Lou Balcher
Lou Balcher

American News Talking Points for Hamas

The real news that you do not hear from major American Media reports from Israel and Gaza is the effectiveness and precision of the Israeli Defense forces in defending its citizens with more than 4000 missiles raining down, as of this writing.

Of the 240 plus war casualties reported from Gaza, Israel reports an amazing 170 Hamas & Islamic Jihadist terrorists taken down. As regrettable that wars are, Israel’s successful response, with limited loss of life, is worth noting. This is in contrast to Hamas’s deliberately targeting Israeli civilians, and hiding behind their own Gaza civilian population as “human shields.”

One gets a completely different story, though, from what should be responsible Western Media reporting. Listening to the Tuesday, May 18, ABC World News Tonight segment, along with CNN, and NPR reports from Gaza, my understanding is that American media is taking direct talking points from Hamas.

Working nine years for the Israeli Consulate in Philly, I was stunned to see the literal talking points of Hamas coming from the mouths of American journalists. I used to write talking points for Israeli diplomats and could never do as well as Hamas has done in dictating their message to American media.

How the picture is framed is essential to the emotional reaction of the audience. It is extremely important what order you put matters in, and what you “forget” and leave out, which gives any sense of context.

The ABC’s Tuesday, May 18 report led with an apparent message that Israel was violating the direction given by America and President Biden, by not standing down on attacks against Gaza. In fact, President Biden recognized Israel’s right to self-defense, a courtesy not allowed by ABC, CNN, NPR, and others.

The Tuesday ABC report failed to mention that more than 3000 missiles were fired upon Israel from Gaza at that time, which indiscriminately was killing Israeli Jewish and Arab citizens. Apparently, it was not relevant to note the numbers in the onslaught of thousands of rockets in which Israel is forced to defend itself.

Additionally, a false moral equivalency is attempted by the news stories highlighting the difference in numbers between Gazan and Israeli deaths, especially children. While heartrending, the problem is that we do not know how many of those children’s deaths are due to the significant number of Hamas missiles that fell within Gaza, some 15% or more as tracked by the IDF. For Hamas a dead child is a martyr for the Palestinian cause to add to the calculus of victimhood.

As Israel responds to legitimate war-time targets of command-and-control centers, located in apartment buildings, protected by AP and media offices, in the basement of central hospitals, and with launch sites commonly from schoolyards. International law holds that Hamas is committing a double violation, by targeting civilians in Israel and using their own civilians in Gaza as “human shields.”

From the news reports I witnessed, I have NOT heard the international law violations of using “human shields” mentioned in describing Hamas during these reports.

There is a much larger picture that is completely missed by these news reports. The failure to mention it hides the larger context of what this war is truly about.

Iran is successfully waging a war against Israel, as well as creating mayhem throughout the Middle East, and around the world, and by the lack of reporting it, this is effectively being done with international media support. More-so the rationale given by Hamas and Iran has been accepted without question as to the “cause” of the current conflict.

The news media does not mention Iran’s key role in training and supplying Hamas, and the Islamic Jihad fighters. Nor is there mention of an even larger stockpile of Iranian missiles at Israel’s northern border in Lebanon, ready to deal a more lethal blow to the Jewish State.

For many of us Jewish Americans, this is not just a world news item, we have family in Israel.

My brother lives in Zfat, in the north of Israel. He is worried for his family, that Iran has hundreds of thousands of deadlier, more accurate missiles ready to fire from Lebanon at Israel’s northern border, under its proxy army Hezbollah. Most assuredly Iran is gauging Israel’s rocket defenses and preparing to be much more lethal. My brother is worried that Hamas is degrading Israel’s stockpile of defensive Iron Dome missile batteries so that Hezbollah/Iran can be deadlier in attacking from the North.

Additionally, recently missing from the headlines is the relevance of Iran’s desire to get the most out of negotiations with a new US administration that desperately wants a new nuclear deal with Iran. Any way that Iran can create distance between America and Israel only makes Israel look weaker and is an invitation to further attacks. These major and relevant background facts have gone silent in the news.

What is most astounding to me is that to complete the picture, the media gladly parrots the talking points of Hamas … and Iran. It amazes me what is accepted and repeated without any sense of analysis and delivered as a “fact.” The theatrical stunts of a Muslim call to protect “Al Aksa” and “Jewish eviction of Arabs” from Jerusalem are accepted fully as the “reasons” and justification for raining down 4000 missiles against Israel.

A few days ago I saw the “colorized” World War Two history series. I learned something new. To justify Hitler’s going into Poland to start World War Two, Germany’s generals had a small contingent of their troops cross the border dressed as Polish soldiers, and fire upon a German border media post from Poland. This was used as the pretext to begin the World War Two invasion into Poland on September 1, 1939.

Ten days ago Hamas fired a salvo from Gaza into Jerusalem to “avenge” a declared violation of “Al Aksa.” The world accepted and repeated the purported “cause,” according to ABC and other media reports. For the past week and a half Hamas has rained down 4000 missiles on Israel, under the direction of Iran, and the world stands to condemn Israel for protecting its citizens. They could not have planned it better in Germany 82 years ago.

About the Author
Lou Balcher served from 2004 - 2013 as Director of Academic Affairs to Consulate General of Israel to the Mid-Atlantic Region. He also served as Education Director for Congregation Tifereth Israel in Bensalem, PA, and as administrator and teacher for Gratz College's Jewish Community High School. He is a former Membership Director for the Philadelphia and Cincinnati regions of B'nai B'rith International. For three and a half decades, he has coordinated post-college young leadership programs for Young Jewish Leadership Concepts. From 2014 - Spring 2021 he consulted as National Director of the American Friends of the Kaplan Medical Center, Rehovot, Israel which serves more than one million Israeli citizens. In the Spring of 2021 Balcher and a team of national leaders inaugurated the American Foundation Creating Leadership for Israel (AFCLI) - "the newest voice for Americans for Israel."
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