Hey, give Ali Velshi credit!
At least the MSNBC reporter didn’t describe Hamas’ murderous attack on Israel, as he infamously said of the violent post-George Floyd riots in Minneapolis in 2020, to be “not, generally speaking, unruly,” while standing in front of burning buildings.
But, during MSNBC’s 4 pm hour on Monday, Velshi declared that the total siege of Gaza announced by Israel’s Defense Minister, constitutes a “war crime.”
“There is a lot of justified anger at Hamas for what has happened here. But there are people who are now calling for the collective punishment of the Gazans. Now, this is important to remember: that is a war crime. You cannot punish a Gazan child or a Russian child for the invasion of Ukraine. You cannot do that. That is against the Geneva Convention. It’s against the law. “
We kept waiting for Velshi to declare Hamas’ cold-blooded murder of hundreds of Israeli civilians, its gang rape of Israeli women, and its taking of civilian hostages, a “war crime.” But no. The most Velshi could muster was to declare that “what happened on Friday into Saturday was horrific,” and that “there is a lot of justified anger at Hamas.” But a war crime? No, that’s reserved for Israel, in the Velshi view.
Somewhere, Rashida Tlaib is applauding.
4:10 pm EDT
ALICIA MENENDEZ: And Ali Veslhi is one of the reasons I am so grateful that you are there for us in Tel Aviv. Because it is hard to wrap your mind around the humanitarian crisis that is currently unfolding and what’s already transpired, and what is likely to transpire in the coming days.
ALI VELSHI: Alicia, you cannot wrap your head around this. You cannot wrap your head around what happened on Friday night into Saturday. It, it’a a horrific, it would take a normal person years of therapy to just understand and process that we’re still seeing images and pictures.
Now we are seeing yet more rockets on either side. And here’s the difficulty. There is a lot of justified anger at Hamas for what has happened here. But there are people who are now calling for the collective punishment of the Gazans.
Now, this is important to remember: that is a war crime. You cannot punish a Gazan child or a Russian child for the invasion of Ukraine. You cannot do that. That is against the Geneva Convention. It’s against the law.
Israel has called for that, and it’s getting support for that. Now, in the wake of what happened on Friday night and Saturday, one can understand the emotions running high, and the sympathies for that. But Gaza is — I’ve been inside Gaza. It’s one of the worst places on Earth on a good day to start with. It’s about to get — I don’t even know what the expression. You can call it hell on Earth if you want. It’s about to get a lot worse.
We already think 120,000 people are displaced from their homes because of the attacks over the last few days. You can’t get out of Gaza! People, I’ve seen people on Twitter saying, why don’t they leave? You can’t leave Gaza. You cannot leave Gaza. It is, you are encircled by Egypt and Israel. We don’t know what Egypt is going to be doing in this whole thing, but there’s a humanitarian disaster that will set in this week even if there are no more attacks. By shutting off the water, the electricity and the diesel fuel and food, that would already be a humanitarian disaster, and more people will get killed.
This isn’t stopping. The rockets keep coming in from Gaza, and the F-16s, well, the fighter jets here are flying over us and into Gaza. This is only going to get worse, and not a single person with whom I’ve spoken, Alicia, here or in Jordan has said otherwise. Everybody thinks this is the worst thing that’s happened in Israel since 1973, and nobody thinks it’s going to get better anytime soon.