MSNBC Scraps Anti-Israel Host Mehdi Hasan's Show

Mehdi Hasan (MSNBC)
November 30, 2023

MSNBC has canceled far-left host Mehdi Hasan's show following his disparagement of Israel during the Jewish state's war with Hamas.

The liberal network told staff that it is canceling both Hasan's weekend program and his streaming show, Semafor reported Thursday. Hasan will become an "on-camera analyst and fill-in host," sources told Semafor.

While Hasan has long criticized Israel, his criticisms have intensified following Hamas's Oct. 7 terror attack on the Jewish state. During a Nov. 16 interview with Israeli government adviser Mark Regev, Hasan pushed Hamas's claims on death tolls and accused Israel of spreading "propaganda" and "endless disinformation."

In one tense exchange, Hasan tried to make Regev say that Israel has "killed children."

Hasan last month pushed the conspiracy theory that Israel bombed a Gazan hospital, writing, "Given how confident they are about who is to blame for the hospital deaths, Israeli authorities should allow foreign journalists & international war crimes investigators into Gaza to see for themselves; to gather evidence at the scene; to interview eyewitnesses. And yet…"

The hospital deaths turned out to be the result of a misfired Hamas rocket, as Israel originally said.

Hasan's anti-Israel rhetoric goes back years. Before he became an MSNBC host, Hasan, who is Muslim, compared non-Muslims to "animals" and unbelief in Islam to mental illness, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

While Hasan apologized in 2019 for those comments, according to Fox News, he sparked controversy that same year when he defended anti-Semitic congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.). Hasan, then an Al Jazeera host and Intercept columnist, appeared on MSNBC to say that Omar had just "maybe unwittingly echoed tropes."

"She hasn't said anything about Jews," Hasan said. "She talked about supporters of Israel."

Among other things, Omar had written that the Jewish state "has hypnotized the world" and committed "evil doings." She also peddled an anti-Semitic trope in tweeting that U.S. support for Israel is "all about the Benjamins baby." Many lawmakers, including many Democrats, blasted Omar's comments as anti-Semitic.

Hasan again defended Omar in 2021 after she equated the United States and Israel with Hamas and the Taliban for committing "war crimes."

Along with his denunciation of Israel, Hasan has also faced criticism for plagiarism, with a former Intercept colleague this year accusing him of copying an article nearly word for word.