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News Busters
Newsbusters
18 Nov 2023
Alex Christy


NextImg:Brooks Plays Dumb On 'From The River To The Sea' Chants

New York Times columnist and PBS NewsHour Friday weekly news recapper David Brooks claimed he isn't sure progressives know what they are talking about when they chant “from the river to the sea.” Whether Brooks actually has no idea or is playing dumb doesn’t really matter, PBS viewers deserve a better conservative perspective.

Host Amna Nawaz asked Brooks about shifting public opinion polls, “David, the further away we move from the horrors of that day on October 7 — and I, like many others, have seen the videos that the Israeli officials shared. It is horrific, and it does not leave you. We know U.S. lawmakers are now seeing some of those videos of the Hamas terror attack. But the further away we get from that day, concern here does grow. So what do you make of that increase here among Americans watching the war unfold?”

Earlier, Nawaz cited a PBS NewsHour poll showing 38 percent of Americans think Israel’s response to October 7 has been appropriate and 38 percent saying it has gone too far. Like her MSNBC appearance earlier in the day, she did not say out loud that 17 percent say Israel hasn’t been strong enough, but at least this time she managed to put up a graphic showing those results.

As for Brooks’s response, he thought, “the big story here is that there's been a rupture between liberals and progressives.”

On one side there is “Joe Biden, Hakeem Jeffries, Chuck Schumer, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, people you would call liberals, they argue that, listen, we had cease-fires. We’ve had multiple cease-fires with Hamas, and every time they use the cease-fire as an excuse to rearm and reload, and then they break the cease-fire and you get more and more bloodshed. And so the argument they make is, we can't go through this cease-fire rhythm over and over and over again. We just have to solve the problem. The old strategy was just failing, and so that's their case.”

When it comes to progressives, “they have shifted and adopted a policy which has not been the traditional Democratic policy of, more or less, one state. ‘From the river to the sea’ is what gets chanted. And so it's not clear to me what they think that one state looks like, but it's clearly not the traditional policy we associate with the Democratic Party, which has been very supportive of Israel.”

A recent poll of Palestinians asked what their preferred solution to the conflict is. Only 7.7 percent chose the “one state for two peoples” while 77.7 percent chose "A Palestinian state from the river to the sea." The rest chose the tradition two-state solution.  

Granted, young progressives aren’t Palestinians living in Gaza or the West Bank, but they claim to be on their side and chant their slogans and Palestinians clearly have an idea of what “from the river to the sea” means and it isn’t the recent spin from Rep. Rashida Tlaib.

Here is a transcript for the November 17 show:

PBS NewsHour

11/17/2023

7:40 PM ET

AMNA NAWAZ: David, the further away we move from the horrors of that day on October 7 — and I, like many others, have seen the videos that the Israeli officials shared. It is horrific, and it does not leave you. We know U.S. lawmakers are now seeing some of those videos of the Hamas terror attack. But the further away we get from that day, concern here does grow. So what do you make of that increase here among Americans watching the war unfold?

DAVID BROOKS: Yeah, I think the big story here is that there's been a rupture between liberals and progressives. And so, if you look at Joe Biden, Hakeem Jeffries, Chuck Schumer, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, people you would call liberals, they argue that, listen, we had cease-fires. We’ve had multiple cease-fires with Hamas, and every time they use the cease-fire as an excuse to rearm and reload, and then they break the cease-fire and you get more and more bloodshed.

And so the argument they make is, we can't go through this cease-fire rhythm over and over and over again. We just have to solve the problem. The old strategy was just failing, and so that's their case.

And then, more on the progressive side, they have shifted and adopted a policy which has not been the traditional Democratic policy of, more or less, one state. "From the river to the sea" is what gets chanted. And so it's not clear to me what they think that one state looks like, but it's clearly not the traditional policy we associate with the Democratic Party, which has been very supportive of Israel.

And I think it's not only on the Middle East, on a bunch of other issues, you're seeing this beginning — this rupture between progressives, who tend to be younger, and liberals, who tend to be older. And we're seeing it in spades in the case of Israel-Gaza policy.