Far-left pundits, commentators outraged by Israel’s hostage rescue mission, sound alarm on Palestinian deaths

Far-left pundits, commentators outraged by Israel’s hostage rescue mission, sound alarm on Palestinian deaths

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Some liberal media pundits and commentators were outraged over Israel’s rescue mission to save four hostages taken by Hamas, questioning whether the country’s efforts were worth the civilian deaths. 

Former MSNBC host and Zeteo founder Mehdi Hasan, a staunch critic of Israel, voiced anger over the rescue mission in several posts to X on Saturday. Responding to a post about President Biden celebrating the rescue of the four hostages, Hasan asked if the president said “anything about the dozens of innocent Palestinians killed in the raid.” 

Noa Argamani, 26, Almog Meir Jan, 22, Shlomi Ziv, 41, and Andrey Kozlov, 27, were rescued by Israel in two separate locations in a complex special daytime operation in the heart of Nuseirat in central Gaza. They had been held in captivity by Hamas for 246 days.

Hamas-run authorities in Gaza claim over 270 Palestinians were killed in the Israeli operation. Israeli forces claim around 100 were killed. 


Israelis protesting

Protesters hold placards that say ‘We’re sorry’ with the photos of Israeli hostages Chaim Peri, Yoram Metzger, Amiram Cooper, and Nadav Popplewell who were announced to be dead last week during the demonstration. Over 100,000 Israelis demonstrated alongside hostages’ families against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, demanding an immediate hostage deal and ceasefire. This protest coincided with the rescue of Israeli hostages Noa Argamani, Almog Meir Jan, Andrey Kozlov, and Shlomi Ziv by the Israeli Defense Forces from Nuseirat.  ((Photo by Matan Golan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images))

Rep. Daniel Goldman, D-N.Y., responded to Hasan’s social media post and said that it was “misinformation.”

“Israel made a ceasefire offer favorable to Hamas that the United States, Qatar, Egypt and the international community strongly endorsed. Hamas has not accepted it. Hamas is the obstacle to peace. Your focus should be on Hamas,” he said. 

Hasan, in another post on social media about the rescue mission, acknowledged that the hostages deserved their freedom, but said those fine with the Palestinian deaths were “heartless.”

“Please do celebrate 4 hostages getting their much needed and well deserved freedom back. But if you’re fine with scores of innocent Palestinians, including kids, getting killed in the process, you might be a racist who doesn’t value Palestinian life. You’re definitely heartless,” Hasan said.

Hasan took to social media again on Sunday to argue that many things could be true at the same time. 

“Killing Israeli civilians to free Palestinian hostages is wrong. Killing Palestinian civilians to free Israeli hostages is wrong. Israeli’s masquerading as humanitarian workers is wrong. Hamas holding hostages in civilian homes is wrong,” he wrote. 


MSNBC host Ayman Mohyeldin sounded the alarm on the Palestinian deaths during his show on Saturday, and said the mission raised ethical questions.

“Israel’s tactics should raise ethical and moral questions among the international community. How many innocent Palestinians killed is acceptable to rescue Israeli hostages? Especially since more than hundred hostages are still believed to be held by Hamas and their families also want to see their loved ones home safely,” Mohyeldin said. 

Mehdi Hasan and Ayman Mohyeldin

Liberal news pundits have expressed outrage over Israel’s rescue mission for four hostages.  (Left: (Photo by Adam Gray/Getty Images), Right: (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for BoF), Right: (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images))


Donny Deutsch, a frequent guest on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” said on Monday that the media’s coverage of the mission was “demeaning.” Deutsch suggested being more careful with the word “civilian.” 

“And we need to start to look at that word civilians — and obviously war is ugly — but when in the case of this instance, when the hostages are being held by a Palestinian journalist, ‘a civilian,’ and a Palestinian doctor, ‘a civilian,’ these are not civilians, these are Hamas ambassadors,” he said.

Egyptian actor Amr Waked referred to the hostages as prisoners of war in a post about the operation.

“Israel killed more than estimated so far 150 Palestinian civilians in an operation to release 4 prisoners of war. The prisoners were all alive and in good health. Hamas did not kill any of the 4 POWs. You CANNOT ignore this!” he wrote.

Actor Mark Ruffalo also lamented the death of Palestinians on Sunday and said the hostages were “returned.” 

“A ceasefire would have gotten many more hostages back and no civilians and children killed. This siege is cruel and senseless. Grinding innocent human beings and their culture into blood soaked rubble and dust, to be buried and forgotten. 4 for 274 including kids. It’s a sinful equation that keeps repeating,” he wrote. 

Former MSNBC host Krystal Ball said those celebrating the rescue mission were “depraved.” 

Omar Baddar, a Palestinian-American Middle East analyst, told CNN that the rescue mission was a “massacre.” 

“We’ve seen the horrific scenes of the hospitals of weeping parents and bloodied children, and to look at an incident of that scale to see that many casualties and to celebrate this as any kind of success is effectively to say that the lives of Israelis are more valuable than the lives of Palestinians. That is the only way anybody can celebrate this as a success,” he said.

Baddar suggested they consider the reverse scenario. 

“And if Hamas today were to carry out an incursion into Gaza, kill a couple of hundred Israelis and then retrieve four Palestinians, would anyone in our discourse be celebrating this as some kind of victory? Would anyone even know the names of the four Palestinians who had been rescued from Israeli detention?” he said. 

Ball, reacting to Baddar’s statements on X, agreed.

“If Hamas committed a bloody massacre of Israelis to rescue 4 Palestinians it would be universally condemned. But Palestinian lives are considered so worthless by US officials that they believe this bloodbath is not only acceptable but worthy of celebration. Of course the US played a pivotal role in the operation so the blood is directly on our hands too,” she said. 

Some major outlets also struggled with how they covered the hostage rescue.

CNN took criticism for an on-screen graphic at one point referring to the hostage “release” when they had not been willingly let go, while one BBC anchor asked why Israel hadn’t offered a warning to Gazans ahead of the operation. 

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., was among the progressive voices who praised the operation, however. In an MSNBC interview on Monday, she also called out the narrative that Israel bore sole blame for the deaths of Gazans.


“The joy in the faces and the reunions of the hostages who have been brutalized for eight months since October 7th and the reuniting with their families was just amazing, and I’m so proud of the operation to get them out and Hamas, again, should be condemned because they leave civilians, their own people in harm’s way,” she said. “It’s part of their strategy, because they want to turn the world against Israel, and then they fire on the Israeli IDF soldiers who are trying to get them out, so that means that they likely injured and killed some of their own people.”


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