INSIDER

Pro-Palestinian commentator causes rows at Fox News

Geraldo Rivera has clashed on-air with the pro-Israel channel’s hosts over US support for airstrikes Geraldo Rivera: ‘American bombs should not be used to kill defenseless civilians in Gaza.’ Photograph: Richard Drew/AP The Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera has become a rare and outspoken voice on his conservative television channel in lambasting Israel over its attacks on Gaza and other Palestinian targets in the current conflict. Geraldo has conducted numerous heated and emotional spats with other Fox News personalities, including powerful figures like Sean Hannity, by criticizing Israel’s activities and lauding those defending Palestinians – both rare positions on the reliably pro-Israel channel. In two segments on Wednesday, the 77-year-old correspondent and commentator, who has reported from Israeli-occupied territories, declared that Rashida Tlaib – the only Palestinian American member of Congress and a frequent Fox target – “is right” to say that a $735m sale of US weapons, including guided bombs, to Israel should be halted. Rivera echoed his on-air comments later on Twitter: “American bombs should not be used to kill defenseless civilians in #Gaza. @JoeBiden must stop ignoring carnage & injustice. A dead Palestinian child is as much a crime against humanity as a dead Israeli child. #NotWithOurBombs.” Pressure mounting on #Israel to institute #Ceasefire. American bombs should not be used to kill defenseless civilians in #Gaza. @JoeBiden must stop ignoring carnage & injustice. A dead Palestinian child is as much a crime against humanity as a dead Israeli child. #NotWithOurBombs— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) May 20, 2021 Rivera’s stance is deeply at odds with the overall tenor of Fox’s coverage of the conflict, especially from its high-profile opinion hosts who are widely seen as keen backers of Israel and supporters of its military strikes. Rivera was asked by the Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum if he was “sympathetic” to Tlaib’s position. “I am indeed, Martha,” he replied. “People have to recognize what the Gaza Strip is. It’s one of the most menacing places on Earth that I’ve ever reported from.” He added: “It’s effectively one of the world’s largest prison camps and it is being bombed with bombs supplied by the United States. It’s outrageous that we gave Israel these hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of weapons without insisting on a ceasefire now.” Rivera told viewers that sales of US arms to Israel “makes us complicit in an ongoing crime against humanity”. “I want our audience – the fact that the United States of America is providing Israel many of the weapons Israel is using today to kill Palestinian civilians without demanding a ceasefire, Tlaib is right.” The on-air Fox News confrontations continued with Hannity cutting Rivera off after he said it was “abhorrent” that Palestinian children died in bombings. The exchanges come as a number of prominent entertainment industry voices in the US have come under intense online and professional pressure to curb public expressions of support for Palestinians. “It’s free Palestine til Palestine is free!!!,” the Palestinian American model Bella Hadid posted on Instagram several days ago, and received 4.5m likes – or about 1/10th of her following. Some who voiced support, including the reality star Paris Hilton, who wrote “This is so heartbreaking. This needs to stop. #SavePalestine”, have taken down their posts. Meanwhile others, including the musicians John Legend and Cat Power, have left theirs intact.

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Biden got to test-drive Ford's electric F-150 Lightning, and the Israel-Gaza flight wasn't going to spoil his ride

His predecessor may have liked big rigs, but President Biden is a car guy. "My name is Joe Biden, and I'm a car guy," he said at Ford's electric vehicle production facility in Dearborn, Michigan, on Tuesday. Biden was in Michigan to mark Wednesday's unveiling of the Ford F-150 Lightning, the all-electric version of America's best-selling vehicle, and to promote electric vehicles as a way of tackling the climate crisis. "We're at a great inflection point in American history," Biden said. "How we handle the next four to 10 years is going to determine where we are going to be 30, 40, 50 years from now." He said "the future of the auto industry is electric" and China's currently winning. The evident highlight of the day for Biden was test-driving the Ford Lightning. "This sucker's quick," he told reporters. "I think we're going zero to 60 in four-point-three. Four-point-four?" Biden is facing multiple crises, but on Tuesday he "wanted, if only for a moment, to leave that all behind for what he could pretend was an open road but really was an open lot of concrete," Matt Viser reports at The Washington Post. When a reporter asked if he'd answer a question about Israel's bloody fight with Gaza, he said no, "not unless you get in front of the car as I step on it. I'm only teasing," he added, smiling. The Israel-Gaza conflict intruded, anyway. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who has family in Palestine, met Biden and the airport to urge stronger pressure on Israel to agreed to a ceasefire. He name-checked her during his Dearborn speech, calling her "a fighter, and God thank you for being a fighter." Embed from Getty Images But overall, "the day revealed Biden not so much in rare form but in his truest form," Viser writes. "The affection for automobiles is as much a part of Biden as his Irishness and his love of ice cream," dating back at least to his father's work at a car dealership. When asked in 2011 about a 2009 Onion article showing a shirtless Biden, then vice president, washing a Trans Am in the White House driveway, Biden laughed and told Car and Driver: "You think I'd drive a Trans Am? I have been in my bathing suit in my driveway and not only washed my Goodwood-green 1967 Corvette but also Simonized it." More stories from theweek.comThe threat of civil war didn't end with the Trump presidency7 scathingly funny cartoons about Liz Cheney's ousterNew study finds more consumers than ever are looking for sustainable products

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