Fury: MSNBC Fumes Over Netanyahu's Win: 'Fear,' 'Xenophobia'

MSNBC hosts and guests reacted with fury over Benjamin Netanyahu's victory on Tuesday night, describing it as "polarizing," a modern "southern strategy" and an appeal to "racism." Appearing on NewsNation, Wednesday, with Tamron Hall, London Professor Fawaz Gerges decried the Israeli Prime Minister's "use of fear, the use of xenophobia and racism against a significant segment of Israeli citizens, warning Jewish voters that Arabs were flooding the polls." 

This prompted no response or push back from Hall.  Speaking of the frosty relationship between the President and Netanyahu, Gerges concluded, "The reality is, the question is what will the Obama administration do? Obama, another point is that Obama has been correct." On Andrea Mitchell ReportsAtlantic contributor Jeffrey Goldberg sneered that the Prime Minister "played the Israeli version of a southern strategy and basically tried to scare his base into coming out and giving their votes to him by saying, essentially 'the Arabs are coming!"

On Tuesday night, it was clear that Netanyahu was on his way to a resounding victory. Despite this, All In anchor Chris Hayes seemed to be in denial. He insisted, "Regardless of the outcome however, there's no question this election...did not go the way he planned." Didn't go "the way he planned?" The result was a resounding victory. 

In an opening commentary, Hayes assailed the Israeli politician's U.S.-style "demagoguery": 

CHRIS HAYES:  Posting on Facebook about the left-wing conspiracy funding his opposition, vowing at a right-wing rally never to cede control of the occupied territories, and yesterday, finally admitting what many of his critics have long suspected -- if he continues as prime minister, Netanyahu would block the formation of a sovereign Palestinian state.  In what appeared to be a panicked last-ditch ploy to turn out right wing voters today, he took another page from the American playbook, resorting to demagoguery. Netanyahu warned supporters, quote, "Right-rule is in danger. Arab voters are streaming in huge quantities to the polling stations. The left-wing organizations are bringing them in buses."

Offering the ultimate liberal insult, Hayes concluded that Netanyahu "is Israel's George W. Bush."

Partial transcripts can be found below: 

NewsNation
3/18/15
11:25

TAMRON HALL: So, Fawaz, what do you believe will be the next step here for Bibi Netanyahu? 

FAWAZ GERGES (London School of Economic & Political Science): Well, first of all, I think Mitchell is absolutely correct. There's more clarity after the elections than before the election. We know exactly where Benjamin Netanyahu stands. We know he is engaged in a deceptive game. We know he has been lying to the world, including his most closest ally, the United States of America. He said, "As long as I am prime minister, there will be no Palestinian state." He does not believe in a two state solution. And more importantly, I think use of fear, the use of xenophobia and racism against a significant segment of Israeli citizens, warning Jewish voters that Arabs were flooding the polls. This is from a leader who basically celebrates Israeli democracy. I think the headlines, if you read the headlines throughout the region and I've read all of the headlines today, is that extremism triumphs in Israel. The Palestinians have no partner. There's a real fear now that the situation in Palestinian territory could really, basically, erupt into political-driven violence. The reality is, the question is what will the Obama administration do? Obama, another point is that Obama has been correct. Obama knew that Benjamin Netanyahu was going through the motions for the last six years.

...
Andrea Mitchell Live
3/18/15

[On Netanyahu]

JEFFREY GOLDBERG (Atlantic): He kind of played the Israeli version of a southern strategy and basically tried to scare his base into coming out and giving their votes to him by saying, essentially "the Arabs are coming!"


All In 
3/17/15
8:01

CHRIS HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. It is too close to call in Israel's parliamentary elections, which have pitted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the fight for his political life against a challenge from the center lift. Exit polls show Netanyahu's Likud Party neck and neck with Isaac Herzog's Zionist Union coalition. And while Netanyahu is already declaring victory, it is not over yet. Who comes out on top will depend on how Israel's numerous political parties come together to form a governing coalition in the Knesset, the country's parliament. Election day is a public holiday in Israel, and voters appeared to have seized the opportunity. According to "Haaretz", turnout is up 4 percent over the last election, thanks in part to a massive American-style get out the vote campaign, complete with robocalls and volunteers going door to door.

If it looks and sounds like an American campaign, it's because some of the major political groups in Israel hired some consultant, including Jeremy Byrd, who ran President Obama's field operations in 2012. Regardless of the outcome however, there's no question this election, which was called by Netanyahu himself two years ahead of schedule, did not go the way he planned. Faced with voter discontent over the high cost of living in Israel and surprisingly strong challenge from Herzog, Netanyahu has tacked hard to the right in the homestretch of the campaign. In an Israeli election that looks more like a GOP presidential primary in the U.S., particularly the Iowa caucuses, his strategy has been to fire up the base and try to siphon off support from his right flank. Posting on Facebook about the left-wing conspiracy funding his opposition, vowing at a right-wing rally never to cede control of the occupied territories, and yesterday, finally admitting what many of his critics have long suspected -- if he continues as prime minister, Netanyahu would block the formation of a sovereign Palestinian state.  In what appeared to be a panicked last-ditch ploy to turn out right wing voters today, he took another page in the American playbook, resorting to demagoguery. Netanyahu warned supporters, quote, "Right-rule is in danger. Arab voters are streaming in huge quantities to the polling stations. The left-wing organizations are bringing them in buses."

On the heels of his speech to the U.S. Congress, perhaps no figure is more polarizing at home and abroad than Benjamin Netanyahu, he is Israel's George W. Bush.

NB Daily Israel/Palestine Middle East MSNBC All In NewsNation Video Chris Hayes Tamron Hall Benjamin Netanyahu
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