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Who side is U.S. on in the Hamas War?

Who side is U.S. on in the Hamas War?

Theoretically, America supports Israel in the Hamas War.  That is based on a belief that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and is our nation’s strongest ally in that region.  Their security is a key element in American security. 

Support for Israel is also based on the fact that Hamas is an officially recognized terrorist group that has been oppressing the Palestinian people since their rise to power in Gaza in 2006 — and has been undertaking a continuing round of unprovoked attacks on the Jewish State.  Hamas’ mantra is “death to Israel, death to the United States.” 

The bond between the United States and Israel was evident following Hamas’ heinous attack on innocent civilians on October 7th.  President Biden made one of the most unequivocable speeches of his career in support of Israel’s declaration of war against Hamas.  Unlike his too little/too late policy in the Ukraine War, Biden ordered the shipment of any and all weapons and ammunition needed by Israel.  He underscored America’s support of Israel with a swift visit to Tel Aviv where he literally and figuratively embraced Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu – the hug seen around the world.

The Israeli/American narrative was that the war was both necessary and justified.  In view of the horror and brutality of the attack on Israel, the policy of tit-for-tat was no longer viable.  That meant Hamas has to be taken out.

It was also understood that this would be a war with an inordinate number of civilian casualties for the simple reason that Hamas cowardly uses Palestinian civilians as shields.  It places its military sites at the most crowded civilian locations – schools, hospitals, mosques. That is a war crime.  Attacking such sites when enemy combatants use them as shields is NOT a war crime by international standards.

Counter to that pro-Israeli narrative, Hamas advanced the narrative that the high death toll was humanitarian crisis and evidence of war crimes – and Israel is the villain.  And the only way to prevent civilian deaths was for Israel to enter into a cease fire.  In other words, end the war and leave Hamas in place to continue their genocidal ambitions against Israel and Jews.  

On the other hand, the war would also end if Hamas would  release the hostages (a war crime) and surrender.  That is the most appropriate way to stop the loss of life and property.  Somehow that option does not enter into the public dialogue.

Biden gave Netanyahu America’s unalterable commitment of support.  That was until it was altered. 

Most recently, Biden has embraced and promoted the Hamas narrative of excessive civilian deaths.  Deaths that Hamas was causing by putting civilians in the line-of-fire.  Their tactic was beneficial in two ways.  It complicated Israel’s ability to attack Hamas’ military and leaders – and the death toll that Hamas caused was used as a propaganda campaign against Israel.

But why the change in U.S. policy?

Biden’s support for Israel garnered a political backlash for those on the far left of his governing coalition – especially Arab Americans.  Polls showed that he was losing votes in critical battleground states – such as Michigan, which has a large Arab population.  That pushed Biden back to his habit of weaseling.

Biden started issuing warnings to Israel to be careful and to minimize civilian casualties.  That advanced to outright criticism.  Secretary of State Anthony Blinken accused Israel of killing “too many civilians.”  The White House was leaking reports that the Biden/Netanyahu bromance was over.

Biden’s problem was bigger than Arab voters, the accusations of war crimes and the focus on the “humanitarian crisis” caused by  Hamas tapped into latent antisemitisms.  Those on the political left in the United States and around the world were quick to unleash their historic hatred of Jews.

The leftwing media in America became the propaganda voices for the Hamas narrative.  Reports and special coverage myopically focused on the “humanitarian crisis” with little to no explanation as to why the war was declared and why there are so many civilian casualties.

As might be expected, MSNBC became the leader of proffering the Hamas propaganda perspective.  Virtually every program in the daily lineup focuses on the civilian issue with calls for Israel to simply cease the war.  CNN was not far behind.  As could be expected, the Manhattan media silo was coming down on the side of Hamas – with only a casual or off-hand reference to the barbaric attack on Israel.

Make no mistake about it, wars have tragic humanitarian impacts – especially on civilians.  But the critical consideration is WHO is responsible for the war – and therefore the resulting humanitarian tragedy.  Just as we must hold Russian President Putin solely responsible for the human tragedies of his war on Ukraine.

Biden’s flip-flop on the Hamas War raises a legitimate question.  Which side is America officially on?  And which side are the majority of the American people on?  

