MSNBC’s Ali Velshi Lamely Nods Along As Former PLO Adviser Diana Buttu Spouts Lies

Reprinted from Honest Reporting.

Despite being, or perhaps thanks to her background as an ex-adviser to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Diana Buttu has managed to carve herself out a respectable career as an academic and a media rent-a-quote on all things Israel-related.

Unsurprisingly, Buttu rarely has anything nice (or accurate) to say about the Jewish state.

And her recent appearance on Ali Velshi’s MSNBC talk show was no different. 

In the six-minute segment, Buttu was given a free pass to spout a litany of distortions, half-truths and outright lies — and was not once challenged for doing so by news anchor Velshi.

Introducing her as the former legal adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas (whose own canceling of Palestinian elections and seemingly perpetual leadership in the 19th year of his 4-year term is legally dubious at best), Velshi asks Buttu to comment on the political turmoil currently roiling Israel.

Taking aim at several far-right politicians in the Israeli government, Buttu claimed that it is not just them but the entire government whose “only platform is to just try to build and expand settlements and to attack Palestinians.”

Buttu’s claim is blatant hyperbole, particularly when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s own stated government’s priorities are taken into account: stymying Iran’s nuclear program, developing infrastructure including a high-speed railway, and ending the Arab-Israeli conflict. Not to mention the controversial judicial reforms and the resultant political crisis that has consumed the government’s first months.

Continuing her inaccurate summary of the Israeli legislative agenda, Buttu goes on to accuse politicians of being preoccupied with continuing the “ethnic cleansing process” — a libel so egregious and verifiably wrong that there should have been some pushback from Velshi.

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In fairness to Buttu, she does criticize her former employers at the Palestinian Authority, although mainly to lambast them for not “protecting Palestinians,” which she claimed is because it was “established simply to be able to be an arm of Israel’s military occupation.”

Of course, had Velshi been interested in arming his viewers with the facts, he would have told them that contrary to Buttu’s assertion, the PA was actually set up as a result of the 1993 Oslo Agreement to govern Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The PA was intended to be an interim structure that would be replaced following the creation of an independent Palestinian state.

The last two of Buttu’s lies are the easiest to disprove.

First, she claims that Israeli settlers now live on 60 percent of the land in the West Bank. In fact, while Israel administers 60 percent of Area C of the West Bank, Israelis live on approximately 10 percent of the land, a far cry from Buttu’s false statistic.

Second, her brazen assertion that “each and every Israeli government has taken the decision to build and expand more settlements” is also false considering former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon spearheaded the 2005 Gaza disengagement, which involved the dismantling of 21 settlements in the Strip and the uprooting of four Jewish communities in the West Bank.

Buttu spends much of the interview bemoaning how the actualization of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is “impossible” because a peace deal could only come to fruition if all settlers are “taken out of the West Bank.”

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Could the two-state solution actually prove elusive because of the many peace deals unilaterally rejected by the Palestinian leadership in favor of terrorism?

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