Israeli Justice Minister Tommy Lapid withstood a hostile interview (more like an antagonistic assault) on BBC World’s HardTalk today. Lapid stood up well to host Tim Sebastian on the following issues: Rantissi, Yassin, disengagement, Vanunu, American support to Sharon, and the disapproval of the international community for the Israeli policy of target assassinations.
It’s well worth watching: (req. RealPlayer) HardTalk interview with Lapid
Near the very end Lapid realizes what’s happening and says to Sebastian, “Israel’s reputation is exposed to suffering from people like you…You are trying to hurt Israel’s reputation as much as possible…Mr. Sebastian, I was in your profession longer than you are…you are deliberately trying to create an anti-Israel atmosphere…you are more understanding toward the Palestinians.”
(Hat tip: Irene H.)
Sebastian also recently interviewed Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal — available here in text. An excerpt:
TS- So the answer is no. Israel does not have the right to exist. That’s what you’re telling me.
KM: The occupation doesn’t become legitimate even after a long time. You are talking about a fair and comprehensive peace. The Palestinian who was forced to leave his land in Haifa and Jafa, if he doesn’t return to his land, how do you say this is fair? Why do you stick to your rights in Europe and the whole world while you ask us to drop ours?
TS- So Israel does not have the right to exist. Let’s just clarify this once and for all. You’re saying Israel does not have the right to exist.
TS- So you’re not going to answer my question. Let’s just clarify that for the sake of the viewers, you’re not going to answer my question because it’s too difficult.
KM: This is not difficult. I answered in the spirit of the situation. Occupation must end regardless of the duration. Therefore, it is our right to hold on to our land.
TS- How can anyone negotiate with people who will not give a straight answer to a straight question? How?
KM: Didn’t you understand my answer?
TS- I don’t think the rest of the world will understand.