From the Left



Hot Air Buffoons: Talking Heads Hand Out Hogwash on Gaza

Jeff Robbins on

MSNBC's talk show "Morning Joe" is catnip for political junkies, especially those who detest Donald Trump. Hundreds of thousands of us, our body clocks by now conditioned to wake in time to grab coffee and hop on the treadmill just before 6 a.m., start each weekday with predictable, comfortable left-of-center patter from the show's regulars.

In fairness to Joe Scarborough, after whom the show is named, the former congressman has consistently condemned Hamas, the genocidal, jihadist organization that launched the Gaza war by invading Israel and massacring every man, woman and child in sight six months ago. He has repeated that Hamas can't be permitted to control Gaza if either Israelis or Palestinians are ever to know peace.

Like an increasing number of people who carefully recite all the right generalities, however, he has descended ever deeper into drivel as the conflict has persisted and as Hamas, holding a winning hand by hiding among civilians and holding hostages in underground dungeons, gloats and rejects Israeli ceasefire proposals.

Scarborough is smart enough not to swallow hooey. But as Hamas eats popcorn watching Democrats mindlessly insist that Israel simply do what Hamas demands and accept whatever it offers, you'd never know it. The civilian suffering that Hamas purposefully triggered in the first place has made it increasingly fashionable in Democratic circles to blame Israel for a war that it did not want, did not cause and does not deserve. But that's MSNBC's market.

Scarborough has joined Democrats whose spines have disintegrated under pressure from the party's left in returning over and again to the fiddlesticks that the Gaza conflict continues because of this Israeli government's refusal to endorse Palestinian statehood.

He knows better.

He knows that Israel -- from its very birth -- agreed to a two-state solution, and that every time one has been offered in return for peace, Palestinian leaders have blocked it.

He knows that when Hamas sent 3,000 gunmen into Israel to slaughter, mutilate and kidnap innocents, it wasn't in search of a two-state solution. It was to prevent one.


If only the Israelis would agree to a ceasefire, bleat "Morning Joe" hosts and guests alike. Are they not following the repeated rejections by Hamas of proposal after proposal? But when you have a television show, well, you can say these things, and say them bombastically. It may be nonsense, but plenty of people believe it.

Scarborough's responsibilities extend all the way to getting to the set early in the morning. This is no small obligation, but it doesn't necessarily match that of protecting civilians from an attempted annihilation. He has rightly berated the Netanyahu government for its negligence in protecting those civilians, and, going further, demands to know how the Israelis have not already completed an official investigation while simultaneously defending itself on multiple fronts. "Where's the damned investigation?" he sneers.

One of the enviable advantages of having a successful talk show is that no one who wants to return to the set ever calls BS on the host's BS. The 9/11 Commission created by Congress to examine what happened that terrible morning wasn't even created until late 2002, a year after the attack. And the commission did not release its report until July 2004 -- three years later.

After the Israel Defense Forces mistakenly fired on a convoy carrying humanitarian aid workers last week, a sputtering Scarborough, knowing that the IDF would not have targeted the convoy knowing it was transporting aid workers, told his viewers that there would not be an investigation until well in the future. The IDF released its report within 72 hours, accepting full responsibility for what it stated was a grave mistake, and detailing how it occurred.

It was left to prominent attorney and anti-Trump advocate George Conway to capture on X, formerly known as Twitter, the inanity that has metastasized. "Still waiting for Hamas's report on what happened on Oct. 7," Conway posted.


Jeff Robbins, a former assistant United States attorney and United States delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, was chief counsel for the minority of the United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. An attorney specializing in the First Amendment, he is a longtime columnist for the Boston Herald, writing on politics, national security, human rights and the Mideast.

Copyright 2024 Creators Syndicate Inc.




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