CNN Host Pushes Israel Not to Do ‘Shameful Things’ Like U.S. in World War II

News & Politics

On Monday night, CNN host Erin Burnett tried to undermine the Israeli rationale for continuing its war against Hamas terrorists as she debated right-leaning former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. As Bennett not only invoked the U.S. fight against Japan after America was attacked in 1941, Burnett complained that the U.S. did some “shameful” things during World War II as she tried to deflect his point. (Specifically, FDR putting Japanese-Americans in camps.)

Concluding the segment, she played a clip of far-left film film maker Jonathan Glazer who condemned his fellow Jews for their fight against Hamas, as the CNN host asked her Israeli guest for his response.

Burnett set up the segment by relating a U.S. intelligence assessment predicting that right-leaning Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in political trouble before going to correspondent Clarissa Ward to hear about the plight of Palestinian civilians who are trying to get food as Israel battles Hamas in Gaza.

The CNN host then brought aboard Bennett, who was able to appear in studio, and she began by asking what he thought of the assessment of Netanyahu’s internal political problems.

After Bennett emphasized that the Israeli public is united in the war effort against Hamas, he and the CNN host went back and forth over the issue of whether the terrorist group has been sufficiently weakened to justify a military pause. It was toward the end of the segment that the CNN host’s pushback turned more obnoxious after the former prime minister brought up the U.S. resolve to defeat Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

BENNETT: When Japan attacked America and killed 2,400 Americans at Pearl Harbor, America took time — took four years — three million Japanese were — died in war, but you knew that you had to do that.

BURNETT: And America did some shameful things like camps for Japanese people.

BENNETT: I think that perhaps America was imperfect, but America was darn good in fighting and defeating the total evil that Japan and Nazi Germany presented back then.

After Bennett referred to Hamas terrorists as “zombie murderers,” the CNN host brought up those who would argue against that description and played the clip of Glazer:

BENNETT: We’re fighting total evil, and we might be imperfect, but we’re doing everyone’s job, and the world should back Israel. Otherwise, everybody is going to face it — these zombie murderers are going to come right over here.

BURNETT: So what you call a “zombie murderers,” others obviously others see a different way =- maybe not about Hamas specifically —

BENNETT: I’m talking about Hamas.

BURNETT: — but they see this as a broader issue. Jonathan Glazer, the film maker who — Jewish director — who won an Oscar last night for his Holocaust film, The Zone of Interest — used his acceptance speech — as I know you may be aware — to condemn Israel’s actions at this point in the war. Here’s what he said.

Then came a clip of Glazer speaking at the Academy Awards from the night before followed by the CNN host’s request for a response from her Jewish Israel guest:

JONATHAN GLAZER, FILM MAKER: Our film shows where dehumanization leads at its worst. It shaped all of our past and present. Right now, we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness in the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation which has led to conflict for so many innocent people. Whether the victims of October 7 (pause for audience applause) whether the victims of October 7 in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza — all the victims of this dehumanization. How do we resist?

BURNETT: ”We stand here as men who refute their Jewishness on the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation,” and then the applause. Your response to that?

BENNETT: It’s shameful. He thinks he’s distancing himself from Israel and somehow he will be loved. You know, Jews have tried the approach of being murdered again and again and hoping for sympathy. That’s not something that I believe in. …

Transcript follows:

CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront

March 11, 2024

7:28 p.m. Eastern

ERIN BURNETT: Breaking news, a new U.S. intelligence assessment finds that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “viability” — that’s the word used — as a leader, quote, “may be in jeopardy.” The report says, and I quote: “Distrust of Netanyahu’s ability to rule has deepened and broadened across the public from its already high levels before the war, and we expect large protests demanding his resignation and new elections.”

This comes as a Palestinian aid worker tells OutFront about the dire situation on the ground in Gaza. We received this latest audio message from Mahmoud Shalabi who we have been speaking to regularly since the start of the war.

MAHMOUD SHALABI, MEDICAL AID FOR PALESTINIANS (audio): There is no food to sell. (editing jump) I have seen a man in the market buying, you know, a very crappy type of crisp and giving it to his two children. And I remember him saying, “This is for your breakfast and lunch. So make sure you calculate your portions properly because I have nothing left, and this is your food for the day.”

BURNETT: Clarissa Ward is out front live from Jerusalem. And, Clarissa, what more can you tell us about what’s happening inside Gaza tonight?

(…)

U.S. intelligence community assessment which I just shared a moment ago says that Netanyahu’s viability as a leader may be in jeopardy — that massive protests even more massive than prior — demanding his resignation are expected. Do you agree with the U.S. intelligence assessment?

(NAFTALI BENNETT, FORMER ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER)

BURNETT: Of course their ability to attack you has been dramatically — just dramatically changed. Hamas now is not Hamas before October — October 7.

