Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi managed to elicit a strong reaction from CNN anchor Bianna Golodryga while discussing the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict in an interview on the channel on Thursday.
The anchor, who is Jewish, called the Pakistan Minister anti-Semitic when Shah Mahmood opined during the interview that Israel has “deep pockets” and controls the media. He said that Israel is losing “the media war” in its battle against Hamas, “despite their connections.”
Golodryga shot back, saying “What are their connections?”
The Pakistan Foreign Minister chuckled as he furthered that Israel has deep pockets. This was enough to irk the Jewish reporter who asked him to specify. Qureshi explained that he meant Israel “controls media”. “They are influential people”, opined the Pakistani minister.
Here, the CNN reporter snapped back saying that his remark was an anti-Semitic remark.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi @SMQureshiPTI: Israel is losing the media war despite their connections. They have “deep pockets” and they control media.— SAMRI (@SAMRIReports) May 20, 2021
Bianna Golodryga @biannagolodryga: I’d call it an antiSemitic remark.https://t.co/8VezN6W6qW pic.twitter.com/0ziPEy4cJW
“Well, you see, the point is, they have a lot of influence, and they get a lot of coverage,” Qureshi said.
The Pakistan minister was almost one minute into his observations about the conflict in the region before Golodryga cut him short and asked him to condemn antisemitism: “I mean, can we not separate the fact that there are calls for peace … for both sides, for Palestinians and for Israelis, without anti-Semitic talk and rhetoric?”
‘I am personally offended as a journalist’, CNN anchor snubs Pakistan Foreign Minister
Qureshi diverged saying: “I will not justify any rocket attacks, and I cannot justify, and I cannot condone the aerial bombardment that is taking place.”
Few minutes into the interview, when Qureshi suggested how a ceasefire is the only option for Palestinians and Israelis, the Jewish interviewer asks whether the solutions suggested by the Pak minister includes anti-Semitism.
When the minister insisted that he is not justifying anti-Semitic talks, Golodryga retorted at Qureshi by saying that he began the conversation with an anti-Semitic statement. “I am sorry, I am personally offended as a journalist, you started by suggesting that Israel has close and powerful friends in the media. That is an anti-Semitic trope,” said the interviewer.
When Qureshi insists that this is the common perception and Israelis should negate it, the visibly piqued Golodryga says that the onus of changing the common perception should lie on powerful and influential people like Qureshi.
Qureshi concedes here by saying that he is not shying away from agreeing that this perception is wrong. He then quickly detours by repeating: “this insanity should come to an end”, batting for a ceasefire between Israel and Palestine.
Israel, Palestine declare a ceasefire
Meanwhile, Israel and Hamas have agreed to a ceasefire across the Gaza Strip border as of Friday, bringing to an end 11 days of bombardment. Both Israel and Hamas have claimed victory in the conflict. However, the Islamic terror organisation, Hamas, has warned that it still had its “hands-on the trigger” and demanded Israel to end the violence in Jerusalem and address the damages in Gaza Strip.
António Guterres, the current Secretary-General of the United Nations welcomed the ceasefire between Gaza and Israel.
I welcome the ceasefire between Gaza & Israel, after days of deadly hostilities.— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) May 21, 2021
All sides must observe this ceasefire.
Israeli & Palestinian leaders have a responsibility beyond the restoration of calm to start a serious dialogue to address the root causes of the conflict. pic.twitter.com/VQHQMpadY8
The Israel-Palestine conflict
The fighting began in Gaza after weeks of rising Israeli-Palestinian tension in East Jerusalem that culminated in clashes at a holy site revered by both Muslims and Jews. On May 11, Palestinian terrorist organisation Hamas unleashed massive airstrikes against Israel, firing hundreds of rockets inside the country.
The country’s air defence system known as the Iron Dome intercepted the continuous barrage of rockets targeting Tel Aviv and central Israel Tuesday evening. Israel, in response, stepped up its attacks on the Palestinian terror group Hamas inside Gaza Strip. The Israel Defence Forces carried out airstrikes on targets in Gaza in response to continued attacks by Hamas against Israel.
At least 232 people, including more than 100 women and children, have been killed in Gaza.
In Israel 12 people, including two children, have been killed, its medical service says. Israel says some 4,000 rockets have been fired towards its territory by militants in Gaza.