Italian-Palestinian journalist and former MSNBC contributor Rula Jebreal caused an uproar this week with comments about American media’s “disgusting” pro-Israel bias.
Ronan Farrow invited Jebreal and the Daily Beast’s Eli Lake to discuss to conflict in Israel. Farrow mentioned Secretary of State John Kerry’s hot-mic comment, in which Kerry sarcastically called Israel’s military policy “a hell of a pinpoint operation.” He asked his guests what they thought of this gap between “American officials’ public versus private thoughts when it comes to Israel.”
Jebreal responded with a rant about how American media is “disgustingly biased” against Palestinians.
“We’re ridiculous,” she said. “We’re disgustingly biased when it comes to this issue.” She referenced the bias of “Andrea Mitchell and others,” and claimed, “I never see one Palestinian being interviewed on these same issues.”
Farrow weakly pushed back, noting that Palestinians have indeed been on the show, to which Jebreal said that a Palestinian is interviewed for 30 seconds at most, “and then you have 25 minutes with Netanyahu.”
“One-tenth is given to the Palestinian voice, and 99 percent to the Israeli voice,” she continued, not pausing to calculate the 109 percent total. “That’s why the public opinion is pro-Israeli, which is the opposite of the rest of the world.”
After the segment, Jebreal took to Twitter with a daring claim:
But this claim quickly proved untrue, as she was back on MSNBC the next night for an interview with Chris Hayes.
Hayes first addressed Jebreal’s tweet regarding the cancellation of her TV appearances.
“If you appear on a cable news network, you trash that network and one of its hosts by name on any issue . . . the folks of the network will not take kindly to it,” he explained. “Not some grand conspiracy at work — a fairly predictable case of cause and effect.”
He then turned to Jebreal to discuss MSNBC’s alleged pro-Israel bias.
Jebreal immediately returned to her spiel about the imbalance of air time granted to Palestinian officials and Israeli officials.
Hayes responded that he always strives to speak with officials on both sides. “It is, as it turns out, extremely difficult to get a Hamas official on your TV show,” he told Jebreal.
“Palestinians are not only Hamas,” Jebreal shot back.
Hayes pointed out that Hamas and Israel are the two entities fighting, and so it follows that Hamas officials would logically be the people to talk to about the conflict.
Jebreal then said public opinion on the conflict translates into policy. And currently, the U.S. is “actually supporting the Israeli policies that have been destructive, and will not guarantee securities, and undermining American interests in the world and in the region,” Jebreal said. “This is simple fact.”