TheBlaze’s own S.E. Cupp engaged in a war of words with the president of the Arab American Institute on CNN’S “Reliable Sources” Sunday morning.
Cupp contended that the media displays tacit anti-Israel, pro-Hamas bias every time the Gaza conflict is covered and reporters don’t mention a crucial fact: the Hamas charter calls for the destruction of the state of Israel.
“It’s something that should be said any time you’re discussing what Hamas wants,” Cupp said. “Any time it is omitted that Hamas wants the annihilation of the Jews and the destruction of Israel, that … creates a false sense of moral equivalency.”
“Look at the Likud charter, my dear,” retorted Arab American Institute President James Zogby.
Zogby contended that the Likud Party — of which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is chairman — calls for the expulsion of all Palestinians from Israel.
In Zogby’s view, if the media needs to constantly mention that Hamas wants Israel destroyed, the media should make similar disclaimers about Israel’s leaders.
Cupp fired back that, Zogby’s “condescension aside,” the media’s bias against Israel is clear.
So who was in the right?
Zogby had something of a point: The Likud Party Charter does reject Palestinian statehood and endorse Israeli settlements in the West Bank (also known as Judea and Samaria) and Gaza.
“A unilateral Palestinian declaration of the establishment of a Palestinian state will constitute a fundamental and substantive violation of the agreements with the State of Israel and the scuttling of the Oslo and Wye accords,” the 1999 charter states. “The government will adopt immediate stringent measures in the event of such a declaration.”
Addressing Israeli settlements, the charter states, “The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.”
However, Zogby’s equating Hamas and the Likud Party is somewhat disingenuous: In the years since approving that charter, Likud leaders have significantly softened their stance against a Palestinian state.
As Prime Minister Netanyahu put it in 2009:
The fundamental condition for ending the conflict is the public, binding and sincere Palestinian recognition of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish People.
But, friends, we must state the whole truth here. The truth is that in the area of our homeland, in the heart of our Jewish Homeland, now lives a large population of Palestinians. We do not want to rule over them. We do not want to run their lives. We do not want to force our flag and our culture on them.
In my vision of peace, there are two free peoples living side by side in this small land, with good neighborly relations and mutual respect, each with its flag, anthem and government, with neither one threatening its neighbor’s security and existence.
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