Whoopi Goldberg: Hamas, Taliban being terrorist groups 'depends who you talk to'

The View talk show hosts castigated potential Republican plans to remove Ilhan Omar from congressional committees but reinstate Majorie Taylor Greene.

 WHOOPI GOLDBERG speaks during the WorldPride 2019 Opening Ceremony, a combined celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots and WorldPride 2019 in New York. (photo credit: LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS)
WHOOPI GOLDBERG speaks during the WorldPride 2019 Opening Ceremony, a combined celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots and WorldPride 2019 in New York.
(photo credit: LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS)

Classifying Hamas and the Taliban as terrorist organizations “depends on who you talk to,” ABC’s The View talk show hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Sunny Hostin said on Tuesday in a discussion about potential Republican Party moves to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar from congressional committees.

During the program’s segment on incoming Republican Majority House leader Kevin McCarthy’s comments on removing what he determined were untrustworthy Democrat representatives from some committees, another host, Sarah Haines, explained why she was sympathetic to the removal of Omar.

“Something that representative Ilhan Omar said that did bother me in 2021 was she tweeted something comparing the US, Israel, Hamas and the Taliban as all terrorist organizations,” said Haines. “And she has maybe way more knowledge and experience in very complicated Middle Eastern relations, but I did find that being on a foreign committee and comparing the country [the US] to a known terrorist – those are organized terrorist communities – not Israel, but Hamas and the Taliban.”

Both Goldberg and Hostin interrupted Haines to interject that the classification as terrorist depended on who was involved in the discussion.

“That’s how they’re recognized,” said Haines. Another host, Joy Behar, also noted that the Taliban and Hamas were recognized as terrorist groups by the United States. Hamas is listed on the US State Department’s Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization list.

“Let it be known that a day after Whoopi Goldberg said whether or not Hamas was a terrorist organization was up to who you asked, Hamas celebrated the detonation of a bomb that killed a 15-year-old boy and wounded 22+ others.”

Activist Blake Flayton

Hostin said that such a discussion should happen in the presence of Middle East experts, “like someone from Palestine, someone from Israel, someone who is Muslim. I don’t think we can just get into that discussion.”

Goldberg and Hostin’s remarks were not well received by online commentators, who noted that they came as Hamas praised bombing attacks in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

“Let it be known that a day after Whoopi Goldberg said whether or not Hamas was a terrorist organization was up to who you asked, Hamas celebrated the detonation of a bomb that killed a 16-year-old boy and wounded 22+ others,” said activist Blake Flayton on Twitter.

Ilhan Omar and Majorie Taylor Greene

In further discussion of Omar’s sitting on key committees, Haines said she was disappointed with the congresswoman’s voting on the subject of Syria and recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Political strategist and show guest Alyssa Farah Griffin agreed that Omar shouldn’t be on foreign committees because of her geopolitical views.

 Whoopi Goldberg at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala on September 13, 2021.   (credit: REUTERS/MARIO ANZUONI) Whoopi Goldberg at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala on September 13, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/MARIO ANZUONI)

Hostin argued that Omar had apologized for her past comments. Goldberg said that arguments for Omar’s removal by McCarthy were irrelevant. While the soon-to-be House majority leader ostracized Omar over her alleged antisemitic leanings, according to The View host, Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene would be returned to her former committees. Goldberg said that such a move would be a hypocritical approach to antisemitism.

“She’s completely nuts,” Behar said of Greene.

“She said Jewish space lasers cause wildfires,” added Haines.

Whoopi Goldberg's past controversies on The View

The Israel Advocacy Movement NGO noted that Goldberg’s comments came not long after she had “claimed the Holocaust wasn’t racism; it was white people fighting white people.”

In a January segment on a Tennessee school board’s removal of the Holocaust book Maus from its curriculum, Goldberg had said, “The Holocaust isn’t about race,” but rather about “man’s inhumanity to man.”

“If you’re going to do this, then let’s be truthful about it,” Goldberg expanded. “These [Jews and Nazis] are two white groups of people.”

ABC later suspended Goldberg for two weeks for her comments, and she apologized for her remarks on The Late Show.

Goldberg had just returned to The View on Monday after a hiatus during which she recovered from COVID-19.