CNN silent as ex-Mossad chief claims 'all Gaza is Hamas'
Social media users have been left astonished after a high-profile CNN host failed to challenge former division chief for the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad for dangerous comments he made on air about Gaza's civilians.
Appearing on the 'Anderson Cooper 360' show on Friday, Rami Igra claimed that there was no non-combatant population in the Gaza Strip and that all of Gaza's population had voted for Hamas.
"Now, again, one little note, the non-combatant population in the Gaza Strip is really a non-existent term because all of the Gazans voted for the Hamas and as we have seen on the 7th of October, most of the population in the Gaza Strip are Hamas," he said without any challenge from host Cooper.
"Nonetheless, we are treating them as non-combatants, we are treating them as regular civilians, and they are spared from the fighting," Igra added.
Anderson Cooper's guest tonight, former Israeli intelligence chief:— Read Let This Radicalize You (@JoshuaPHilll) November 18, 2023
"The noncombatant population in the Gaza strip is really a nonexistent term because all of the Gazans voted for Hamas, and as we have seen on 7th of October most of the population in the Gaza strip are Hamas." pic.twitter.com/KxAWs8WLwI
Outraged viewers took to X, formerly Twitter, to call out Igra’s inflammatory comments and Cooper’s apparent indifference to them.
User 'Read Let This Radicalize You', who shared the video and has over 200,000 followers, wrote: "Anderson doesn't blink and just keeps it moving … Paving the way for genocide as Israel expands its attack to Southern Gaza."
Other users of X were quick to point out that Gaza has not had an election since 2006, and that about half of the territory's population are children, and so unable to vote.
Igra is far from the only former or current Israeli official to make comments or similar ones about and against the people of Gaza.
On October 13, none other than Israeli President Isaac Herzog said during a press conference that: “It is an entire nation out there that is responsible … It is not true this rhetoric about civilians not being aware, not involved … It’s absolutely not true.”
Comments like this come at a time when Israel has killed 13,000 people in Gaza in just six weeks.
Hamas came to power in 2006 after winning elections that had been pushed for by the administration of then US President George W. Bush. The group, which ran on an anti-corruption platform, won a narrow majority against Fatah not just in Gaza, but across all the Palestinian territories.
After Hamas tried to form a unity government, Fatah launched an attempted coup in Gaza in 2007 that led to Hamas seizing power, while Israel tightened the blockade of the Palestinian enclave in what many consider to be punitive measures for voting for the Islamist group.
Gaza has one of the youngest populations in the world, with roughly 50% of the 2.3 million population being under the age of 18 - meaning they would have not been born at the time of the election, let alone able to vote.
Even if they were, it is a war crime to persecute people for voting in a particular manner or to target or collectively punish a civilian population for the actions of their government.