Mehdi Hasan

Journalist Mehdi Hasan hosted his final show on MSNBC on January 7, 2023, and announced that he will be leaving the network.

(Image: Screenshot/MSNBC)

In MSNBC Farewell, Mehdi Hasan Honors Palestinian Journalists Killed by Israel

"Without those brave Palestinian journalists on the ground, there would be no one to tell the rest of the world—to tell all of us—about the ongoing horrific impact of this war on the innocent people of Gaza," said Hasan.

Closing out a three-year tenure as host of "The Mehdi Hasan Show" at MSNBC which included some of the U.S. corporate media's only critical coverage of the U.S.-backed Israeli onslaught in Gaza, Mehdi Hasan devoted some of his final show with the network to the dozens of journalists who have been killed in the war.

Hasan reiterated the doubts he shares with a growing number of world governments and international human rights experts, that Israel is truly targeting Hamas in the bombardment that's killed more than 23,000 people in just three months, before noting the public service Palestinian reporters have provided since October while risking their own lives.

"What is Israel's end goal in Gaza?" he asked, cataloguing just a couple of examples of the genocidal plans top Israeli officials have outlined while continuing to claim they are targeting Hamas in retaliation for the group's attack on Israel on October 7.

"Ethnic cleansing is, of course, a war crime," Hasan added, "but Israel continues to deny that its committing war crimes in Gaza even as journalists on the ground continue to document what leading human rights groups and even U.N. rapporteurs have said could amount to war crimes. And those journalists themselves keep getting killed."

Hasan told his audience that at least 72 Palestinian journalists have been killed since October 7, as well as four Israeli reporters and three Lebanese journalists—the total of 79, he noted, means "more journalists [have been] killed in this conflict than in any conflict for three decades."

He paid particular tribute to Hamza Al Dahdouh, a cameraman for Al Jazeera and the son of Wael Al Dahdouh, who serves as the network's Gaza bureau chief. Along with freelance Agence France Presse videographer Mustafa Thuraya, Hamza Al Dahdouh was killed on Sunday when an Israeli drone strike hit the car they were driving in en route to an assignment in southern Gaza. Their killing was part of what Christophe Deloire, secretary-general of Reporters Without Borders, called "the eradication of journalism in the besieged enclave."

Hasan noted that Wael Al Dahdouh "has already lost his wife, two other children, and a grandson in this war, and has been injured himself from an Israeli airstrike."

"Let's be clear," he added, "without those brave Palestinian journalists on the ground, there would be no one to tell the rest of the world—to tell all of us—about the ongoing horrific impact of this war on the innocent people of Gaza."

Hasan also interviewed photojournalist Motaz Azaiza on his final show, asking him about the destruction he's documented for three months as the U.S. has defended and funded Israel's slaughter of civilians.

"What I witness here is that all the world is ruled by people that, no one can say no to them, or they can't stop them," said Azaiza. "So nobody shall call themselves a free person if he is watching... another human being getting murdered."

Media analysts warned that in its own way, the end of Hasan's show will also leave American audiences without an incisive critical voice in the corporate news media as the war continues.

"A massive loss for MSNBC and the viewing audience," said Dan Froomkin, editor of Press Watch. "Mehdi Hasan is a truth-teller in a time of crisis."

Shortly after Hasan pushed Israeli government adviser Mark Regev in an interview to address Israel's misinformation about the war, MSNBC announced in November that the show would end after the new year, and that Hasan would continue at the network as a guest host. But on Sunday Hasan said he would be leaving the network altogether to "look for a new challenge."

"MSNBC caved to bad faith pressure and iced Mehdi Hasan, their best interviewer, right before the 2024 election," said columnist Wajahat Ali. "Hope someone respects his talents and gives him the space to do what he does."

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