Many analysts and pundits say that the anti-Israel Hamas’ propaganda narrative is winning in American and in other nations.  That seems to be the case.  Unfortunately, that fact has been greatly reinforced by Biden’s embracing the Hamas propaganda strategy.

As it appears now, Biden is not playing a positive role in ending the Hamas War.  He has also put himself in a no-win position.  In sounding an uncertain trumpet, no one will heed.  He appears to be losing both Arab and Jewish voters.  More importantly, he is failing to address the larger problem of international terrorism.  Biden is again demonstrating dangerous weakness in the face of enemies.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

6 Comments

  1. FRANK STETSON

    Could it be possible to side with Israel and think that the civilian casualties are too high and getting worse?

    Could it be possible to say that from day one, but get a little more forceful as time goes on and the civilian casualties get worse?

    I would like to see weekly reports on the number of Hamas/civilian deaths to see is it getting better, the same, or worse. Especially numbers for Hamas which is the prize here, that’s the goal after all. But not matter what, the civilian deaths are a big number, perhaps the biggest in any recent confrontation tween an industrialized, democratic state, and the bad guy nations.

    From the middle of December:
    – 20,000 dead
    – 1% of GAZA dead
    – of that, about 14K are women and children, about 70% of total
    – maybe 7,000 HAMAS dead

    These are GAZA health ministry numbers, treat them as such. UN has used this source for years, claims credible.

    Israel for the same period, one week earlier, claims:
    – 10, 000 total dead in GAZA while Israel says GHM numbers were 15,000 at that time

    These numbers represent civilian deaths at a 300 a day clip. When the US Christmas carpet bombed Hanoi in 1972 for 11 days, we killed, 1,600 civilians. When we cleared Raqqa of ISIS in Syria, we killed about 20 civilians a day, numbers from Amnesty International, versus Israel at about 300 a day. That’s a difference. In the nine months taken to clear Mosul, 9-11K civilians dead, but nine months and not much way out and a population of under 2 million. The Ukraine War after over a year, stands at about 11K civilians dead.

    No matter how you cut it, a lot of civilians are being killed, much more that we would accept and have proven so. We do strategic strikes with smart bombs. The Israeli’s are using close to 50% dumb bombs, including bunker busters. Not as bad as Assad/Putin pushing oil-drum-bombs out of helicopters, but pretty damned close.

    I have no problem with Israel lashing out over the atrocity of this, but at some point, one has to imagine diminishing returns for explosives dropped with a higher ratio of civilian to Hamas as well. Tis the nature of math. I also have no problem with Joe suggesting these ease up on killing non-combatants and then leaning into that as time goes on.

    And my sidenote, as usual, is I would like to see Joe whisper “it’s ok my me” for Israel to take out Iranian infrastructure. Plausible denial would be grand for this payback. And then we can get involved in Iran attempts to respond.

  2. Alan

    Looks like Iran should long since been on the receiving end. Strange that they aren’t, or am I missing something important?

    • FRANK STETSON

      Alan, good point. I think while everyone “knows” they have been funding Hamas, and other ME terror groups, there is no red-flag proof who funded this attack. And I guess a desire to focus on the issue at hand: Hamas. Just like with all this tiny attacks on us; they are by groups probably financed by Iran, but we don’t have the smoking gun.

      Being upstanding, needing rock-solid without a shadow of a doubt type evidence sucks at times. Obama was faulted for striving for low civilian casualties to the point of significantly reducing targets while simultaneously extending the time to diminish ISIS and perhaps he was too cautious. But it’s the price you pay for being upstanding in following our “rules of war.”

      That’s why I suggest Biden whispers “it’s OK” in Israel’s ears, maybe sends over a few hundred smart missiles, a little of our intelligence reports, and then stands back and claims plausible denial as Israel takes out their infrastructure.

