Andrew Neil and Layla Moran clashed on BBC Question Time
Presenter Andrew Neil and Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran had a furious clash on BBC Question Time when debating how – if at all – the Israel-Hamas war can be resolved.
A week-long truce between the warring factions expired on Friday morning, after Hamas agreed to release 100 of its 240 hostages, in exchange for 240 of the Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.
Neil told the audience he had given up hope on a peaceful resolution to the decades-long dispute over the Middle Eastern land between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs.
He also said: “Britain should not overestimate its influence in this situation. It really doesn’t have very much at all – which probably doesn’t matter because we don’t know what to do either.”
He then referred to the Oslo Accords, saying it was a “wonderful peace agreement” and that Palestinians “could have had all of Gaza, and 90% of the West Bank.”
A final treaty of the peace treaty was never signed, because militant Palestinians groups suggested it meant giving up any claim to the lands seized by Israelis since Israel was created in 1948.
Neil cast further doubt on the chance of striking another deal with Gaza, claiming if anyone other than Hamas attempts to negotiate on the Palestinians’ behalf, “they’ll be thrown off the nearest highest building” by the militants.
Moran looked on in disbelief as Neil spoke about negotiations in Israel
“It’s an impossible situation for people of good will in Gaza to show any good will at all,” the Channel 4 presenter said.
Looking horrified, British-Palestinian MP Moran – who has called for the UK to take a leading role in resolving the conflict – cut in: “So are you OK with what’s happening?”
Neil replied sarcastically: “Oh, this killing is just wonderful. I’m.... What a stupid question to ask me!”
Moran interrupted and said: “Excuse me! How dare you!”
“Of course I’m not OK with it, the killing is horrific,” Neil continued.
Moran said: “Well then what are you offering?”
“I’m trying to point to the realpolitik of the situation,” Neil said heatedly.
As a member of the audience started to speak, Question Time host Fiona Bruce cut in and said they were out of time, adding: “I know you want to say more Layla, forgive me.”
“No no, I’m just in shock,” the MP replied. Moran has spoken candidly about her own relatives who are currently stuck in Gaza.
She confirmed in November that a family member had died in the Palestinian territory because they could not access medical care.
Hamas’ massacre of 1,200 people in Israel on October 7 – and the abduction of 240 hostages – led Israel to declare war, launch a series of air strikes and a ground invasion, while putting Gaza under siege.
Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry has not been able to keep up with the death toll, but it has estimated more than 15,000 Palestinians have been killed.
Layla Moran, "Are you ok with what's happening?"
Andrew Neil, "Obviously I'm ok, the killings are just wonderful. What a stupid question to ask me"
Layla Moran, "Excuse me. How dare you"
Andrew Neil, "I'm trying to point to the realpolitik of the situation"
Layla Moran, "I'm… pic.twitter.com/20LlP2Detv
— Farrukh (@implausibleblog) November 30, 2023