After carrying a Tel Aviv press conference Tuesday morning of families of those kidnapped by Hamas terrorists on Saturday, MSNBC’s Morning Joe turned to the indefatigable Bari Weiss of The Free Press and former Obama official/Anti-Defamation League (ADL) head Jonathan Greenblatt for what were emotional reactions imbued with moral clarity about the “barbaric irrationality of terror.”
Equally as important, both lambasted those who’ve marched in support of Hamas are modern-day Nazis, including those in Sydney calling for Jews to be gassed like they were in the Holocaust.
But amid the discussion, there also sat MSNBC host and National Action Network head Al Sharpton, who not only sided with Israel, but Greenblatt heaped praise on him despite no one mentioning his history of rampant anti-Semitism and race-baiting.
Things started off on a solid note with Greenblatt saying he was “going to do my best not to break down on the air” as he himself has had “friends who were killed,” “family hunkered right — down right now in Ashkelon,” and “staff who can’t locate members of their family.”
Greenblatt continued to voice moral clarity on network with plenty of awful, pro-terrorist moments so far, arguing that the current focus shouldn’t be about whether the intelligence community and military failed to see this attack coming.
Instead, the focus should be on the “moral failure that we are all accountable for, because Hamas told us again and again and again and again…that their goal has never been a two-state solution” or “dignity and national — nationhood for Palestinians,” but “the destruction of the Jewish state” and “murder of Jews.”
“[W]e have got to stop referring to what happened on Saturday as an attack as if it was military on military. This was a massacre. This was a slaughter. The appropriate word is medieval. And the appropriate points of comparison are al-Qaeda and ISIS,” he added.
Things got embarrassing when the inner liberal partisan came back and Greenblatt said “thank God for” Sharpton for having “civil rights groups…[stand] up” while universities remain silent. Greenblatt set that aside and turned to the pro-terrorist rally on Sunday in New York City and how this was a modern day version of the 1939 pro-Nazi rally at Madison Square Garden (click “expand”):
[T]hank God for the Rev and the civil rights groups like the National Urban League and the NAACP who, thanks to the National Action Network, stood up. But where are the university presidents who gave clear statements about all these other causes that mattered. It — Black Lives Matter, Stop AAPI Hate, it matters. Stand for Ukraine, it matters. Why — why are they silent on dead Jews? Why is my inbox empty with messages from CEOs, from major religious movements? Why? Where are they? Thank God for Congress. Thank God for President Biden. Thank God for the European leaders. But this moral failure — this rot — I see it in our civil society right now.
And I’ve got to say. You know, I’m in my office in midtown on Sunday. You know, we’ve been working around the clock and the work that we’re doing at ADL pales in comparison to what they’re doing in Israel. Let me be clear about that, but I hear chanting this outside our office and we look down, and there is one of these pro-Hamas protests. And you know, I don’t know if you’ve seen the documentary Night at the Garden, but in 1939, 20,000 Americans gathered in Madison Square Garden to cheer on Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime. This was after kristallnacht. This was after they prevented Jews from working, they stole their money, they were beating and murdering them in the street. These protests here in America, these pro-Hamas, pro-terror demonstrations, these are like pro-Nazi things in this country in the ‘30s. And they will not be remembered well when history looks back, because they are complicit, these accomplices. They are guilty for excusing and for rationalizing the absolutely barbaric irrationality of terror.
For his part, co-host Joe Scarborough said his own piece that “[t]his is not just about driving Israel into the sea” for Hamas but also “kill[ing] Jews” and thus it’s a failure for both Israeli and American governments to think Hamas and their allies in Iran could be bargained with.
Weiss started her part by arguing she’s “not sure for people who — who aren’t paying close attention that they understand the scale of what has just occurred here” with Saturday having been “the biggest massacre of the Jewish people since the Holocaust, but unlike the Holocaust, in which the Germans tried to hide their war crimes…people stream[ed] it” live.
Weiss then shared both her reporting and her team (click “expand”):
I spoke yesterday morning to Shaked Haran. Shaked is a young mothers of two. She’s eight months pregnant with her third child. On Saturday morning. she got a WhatsApp message from her father and from her — from her father on Kibbutz Beeri. They said that they were in trouble and they said that they loved her. This woman has ten members of her family currently missing: her father, her mother, her sister, her brother-in-law, three children — three children under the age of 10 are missing. The reason they know they have not been killed is a friend of the father’s kept calling his phone hundreds and hundreds of times.
