Congressman Ro Khanna (C) with Sen. Bernie Sanders (R), on Capitol Hill, Jan. 30, 2019. (AP/Andrew Harnik) (AP/Andrew Harnik)
Ro Khanna wth Bernie Sanders

Congressman Ro Khanna of California forced to backtrack after media points out his false claim.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

A California congressman was forced to walk back an anti-Israel comment he made in a television interview after journalists called him out for making the false claim that Israel was “burning down” Palestinian villages.

In an interview Friday on MSNBC about Biden administration foreign policy, Democratic Congressman Ro Kahann of California said that Israel was an ally of the U.S., but then made the false accusation.

“But they have to recognize Palestinian statehood. They can’t be having new settlements. They can’t be burning down Palestinian villages. Human rights are going to matter. We`re going to have a human rights focused foreign policy,” Khanna told MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan.

Called out by a reporter from The Times of Israel, Khanna tried to clean up his comment, but kept his aggressive anti-Israel stance.

“I should have clarified that I was referring to Israeli settlers who have burned Palestinian orchards and the military which has demolished or bulldozed villages,” tweeted Khanna, who was co-chair of Bernie Sanders’ presidential run.

The media watchdog organization CAMERA slammed MSNBC interviewer Hasan for failing to question Khanna’s false allegation, and for failing to correct Khanna’s false statement that Israel was establishing new settlements, as only new housing has been approved in existing settlements.

“Furthermore, Hasan wrongly referred to Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital, using the city as shorthand for the country,” said Tamar Sternthal, Director of CAMERA’s Jerusalem office.

“Given that, as Rep. Khanna asserted, ‘at some point, data has to matter,’ CAMERA has contacted MSNBC urging forthright on air corrections making clear that, in fact, Israel is not burning and has not burned Palestinian villages, it is not building new settlements and its capital is located in Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv,” Sternthal said.

Khanna’s demand for Israel to recognize a Palestinian state caught the eyes of pro-Israel activists.

Pro-Israel activist and American entrepreneur Avi Kaner tweeted that Khanna “must be censured by Congress for false incitement that can lead to violence.”

The group Progressive Zionists of California previously called out Khanna for his anti-Israel bias, posting a call in a previous petition against the congressman to “please not feed this inaccurate and dangerous one-sided narrative against Israel.”

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