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Is Geraldo a Democrat in Disguise?

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Is Geraldo a Democrat in Disguise?

Is Geraldo a Democrat in Disguise?

During a recent segment that aired on Fox News, Geraldo Rivera took it upon himself to blame the recent violence in the Middle East on Israeli cops. He also blamed the United States for the deaths of Palestinian children because the United States sells weapons to Israel, and Israel uses some of these weapons in times of conflict. Rivera also recently agreed with Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) that arms sales to Israel should be halted. While Rivera is clearly free to say what he wants, his recent arguments are merely fallacious emotional appeals, and appear to defend the aggressors/perpetrators at the expense of those who are victimized or threatened.

As reported by the Daily Beast, Rivera made the following comments during the segment:

Everyone and everything going into and out of Gaza is controlled by Israel. Electricity, fuel, airspace, ports, cell phone service, even who gets to farm those meager fields. It’s effectively one of the world’s largest prison camps and it is being bombed with bombs supplied by the United States. It’s outrageous that we gave Israel these hundreds of millions of dollars worth of weapons without insisting on a ceasefire now.

I want our audience — the fact that the United States of America is providing Israel many of the weapons Israel is using today to kill Palestinian civilians without demanding a cease-fire, Tlaib is right. That makes us complicit in an ongoing crime against humanity.

What Geraldo appears to be saying is that Israel started this latest escalation when Israeli cops raided the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. This is simply incorrect. As reported by CBS News, Israel’s decision to evict people in the Sheikh Jarrah area is based on an Israeli law that “permits Jews to recover property abandoned during the war in 1948.” While some courts in Israel have ruled in favor of settlers seeking to enforce this law, Israel’s Supreme Court put these evictions on hold until it ruled on the matter. The most recent violence has delayed a ruling on this matter. As such, Israel’s decision to evict was not arbitrary or done in bad faith, and in no way justified the violent barrage of rockets into Israel. Rivera’s attempt to blame Israel for this escalation seems to overlook the fact that Israel was acting within (what it perceived to be) its legal right(s).

Rivera’s statement that the United States is complicit in Israel’s alleged “crimes against humanity” is also mind-boggling and nonsensical for several reasons. First, the United States and Israel are strong allies. Second, Israel uses its weapons in a defensive posture and uses all reasonable means to avoid civilian casualties, including dropping leaflets and providing warnings before taking certain types of action. Third, Rivera seems to forget, or to overlook the fact, that innocent Israelis were killed and wounded by rockets that were launched into various parts of Israel without any regard for human life. Fourth, Rivera doesn’t offer any solutions to Israel’s alleged “crimes against humanity” other than his generic call for a cease-fire. While Israel would love nothing more than to enjoy peace and quiet in the region, Rivera fails to provide any solution to the rocket fire, or to acknowledge the fact that the rockets hitting Israel are stored in schools, hospitals, civilian areas and neighborhoods, and in underground tunnels. It is quite easy to blame Israel when you are spending your days and night hiding in bunkers and hearing sirens going off all around you.  

This is not the first time that Rivera has expressed disappointment with Israel. For example, in 2019, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu banned Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib from entering Israel. Netanyahu’s decision was based on the application of a 2017 Israeli law called the Entry into Israel (Amendment No. 28) Law, 5777-2017. I previously wrote about this here. While Israel was perfectly within its right to prohibit entry, Rivera, again, blasted the decision. As reported by the Washington Examiner, Rivera stated:

I am enormously impressed that the congresswoman sought to reassure Israel and the Israeli government that she was not going to be agitating. I think that was a big give on her part. I was appalled — maybe that is too strong a word, it sounds so political — I was hurt when Netanyahu, at President Trump’s urging, said that the two congresswomen were barred.

How unfortunate. First, Israel had every right to prevent entry in accordance with Israeli law. Second, Netanyahu’s decision wasn’t arbitrary in nature. As reported in the Washington Examiner, quoting a statement made by Netanyahu: 

“There is no country in the world that respects the US and the US Congress more than the State of Israel,” Netanyahu’s statement began. “As a vibrant and free democracy, Israel is open to any critic and criticism, with one exception: Israel’s law prohibits the entry of people who call and operate to boycott Israel, as is the case with other democracies that prevent the entry of people whose perception harms the country. The same is true of the US towards an Israeli Knesset and other public figures in the world.”

“Congress[wo]men Tlaib and Omar are leading activists in promoting boycott legislation against Israel in the US Congress. Only a few days ago, we received their visitation plan, and it became clear that they were planning a campaign whose sole purpose was to strengthen the boycott and negate Israel’s legitimacy,” it went on. “For example, they defined their visit destination as ‘Palestine’ rather than ‘Israel.’”

One final example deserves mention. In 2018, during a segment on Hannity, Dan Bongino and Rivera fiercely debated the issue of how law enforcement officers should handle the migrant caravans that were trying to enter the United States. During the segment, Bongino asked Rivera the following simple, yet stunningly effective, question, “You’re standing in the face of these border patrol agents, patrolling our border, just doing their jobs to keep our nation secure. What are you telling them to do when a rock comes at their face? What? What is your answer? Nobody produces an answer.”

In response, rather than providing a legitimate and effective solution to the problem, Rivera blamed the border patrol agents and engaged in another emotional appeal. As reported by the Daily Caller, Rivera was quoted as saying:

This is what you do not do, Dan. Do not shoot tear gas at women with small children. You and Sean are both the grandsons or great grandsons of immigrants. Italian immigrants, Irish immigrants, just they were slandered like you are slandering these people. They have diseases. They’re bringing disease. Read the newspapers from the middle of the nineteenth century. The Irish were bringing disease. The Italian were diseases. This is a slander. What you don’t do is you don’t —.”

You send Spanish-speaking ambassadors to the crowd. He explained to them that they are not able to rush the border. We explained to them the facts. The reality of what is happening. This is the stand on the Trump presidency.  

While the United States and Israel cherish the sanctity of each and every human life, they must be allowed to defend themselves when the circumstances warrant. While Rivera correctly points out that innocent lives are sometimes tragically lost in battle, he often seems to overlook the risks/dangers that America and its allies face, and defends the aggressor as opposed to the party that is being attacked/threatened. In the latest round of fighting in the Middle East, Rivera blamed Israel for starting the escalation and accused Israel and the United States of committing “crimes against humanity.” When Israel refused entry to various members of Congress in 2019, Rivera, once again, expressed his “disappointment” with Israel. When America’s border agents were being assaulted with rocks and other objects by people looking to enter the country illegally, he blamed the border agents and the president, and defended the migrants.

These emotional appeals are illogical and unsubstantiated, and should be disregarded in their entirety.

Published at Sat, 22 May 2021 17:20:27 +0000

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