'Israel Propped Up Hamas': Fireworks Ensue During ZeroHedge Debate, Dennis Prager Says Atrocity Claims 'Libel'

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Apr 19, 2024 - 08:05 AM

On Wednesday night, against the backdrop of the war in Gaza expanding to Lebanon and Syria, ZeroHedge held a debate to discuss the war in the Middle East.

Debating that question and more at last night’s ZeroHedge debate were talk show host Dennis Prager and Newsweek opinion editor Batya Ungar-Sargon vs. Young Turks founder Cenk Uygur and libertarian Dave Smith. The event was masterfully moderated by Saagar Enjeti, founder of Breaking Points.

Key themes included the morality of Israel's invasion and the broader historical and political context that led to it, historical narratives - including grievances, perceptions of historical rights to land, and the impact of these narratives on current attitudes and policies, and future prospects of potential solutions and the feasibility of peace in the region.

Summarizing the participants' general positions:

  • Dennis Prager: Argues that the root of the conflict is the non-acceptance of a Jewish state by Israel's neighbors. He emphasizes that if Israel disarmed, it would lead to genocide against Jews, drawing a parallel between the hostility Israel faces and historical antisemitism.

  • Cenk Uygur (The Young Turks): Criticizes the conduct of Israel in the conflict, pointing to the high number of Palestinian casualties and the broader humanitarian impact. He challenges the portrayal of Hamas and Palestinian resistance, comparing it to historical resistance movements against oppression.

  • Batya Ungar-Sargon: Focuses on whether Israel's actions since the invasion were just and suggests that while the devastation is immense, Israel's military actions are justified as self-defense against a terrorist group (Hamas) embedded within civilian areas.

  • Dave Smith: Discusses the complexities of the situation, suggesting that simplistic narratives about good vs. evil do not capture the realities of the conflict. He stresses that both Israelis and Palestinians include individuals who desire peace and those who pursue more extreme outcomes.

The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and we agree - it's worth a watch.

For those who missed it last night, here are some highlights:

Were the Palestinians actually "offered a state"?

Prager and Smith debated what transpired during the Camp David Accords of 2000 between Bill Clinton, Ehud Barak of Israel, and Yasser Arafat of the Palestinian Authority. The event is commonly used to depict the unwillingness of Palestinians to make necessary compromises for the right to establish their own state.

Israel has a "superior" culture to the Middle East?

Does Israel’s comparatively freer society and more prosperous society grant it moral authority over the war in Gaza? Prager pressed the issue to Smith and Uygur: “How’s this that none of you like to talk about? There are 2 million Palestinians in Israel.

Smith says there have been atrocities on both sides:

Cenk vows a tax strike if the US goes to war with Iran!

As the Iran debate heated up, Cenk Uygur said enough is enough when it comes to Middle Eastern wars, making the firm claim that he will refuse to pay taxes if the U.S. “tries to send one of our guys into the Middle East” to “die for Netanyahu.”

Netanyahu covertly funded Hamas

Smith challenged Prager and Ungar-Sargon on Netanyahu’s covert campaign to fund Hamas for the purpose of undermining a Palestinian state. Both pro-Israel candidates acknowledged the veracity of such reports but claimed Netanyahu “didn’t know” it would lead to October 7.

Prager then went on to claim that Israel does not commit atrocities (outside of wartime). “That is a libel of Israel and it’s dishonest!” he said when Smith stated that both sides have affected “ungodly” atrocities.

Watch the full debate below: