Union Theological Seminary Professor Cornel West and Fox News host Sean Hannity duked it out Tuesday over the Israeli-Hamas conflict and the fatal shooting of a teenager in Missouri, with the professor telling the conservative host he had "a good point."
The two agreed that their Christian faith gives equal worth to Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza. But they agreed on little else during a spirited debate during "Hannity."
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West took part in a pro-Palestinian rally on Aug. 2 near the White House, and Hannity asked him if he considers Hamas' shooting of rockets at Israeli civilians terrorism.
West said he doesn't condone killing on either side, but said Gazans have been driven to violence by "46 years of vicious occupation" by Israel. He said Israeli society should stop stressing militarism and racism.
"You can't have a right-wing government that allows for the killing of 427,000 precious Palestinian babies," West said.
Hannity told the professor of philosophy and Christian practice that ancient Israelite Kings David and Solomon ruled over the area long before the Palestinians claimed a stake.
West argued that was thousands of years ago, and the 1947 United Nations partition should not be based upon ancient claims.
Israel is an ally of the United States, and supporters of the country argue that Israel is simply defending itself against Hamas rockets aimed at civilians. Civilians are killed, Israel says, because Hamas is hiding its rockets and soldiers in civilian areas.
"If I break into your house what are you going to do?" Hannity asked West.
"I'm going to defend myself," West responded, but added, "I don't have a right to kill your child if you come into my house."
West, who is black, said that he, too, comes "from a people who've been terrorized and traumatized and stigmatized."
The two then moved to the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the scene of two nights of riots.
West called the shooting by police of the unarmed Brown another instance of terrorism. He agreed with Hannity, however, that it is wrong for some members of the community to be calling for the deaths of police officers.
"They're upset," West said. "You understand the outrage."
Hannity countered that the police officer should have a fair trial and not be judged before he can present his side of the story. Police say Brown tried to get the officer's weapon.
"You weren't there," Hannity told West, who replied, "You've got a good point. It's hard for me to concede."
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