There are three things to understand about this remarkably contentious exchange on Israel's much-watched Channel 2, picked up by +972 blogger and former Haaretz editor Ami Kaufman.
The first person seen in the broadcast is Channel 2 defense correspondent Roni Daniel, who has a bit of a reputation for hawkishness and for weaving advocacy into his reporting. And, indeed, Daniel argues that "we must move on to much more aggressive maneuvers, tougher ones, deeper hits" in Gaza. He goes on to say that he's "missing the Dahiya of Beirut in Gaza."
Daniel's Dahiya comment is a reference to what has been called "the Dahiya doctrine," in which the Israeli military would deliberately destroy civilian buildings in areas where anti-Israeli fighters operate. The controversial strategy, named for a Lebanese neighborhood devastated in the 2006 war with Israel, is meant as deterrence. In other words, Daniel is calling for Israel to target Gazan civilian areas where Hamas is based.
This doesn't sit well with the second man to show up in the video, Ahmad Tibi, the deputy speaker of the Israeli Knesset and leader of an Arab-Israeli political party. "They've bombed a house that killed three people. Is that the Dahiya you want? You should be ashamed, you have no human feelings," he shouts, as the besieged Channel 2 host tries and fails to bring the discussion back on track.
Things get worse from there. The conversation, which might sound familiar to anyone who has tried to have a discussion about Israel-Palestine in either Israel or the United States., devolves into emotional accusations about moral equivalencies (how can you bring up one side's purported crimes when the other side is clearly responsible for so much worse?), historical grievances, and on the respective suffering of Gazans and Israelis in the long-running conflict.
Beyond the theater of it, the clip is interesting both as a demonstration of how this issue can lead people to talk past one another and as a reminder of the debate within Israel over the country's policies toward Gaza. No, Ahmad Tibi is not necessarily representative of the widest swath of Israeli opinion, but neither is Roni Daniel a spokesman for all Israelis. It can be easy to forget that Israeli policies are not necessarily endorsed by all citizens of this diverse and politically active country.