The Gaza conflict has made for some tense moments on American TV, one of which took place on Fox News’ “Hannity” Thursday night as host Sean Hannity clashed with a Palestinian-American guest.
“Is Hamas a terrorist organization?” Hannity asked Yousef Munayyer, the executive director of The Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development and its educational program, the Palestine Center.
Munayyer protested Hannity's tone, but Hannity was having none of it, saying “I’m asking a question. Is Hamas, whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel, is that a terrorist organization? That’s a yes or no question.”
Munayyer began, again, to protest Hannity's attitude, as Hannity cut him off, shouting at him to answer the question. At one point, Munayyer said that “the United States certainly considers Hamas a terrorist organization we all know that.”
“Is Hamas a terrorist organization? What part of this can’t you get through your thick head?” Hannity pressed.
At the end of the exchange, Munayyer asked if he would “get to say anything in this conversation.”
Hannity responded, “You had your chance, you didn’t say Hamas is a terrorist organization. Goodbye.”
Hannity's angry fusillade – while somewhat extreme – was not out of character for him, politically. However, one of the last media personalities who could have been expected to side wholeheartedly with Israel as it bombed Gaza in Operation Protective Edge is ultra-liberal Bill Maher. But side with Israel he did, in an eloquent segment that featured rare wall-to-wall agreement between Maher and panelists from both left and right, and which has gone viral since it aired 11 days ago.