Having a Hamas spokesman as a guest on a talk show is a dangerous undertaking. A skilled media manipulator from Hamas could use the opportunity to spout lies and accusations against Israel without the counter-balance of an Israeli viewpoint.
But Channel 4’s Jon Snow manages to keep Hamas member Osama Hamdan mostly on topic, asking – repeatedly – why Hamas continues to endanger the lives of Gaza civilians by firing “ineffective” rockets into Israel.
Throughout the interview, Snow refuses to allow Hamdan to push the discussion into a lesson in history, or rather a revision of history as provided by Hamas. Time and again, Hamdan tries to use the platform to accuse Israel of starting the fighting, among other things, and Snow cuts him off. “I’m asking about the now,” he asserts. “They (Israelis) are only attacking you because you continue to attack them.”
In the end, Hamdan fails to provide anything more than a series of accusations against Israel, much less a response to Snow’s line of questioning.
At the same time, Snow maintains the anti-Israel tone that has earned him criticism for bias. He demonstrates little empathy for the millions of Israelis forced into bomb shelters repeatedly for more than three weeks. “Your attacks on them have virtually no effect other than causing hysteria,” Snow tells Hamdan at one point.
Actually, three Israeli civilians have been killed by Hamas rockets since the fighting began. And only Israel’s incredible efforts to protect civilians have kept the numbers from being higher.
Snow also seems to scorn all of Israel’s efforts to limit civilian casualties, presenting Israel as though it is firing indiscriminately at Palestinian civilians. This is how he begins the interview:
Israel has demonstrated it is prepared to go on killing Gaza’s women, children…civilians generally. Why are you encouraging them by still continuing to fire your ineffective rockets into their territory?