Take one journalist who has repeatedly called out various media outlets for ignoring Palestinian voices during the ongoing Gaza conflict, and another who believes the press has committed libel against Israel, and there’s bound to be tension.
So it was on Monday night, when CNN invited Rula Jebreal and Ben Shapiro on to debate the “public opinion” battle between Israel and Hamas.
Shapiro, the fringe-right columnist who recently accused the Obama administration of being “Jew-hating,” immediately went after the network that was hosting him.
“Israel, thanks to outlets like CNN, has been turned into the villain in this particular scenario and the moral equivalency has been drawn between the two groups,” Shapiro said. “If Hamas could have come up with any sort of outlet, they could have created a will to kill more Jewish babies and Palestinian babies, CNN would have been it.”
Anchor Alisyn Camerota, who signed with CNN last month after 16 years at Fox News, pushed back, defending the network’s coverage of Palestinian families and victims.
When it was Jebreal’s turn to speak, she immediately highlighted Shapiro’s penchant for the incendiary.
“Well, I think Ben is not really in a position to lecture us about extremism, especially after what he said about President Obama, when he called him Jew-hater, when he called him anti-Semitic and when he called for the expulsion of Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza, and Arab-Israelis like myself, as a solution,” Jebreal said.
Jebreal said it’s telling that Shapiro is too much for The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg.
“You know, it’s so hard to listen to somebody that even Jeffrey Goldberg called a fascist,” Jebreal said.
It only got more heated from there. At one point, Shapiro feigned ignorance about Jebreal, the former MSNBC contributor who’s been on a mission as of late to counter the often disproportionately pro-Israel coverage in American media.
“And as far as the other woman on with me — I’m not familiar with her name — you know, as far as her personal insults of me, I’m not going to get into the quality of the movies that are made based on her books,” Shapiro said. “I think we can all stay from that.”