerusalem. Israel responded with deadly force. Live ammunition aimed at those, it says, got too close to the fence.

The Palestinians hope East Jerusalem will one day be their capital if they ever get their own state. And they are furious over what they say is American bias towards Israel.

HAKAM ABUSHANAB: We are against the Donald, the President Trump

WILLIAMS: Hakam Abushanab is a financial analyst and was one of the protesters. Are you willing to die here?

ABUSHANAB: We don’t have any other method that we could use instead of, you know, dying here is the only way.

WILLIAMS: The Israeli military says it also launched air strikes yesterday targeting a camp run by Hamas, the militant group that controls the Gaza Strip. And Israeli media is reporting that Israel has threatened to assassinate Hamas leaders if the violent protests continue.

There were more protests planned for today to mark the 70th Anniversary of what Palestinians call their day of catastrophe, following the founding of the state of Israel. But so far, very few demonstrators have gone to the border fence today. Gayle?

GAYLE KING: Holly Williams reporting from Gaza, thank you very much.


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