Earlier this week, we caught MSNBC’s Ali Velshi accusing Israel — but not Hamas — of a “war crime.”
So, it’s utterly unsurprising that of all the 100+ hostages that Hamas had taken, Velshi found one whose son, on behalf of his mother, called on Israel to stop fighting and negotiate.
Appearing during Nicolle Wallace’s Deadline: White House on Thursday, Velshi described 74-year-old Vivian Silver, the presumed hostage, as:
A peace activist and a reconciliation activist. She works with Palestinian women. Health care is a problem. There’s certain kinds of health care you can’t get in Gaza, so people have to come across and get health care in Israel. And she will pick them up at the border and take them for that health care.
Her son, Yonathan, interviewed by Velshi, said:
“She was obsessed with peace, you know. Violence was always wrong in her mind. So she would say now, even though our communities are wiped out, she would say, we don’t need more dead babies. We need to stop the violence now.”
Yonathan Silver, continuing to speak for what he believed his mother would want, called on Israel, instead of continuing to the fight, to negotiate with Hamas.
The hostages and their families of course deserve our sympathy and understanding. But Hamas’ heartless and indiscriminate violence and terror are epitomized by their having apparently taken hostage a “peace activist and reconciliation activist” whose life’s work has been helping Palestinian women.
If Israel were to heed the call of the Silver family to immediately lay down its arms — something it surely would not do — the result would certainly be more of the dead babies that the Silvers want to prevent.
But leave it to Ali Velshi to find a hostage family calling on Israel to do not just the unthinkable, but the catastrophic. Note also that instead of calling the Hamas fighters the terrorists they are, Velshi describes them as “soldiers.”
The transcript is below. Click “expand” to read:
MSNBC’s Deadline White House
4:15 pm EDT
ALI VELSHI: We are 2 1/2 miles from Gaza. We just saw an interception while the ambassador was speaking. So we moved a little bit. We’ve had a few interceptions right above us. I will say, it’s otherwise relatively quiet here. That’s going to become relevant from what I tell you in a second.
This might be the calm before the storm. Typically at this time of night, there are several interceptions. We’re certainly hearing the jets going over to Gaza, and we’re hearing the thuds. Because we’re that close that when a missile hits, you feel it, you feel the concussive boom over here.
Now, the tricky part is these hostages. There are about 150 families here who believe that family members are being held hostage. About 100 of them have had the Israeli government confirm to them that they believe that their loved ones were taken by Hamas. That’s the language they’re using because they can’t confirm whether they’re dead or alive.
One of those people, one of those women who is believed to have been taken is Vivian Silver. She’s 74 years old, she’s a Canadian who has been living for decades in a kibbutz on the border of Gaza.
She was a peace activist and a reconciliation activist. She works with Palestinian women. Health care is a problem. There’s certain kinds of health care you can’t get in Gaza, so people have to come across and get health care in Israel. And she will pick them up at the border and take them for that health care.
She’s been taken — her family believes she’s been taken by Hamas. I spoke to her son today, Yonathan, and, and, you know, asked him to sort of describe what his mother was about.
YONATHAN SILVER: She was obsessed with peace, you know. Violence was always wrong in her mind. So she would say now, eventhough our communities are wiped out, she would say, we don’t need more dead babies. We need to stop the violence now. I call on everybody, on the Israeli government, Hamas, and Canada, everybody, to put pressure on both sides to negotiate and to, to get the captives out.
VELSHI: He mentioned Canada, of course, because she’s Canadian. But his point is, everybody should be putting their emphasis on the negotiation, the release of those hostages.
And even though the troops are amassed right around where I am, ready for a ground incursion, perhaps that could be used as leverage to get the negotiation under way.
He believes that if they’re able to negotiate for the release of the hostages, that may set the table for further negotiations so thisdoesn’t go forward as a ground war. The thing a number of Israelis have told me, as determined as they are to see the destruction of Hamas that my other friends are talking about here, they are worried that this is not going to be easy.
A ground incursion will result in many deaths of Israeli soldiers as well as, of course, the Palestinians living on the other side who are civilians, not just the Hamas soldiers.