Liberal commentator Peter Beinart and conservative pundit Ben Shapiro viciously tore into one another Wednesday night over the conflict in Gaza after Beinart accused the pro-Israel Shapiro of being “the true ideological partner of Hamas.”
The two appeared on CNN to discuss the ultimate responsibility for the many civilian deaths during the conflict, which appears to have subsided after a 72-hour ceasefire which began earlier this week.
Beinart argued that Israel had deliberately pursued a strategy of bombing civilians and that the imprisonment of peaceful, nonviolent Palestinian protesters drove Hamas to pursue violent means.
Shapiro called that idea “nonsensical and idiotic,” noting Israel has released thousands of Palestinian terror suspects in the past.
That’s when Beinart took a personal shot. “The irony to me is, actually, Ben and Hamas have an enormous amount in common,” he said. “Hamas doesn’t believe Jews should be allowed to live in the state of Israel.”
“Ben has said that Palestinians don’t have the right to live in Israel, the West Bank or Gaza, he’s for physically expelling all of them,” he accused. “So in fact, the true ideological partners are you and Hamas.”
Shapiro was livid. “To call me equivalent with people who are murdering Jews is insanity, it’s beyond insulting,” he said. “And if there’s anybody who’s emboldening Hamas to kill more children, it is you.”
“Because it’s your policies which have emboldened Hamas,” he continued. “They know that people like you are going to get on American television and talk about how the Palestinians are meek victims and every time they fire rockets it can be justified by Israeli policy.”
“Hamas celebrates every moment you’re on television,” Shapiro bitterly concluded.