Both Mehdi Hasan and Fatima Mohammed are entitled to their opinions and their free expression. It would just be nice if their speech came with a little less anti-Jewish demagoguery and with a lot more factual accuracy.
The Mehdi Hasan Show reached a new low when one of Mehdi’s guests argued that Jews promote antisemitism to advance “Israeli Zionist ideology.”
Hasan’s lame attempts to cast Omar’s repeated employment of classic antisemitic tropes as merely “criticism of Israel,” alongside his constant efforts to politicize antisemitism, serve as a reminder that bigotry, including antisemitism, must be combatted because it is morally reprehensible, not because it is politically convenient.
NBC News' biography of Mehdi Hasan claims he is “an award-winning journalist known for riveting one-on-one conversations.” Based on his recent segment featuring the cofounders of Ben & Jerry’s, whatever awards Hasan may have won should be surrendered and instead given to Axios’ Alexi McCammond.
Hasan has consistently employed these dishonest tactics to present a skewed narrative that leaves his audience not only misinformed, but entirely ignorant of basic background.
At a certain point, when a discussion throws important facts aside in favor of a narrative that points at a perceived Jewish organization as “corrupting,” “poisoning,” and “dominating” a country’s politics, it begins to reek of a certain phenomenon known as “antisemitism.” No amount of tokenizing a “really Jewish” congressman can paper over that.
Like Ilan Pappe, Mehdi Hasan rewrites history not by exposing new facts, but by omitting facts and context.
Hasan’s comments highlight a reality about much of anti-Israel activism. Criticism of Israel isn’t so much based on what Israel does or doesn’t do, as the activists will find a way to criticize it either way. Instead, criticism of Israel is about its existence in the first place.
Last year, Ramadan anti-Israel incitement and violence — in the guise of a Jihad for Jerusalem — saw many in the mainstream media ignore the historic patterns of provocation by the Palestinian leadership and instead echo their pretexts blaming Israel. Media reporting this year follows the same pattern.
While conflicting sources is a common phenomenon in journalism, it's not often that a journalist directly contradicts his own sources, passing them off as substantiation when they are just the opposite.