Mehdi Hasan is a hate-filled far-Left MSNBC host who espouses fashionable Big Lies such as the claim that “white supremacy is now a key ideology of the Republican Party” and “the far-right domestic terror threat is more dangerous than even Al Qaeda after 9/11.”
Back in 2009, Hasan, a Shi’ite, said of atheists: “In this respect the Koran describes the atheist as cattle. As cattle of those who grow the crops and do not stop and wonder about this world.” The Qur’an does indeed say: “Already we have created many of the jinn and mankind for Gehenna, having hearts with which they do not understand, and having eyes with which they do not see, and having ears with which they do not hear. They are like cattle, no, they are worse. These are the neglectful.” (7:179)
“For Mehdi Hasan, Two Antisemitic Wrongs Make Ilhan Omar Right,” by David Litman, CAMERA, October 17, 2022:
On October 16, MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan spoke with Congresswoman Ilhan Omar on a number of subjects, ending with a question about antisemitism. Given Hasan’s history, it is unsurprising that the question exuded bad faith. To begin, he wields discussions of antisemitism as a weapon for his own partisan interests. Then, he seeks to downplay Omar’s antisemitism as just “criticism of Israel.”
Here is Hasan’s question in full:
“You have been demonized in recent years as an antisemite by many, especially by Donald Trump and the GOP over your criticisms of Israel and of Jewish groups’ support of Israel, some of which you have regretted and apologized for, that you should have been more careful with some of your language in the past. And yet this morning, former President Trump tweeted, and I quote, ‘Jews need to get their act together and appreciate what they have in Israel before it’s too late.’ This coming from the guy who said you should’ve resigned from Congress for your comments. What do you make of Trump’s post this morning? What do you think the right would be saying if you or Rashida Tlaib had threatened American Jews, which of course I know you wouldn’t have done?”
Partisan Exploitation of Antisemitic Incidents
Begin with the partisanship. From the start, his segment is not one of concern about antisemitism, but instead a rather blatant employment of political whataboutery. Hasan immediately declares that the concern about Omar’s history of antisemitism came “especially” from “Donald Trump and the GOP.” Hasan also tells us Omar, the “progressive” member of the Squad, has regretted her words, and that he “knows [Omar] wouldn’t have” “threatened American Jews” like Trump did. After all, the accusations of antisemitism against her came from that guy who said antisemitic things and “who said [Omar] should’ve resigned from Congress.”
Hasan seems to be suggesting that because Trump said antisemitic things himself, the accusations against Omar aren’t valid. It’s only a slightly more sophisticated version of the childish attempt to justify one’s actions by suggesting two wrongs make a right.
Of course, “Trump and the GOP” weren’t the only ones condemning Omar’s past remarks, and whatever their faults, they obviously do not reflect on other individuals and political groups condemning Omar. The Democratic leadership denounced her antisemitism, as have Jewish Democrats. The Anti-Defamation League, headed by the progressive Jonathan Greenblatt, has also recoiled from Omar’s obvious anti-Jewish animus….
Hasan’s tactic of trying to portray antisemitism as “criticism of Israel” fits together well with his partisan habits.
Any sensible definition of antisemitism will not be blind to the employment of classic antisemitic tropes used against the world’s only Jewish state. When Omar tweets that “Israel has hypnotized the world,” that’s playing on the classic tropes of Jewish power manipulating the media and governments.
When Omar tweets “It’s all about the Benjamins baby” to suggest that supporters of Israel are only doing it because of money, and then specifically mentions the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, that’s not criticism of Israel either. That’s employing the monied Jew and dual loyalty tropes against American Jews and their allies….