During coverage of the close Israeli election, CNN hosts Jake Tapper and Christiane Amanpour uncritically passed along allegations that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his Likud Party, and the Israeli right wing were racist against Arabs.
“Netanyahu has put out a YouTube video imploring his supporters to show up to the polls today, claiming that Palestinians — or Arabs as he called them — were being bused to the voting booths by left-leading organizations,” Tapper noted. “He was very criticized by people in the Israeli media for what they described as a racist appeal.” (RELATED: CNN Host Asks If Shooting Of Black Suspect By Black Cop Was Racially Motivated)
“You’re absolutely right,” responded Amanpour. “And it wasn’t just the press; it was also the Arab-Israeli parliamentarians, those who made the [left-wing political party] Joint List, who were also incredibly upset about that YouTube appeal. I just spoke to one of them who said look, we have made an unprecedented coalition, we want to work unprecedentedly in the system for our rights and for, you know, Jewish rights.”
“And by the way,” she continued, “who are these Arabs that they are scaremongering us? We are citizens of this country. It’s not like a bunch of Arabs from neighbouring countries next door are being bused in. Israeli Arabs, citizens of the country, 1.7 million of them, as this parliamentarian has told me, have been incredibly motivated in this election and they want to get out and try to better their lives.”
“But they are very conscious, as this one told me, that they feel that the Likud Party and the right wing do have a racist policy towards them,” she concluded. “And it’s very scary for them.” (VIDEO: CNN’s Christiane Amanpour Mocks Netanyahu Speech As ‘Strangelovian,’ ‘Dystopian’)
“That’s right,” Tapper said. “We should underline the fact that these Arabs and voters, these are citizens with full voting rights.”