January 22, 2009 by The Mormon Worker
Harry Reid, taking his talking points straight out of the AIPAC book, places Hamas’ rocket fire outside the context of decades of Israeli occupation, land confiscation, indefinite detention of Palestinians, torture in Israeli prisons, economic blockade and seige, and so forth. Text of Reid’s interview with MSNBC’s meet the press is below. Also, see John Stewarts’ critique of media bias against Palestinians, in which the Reid interview is cited as well. http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=213380&title=Strip-Maul
MSNBC’s Meet the Press, Jan 4th 2009
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): Thank you very much.
MR. GREGORY: Let me ask you about the ground invasion into Gaza. Do you think on the part of this Israeli–of the Israelis this was offensive or defensive?
SEN. REID: I spoke to Prime Minister Olmert a couple of days ago. He indicated that they would do the ground activities. Let’s understand the background. For eight years they’ve been firing rockets into Israel. They’ve become more intense the last few months. Israelis have been killed, maimed and injured. Sometimes more than 200 a day coming into Israel. If this were going on in the United States from Vancouver, Canada, into Seattle, would we react? Course we do. We would have to. I think what the Israelis are doing is very important. I think this terrorist organization, Hamas, has got to be put away. They’ve got to come to their senses. The Fatah group, which is–makes up part of Palestinian group, has a peace arrangement with Israel. Hamas should do the same.
MR. GREGORY: And they’re in power in the West Bank.
SEN. REID: That’s right. And, and, and Israel, for–since 1967, controlled Gaza. They gave it to the Palestinians as a gesture of peace. And all they got are a bunch of rockets in return.
MR. GREGORY: So you think that Israel ought to move forward and try to remove Hamas from power?
SEN. REID: They have to. I, I’m not concerned about removing Hamas from power, I’m concerned about stopping the rocket fire and the mortar fire into Israel. That is the key, and that’s what Israel’s up to according to the prime minister.
MR. GREGORY: Should there be an immediate cease-fire?
SEN. REID: If the Hamas organization will agree and there is some degree of certainty that they will follow through. They, in the past, have simply not lived up to what they said they would do. If there’s a way of enforcing this cease-fire, then yes. Otherwise, Israel has to continue till they stop the rockets and mortars coming into Israel, maiming, injuring…
MR. GREGORY: Right.
SEN. REID: …and killing Israelis.
MR. GREGORY: So you, you’re in sync with the Bush administration on this point?
SEN. REID: Yes, I am.