IDF spokesman schools MSNBC host with basic journalism lesson after she allegedly rolls out data ‘disseminated by Hamas’

News & Politics

Israel Defense Forces spokesman Jonathan Conricus went on MSNBC’s airwaves Sunday and rebuked anyone who believes Hamas’ number of civilian casualties.

During an extensive interview about the ongoing conflict in Gaza, MSNBC host Yasmin Vossoughian asked Conricus to explain the alleged high number of civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip. Vossoughian claimed it is “above 4,600, many of them women and children.”

But Conricus quickly explained why those numbers cannot be trusted.

“When it comes to data coming out of Gaza, please keep in mind that everything that comes out of Gaza is not verified independently,” he said. “It’s information disseminated by Hamas, and Hamas are the equivalent of ISIS when it comes to truthfulness.”

Vossoughian apparently took issue with Conricus’ response and asked him to clarify if he was disputing Hamas’ claims.

“I am definitely questioning each and every piece of information that comes out of the Hamas-controlled so-called ‘Ministry of Health’ — each and every piece of information,” Conricus shot back.

Vossoughian retorted that “independent journalists” have corroborated the casualty numbers, but she did not name a single journalist. Conricus then reminded Vossoughian that her network had been complicit in disseminating Hamas propaganda when MSNBC, like most legacy media outlets, uncritically claimed Israel destroyed the al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza last Tuesday.

“The first reports — also reported here on MSNBC, but in many other media outlets — quoting the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza said 500 dead Palestinians in the hospital incident in Gaza,” Conricus said.

“Do you know how many people were actually killed? The [European Union] estimates that it was between 10 and 50. The 500 is what the Hamas-controlled authority said, and most of the international media fell for that and reported it. It gave credibility to a false number disseminated by a terrorist organization,” he explained.

“That is why I say that we should all exercise caution and skepticism when we get these figures, especially when they speak about civilians, women, and children,” he said. “Those are the things that they will try to harvest. That is what they are trying to achieve.”

Unfortunately, Vossoughian did not engage Conricus’ point about media organizations acting irresponsibly. Instead, she both-sided Israel and told Conricus, “We can both admit the innocent civilians are losing their lives.”

Except, earlier in the interview, Conricus told Vossoughian why it’s dishonest for the media to suggest Israel and Hamas are guilty of the same actions.

“I don’t want to create any parity,” Conricus said. “The only thing I can say is that we definitely do not target civilians. We try to strike militants, contrary to these subhuman terrorists, these ISIS monsters who came across our borders. They specifically targeted our women and children and elderly and men and soldiers, but specifically the civilians.”

“You know, out of 1,300, more than 1,300 dead Israelis, more than a thousand were civilians — and that is by design. So, we are not targeting the civilians,” he explained.

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