BENNETT: Yes, but if we don’t destroy them fully, they’ll reconstitute themselves.

BURNETT: Okay, nonetheless.

BENNETT: You can’t leave a bit of Hamas so then we’ll see Hamas rebuild itself, rearm itself, and we’ll meet them another two years down the road. That’s something that Israel tried for 17 years — it failed.

BURNETT: This does come down to Rafah, as you said, though, right now in terms of the U.S. relationship, and Biden has said that it’s a red line if Israel does go in with an assault in Rafah — something that at least at this point Israelis appear to be going ahead with or saying they’re going to do it in their own terms. In fact, when you listen to Biden and you listen to Netanyahu. They both have a red line in the opposite way on the exact same thing. … They’re both very frustrated with each other, and it’s very open. I mean, you heard President Biden after the State of the Union, right? He wasn’t even upset to be overheard criticizing Prime Minister Netanyahu. How deep do you think the rift is between them right now?

(…)

BURNETT: Why, at this point, wouldn’t you go after Sinwar and the other leaders of Hamas one by one at a time and place of your choosing much like the United States did with Osama bin Laden as opposed to continuing to have an assault in which innocent people are dying every single day?

BENNETT: Well, because it’s not about only Sinwar. Even if you take out Sinwar, you still have this organization called Hamas, and we have to dismantle the organization so it doesn’t rebuild itself.

BURNETT: And you still think it’s a strong enough, deep enough organization after everything you’ve done to re-constitute itself as it was before?

BENNETT: Yes, you need to reach a critical mass of surrender and destruction of Hamas in order for it not to be able to rebuild.

BURNETT: Politico is reporting that Biden is so upset by the issue in Rafah that he may condition military aid to Israel. So, specifically, that if Israel moves forward with a large-scale invasion at Rafah, that the United States could withhold military assistance and weaponry to Israel. Now, obviously, over history, Israel is by far the single largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid in history. Council on Foreign Relations has it about $300 billion adjusted for inflation. So if — do you believe that? Is that a real threat? Do you think he would actually make good on that?

BENNETT: I hope not because we’re fighting your war, Erin. We’re fighting the war against radical Islam. Hamas is not about peace — it’s not about the Palestinians — it’s about radical Islam, the forefront of radical Islam. And, mark my words, if we are prevented from defeating radical Islam in Gaza, you’re going to meet radical Islam here in New York — you’re going to meet it in London on the streets. You’re going to meet it across the world.

Every Islamic radical terrorist is looking at what’s going on in Gaza, and that’s their litmus test: Do we have the resolve? And we knew it’s going to be tough. We knew that. You can’t stop in the middle just because it’s tough. You know, I want to tell you something. When Japan attacked America and killed 2,400 Americans at Pearl Harbor, America took time — took four years — three million Japanese were — died in war, but you knew that you had to do that.

BURNETT: And America did some shameful things like camps for Japanese people.

BENNETT: I think that perhaps America was imperfect, but America was darn good in fighting and defeating the total evil that Japan and Nazi Germany presented back then. We’re fighting total evil, and we might be imperfect, but we’re doing everyone’s job, and the world should back Israel. Otherwise, everybody is going to face it — these zombie murderers are going to come right over here.

BURNETT: So what you call a “zombie murderers,” others obviously others see a different way =- maybe not about Hamas specifically —

BENNETT: I’m talking about Hamas.

BURNETT: — but they see this as a broader issue. Jonathan Glazer, the film maker who — Jewish director — who won an Oscar last night for his Holocaust film, The Zone of Interest — used his acceptance speech — as I know you may be aware — to condemn Israel’s actions at this point in the war. Here’s what he said.

JONATHAN GLAZER, FILM MAKER: Our film shows where dehumanization leads at its worst. It shaped all of our past and present. Right now, we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness in the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation which has led to conflict for so many innocent people. Whether the victims of October 7 (pause for audience applause) whether the victims of October 7 in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza — all the victims of this dehumanization. How do we resist?

BURNETT: ”We stand here as men who refute their Jewishness on the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation,” and then the applause. Your response to that?

BENNETT: It’s shameful. He thinks he’s distancing himself from Israel and somehow he will be loved. You know, Jews have tried the approach of being murdered again and again and hoping for sympathy. That’s not something that I believe in. I think we need to be strong — we need to be proud. We’re in the right. Nobody in Israel wanted this. No one wanted it.

We were in our festival in Israel, and on that morning, I remember it just like right now — that morning at 6:30 in the morning when Hamas attacked and murdered and raped our women and kidnapped our kids and burned entire families. So who’s he kissing up to? You think you’re going to be more popular because you get some clapping there? Stand up for your nation — stand up for the right. And you know what, this is not only about Jews, it’s about right and wrong. And I have moral clarity. They are in the wrong — we are in the right. Stand behind us.

BURNETT: Mr. Bennett, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.

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