At some point, a voice picks up in Arabic and shouts hostage, hostage, Gaza, Gilad Shalit a people will remember that Gilad Shalit is the Israeli prisoner — the soldier that was held for more than four or five years and released in exchange for a thousand of prisoners, which gives you a sense of how Israel thinks of the importance of a single life. Another mother I spoke to — she asks that she remain anonymous because she is so scared if her name is public, it will make the life of her children who are held hostage even worse. She was on the phone with her boys, age 12 and 16, as they hid in a safe room on another kibbutz at the south a few miles from Gaza. And she heard her youngest child, 12 years old, begging not to be taken because he said he is too young and she wants the world to know this is not about an occupation. Israel does not occupy Gaza. It has not occupied Gaza since it pulled out almost a decade ago, ruled by Hamas. She said these are just teenagers like anyone’s teenagers. I am just a mother like any mother who’s watching this.
I want to tell you about another person, Hersh Goldberg-Polin. He sent a text message to his parents at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday morning that said, I love you and I’m sorry. And they haven’t heard from him since. They brought a toothbrush and his hair and his pillow to the police station in the hopes that — that they might find him. He was at the music festival like so many others, like Amit Tal [sp?]. Someone on my team spoke to Amit Tal [sp?] yesterday. He hid in a grapefruit grove for hours from the terrorists and he dug a hole to shove his feet into the Earth because he was scared that they would see his bright shoes. He describes what he saw as a slaughterhouse, that him and his friends were like sheep to be slaughtered. We now know that more than 250 bodies have been recovered from that music festival. The terrorists, who filmed themselves, came on paragliders with automatic rifles to slaughter and maim and mutilate as many people as possible. Women were raped at that music festival next to the dead bodies of their friends. The woman whose story I began with, Shaked Haran, 10 percent of the kibbutz where her family members were taken from, 10 percent. It is the literal meaning of the word decimated — were slaughtered. More than 100 bodies have been recovered from that kibbutz.
She concluded with a emotionally and factually packed reality that more in the press, academe, and far too many pockets need to acknowledge:
This is not a situation with two sides, with militants versus an army. This…is…rapists, barbaric people who we are now learning beheaded babies — beheaded babies versus innocent people…[A]nyone who is found cheering, celebrating in the streets of London or Paris or Berlin or New York or Sydney where they are screaming “gas the Jews,” they are not cheering for the liberation of the Palestinian people in Gaza, who languish under the jackboot of Hamas. They are cheering for barbarism and bloodshed. And we should be absolutely clear about what is going on here.
Sharpton then had his turn and, after naturally making it all about himself, engaged in a case of the body snatchers based on his past actions with Jews (click “expand”):
When you look at the rallies and people holding up Nazi signs, we’re not talking about some gray area here. They’ve said who they are. The question is, who are we? So, when I heard about this Saturday morning, I reached out to Jonathan. Jonathan Greenblatt and many in the Jewish leadership had just marched with us in the March on Washington with Martin Luther King III and Andre and I. When a lady named Angela Carr was killed in Jacksonville, Florida, while we were watching — a hate crime with two others — he flew to the funeral that I eulogized. So, he shouldn’t have to expect to call me. I should call him. If you can stand up against one murder, why would I be absent when we’re looking at debauchery of human life?
Those people that are being held hostage have nothing to do with the policies, whether you agree or not of Netanyahu. I don’t agree with everything Netanyahu does. We’re talking about human life here. And, that is why I think, Jonathan, when he raised the point, stop calling them militants, stop calling them — and I just Joe do it correctly, call them terrorists, call them murderers. You have militants in the civil rights movement, but we don’t go around holding hostages and killing people and beheading babies. These are murderers. The government of the United States and everybody else needs to do what they can because we’re talking about people who have no cause of human life. They’re not trying to get a two-state solution or any solution. They’re trying to wipe people out. And we can’t let it happen.
“They don’t want a two-state solution. They want a final solution. What’s what we’re talking about,” Greenblatt replied.
After Sharpton revealed that Greenblatt had been “talking about the language” that should be used in describing the barbarism and terrorism in “very positive conversations with people here at the top of the network,” Greenblatt took the show to break with the fact that “[t]his is not some academic debate” about “right or wrong,” but “good versus evil.”
Here was more of what he had to say:
It is evil that makes one think that it is okay to burn an elderly woman alive in her home and record it. It is evil that let someone think to execute children in front of their parents and then drag those people into Gaza as hostages. And it is evil to blame Israel for the mutilation and desecration of her citizens. That’s what’s happening…[I]f you are a CEO and you spoke out on these issues, if you are a university president and you spoke out on these other issues, if you are a politician or a candidate who spoke out on these other issues, we are waiting and watching for you to speak out now.
To see the relevant transcript from October 10, click here.