  3. AC

    Granted, Biden, hence America, is in a tough spot internationally. Our friendly democracy nations are under attack world wide. Ukraine and Israel are grabbing most coverage. While fledgling democracies are being brutally opposed by autocratic minded opponents.
    Propaganda out of Russia at Putin’s direction would have Americans believe ALL Russians hate Americans and support “Putin’s war on Ukraine. Truth be told, Russians care mast about surviving day to day, much like all people upon the earth. Putin’s dictates squelch free speech and pushes nationalism and reverence for Putin by strict monitoring speech within Russia influence and physical boarders.
    Conflict in the Middle East takes vilifying others not bowing down to Islamic Law for Hamas or Israelis condemnation of, generational animosity for, and well founded distrust of Hamas, Arabs, and Palestinians.
    Arab Hamas hatred for America is no secret. “Death to America” is and long has been their war cry. Israel and its population live in terror everyday because air strikes happen randomly in civilian residential areas.
    America’s population is known as a “mixing bowl” of nationalities. Israelis, secular Jews, Orthodox Jews, Palestinians, Ukrainians, Russians, and others with sympathies related to their nation of origin. Those nations that are in conflict and a state of war.
    President Biden’s has a great responsibility to – we, the people of the USA. Biden, as the American President carries responsibilities of commander and chief. Meaning, as president his mind must weigh in the balance various policies ( hence, politics). Foreign, domestic, monetary, and political (personal and national) policy interests and concerns are in flux. Which become top priority subjects presents a dilemma of almost inhuman dimensions.
    His many critics will fault him on his judgement calls across the board. Every subject and issue he deliberates over raises a ruckus, media and political rivals having a field day. Media bites lasting a few minutes and fewer lines ignore any relevant context.
    Hamas war and its delinquency called war crimes of neglect of civilian humanitarian security concerns. Likewise with Israel’s defense strategy targeting Hamas strong holds. Let us not forget our Ukrainian friends. That war’s consequences have been horrific. The Putin commanded atrocities go on unabated throughout the country, Depravation, widespread and devastation wrecked cities, towns, and residential communities going on for years and no end in sight.
    Therefore, America has not come close to experiencing the consequences of war on our soil to the extent modern day warfare wrecks on Israel, Palestine, Ukraine, and other hot spots around the world. How can Biden not be concerned for Americans who have loved ones in harms way.
    Stay to the facts and truth without political animus. It’s said that truth is as it is in the mind of the beholder. Remember. truth will set your mind free, prejudicial biases held are the determent to established truth. Prejudice biases by another name is propaganda. Which is delivered and seen in conspiracy theories.
    Let’s not forget dis-information is deliberate while mid-information happens by ignorance and unreliable sources.

    • FRANK STETSON

      Not sure the point of this AC but there it is……

      On Ukraine and the Russians —- at this point IMO, it IS the Russian people. Sure, it must be tough to survive, much less survive under the sanctions, but at this point, it is the choice they made and they are enabling Putin’s actions. It is the people. And for us, Ukraine is the line in the sand. Release the Horists of War. Up the ante. Take the skies. Put a no-fly zone over ASAP. With our Airforce.

      Continue to pressure Israel on the civilians but give them what they need. They can handle the rest. In the future, support their efforts to cut funding and hunt the remainder of Hamas down, over time. Behind the barn, give Israel the green light, and a few smart missiles, to take out Iran’s infrastructure.

      IMO, Biden’s done OK, time to do more. Putin must be stopped. Beyond the horror of it all, Hamas is SOSO, we’ve seen it, felt it, and sent it to it’s makers for judgement a number of times before. Just turn the crank, get it done. After this initial retribution, time to grind it out chasing the money and chasing them down wherever they run. Al Quada, ISIS, Taliban, we diminish all, some come back, we diminish again. SOSO.

  4. Mike f

    Yet another one of Larry’s posts telling us that democrats (joe Biden) bad. Of course we supported Israel in their initial assault against Hamas after the horrific attack they endured on October 7. But, equally rationally (and not just because of media reporting) our position is evolving as the Israeli’s fire far too many missiles into Gaza and kill far too many innocent civilians. Of course, Larry chooses to ignore two of the most obvious causes of the conflict-first is the Abraham accords, which he has touted in the past as evidence of the Trump administration’s superior statesmanship. Bullshit. Those were garbage to begin with because they did not include the people most involved in the Arab/Israeli conflict-the mostly marginalized Palestinians. The second cause that can be seen for this war is pulling out of the Iran nuclear agreement. With that agreement we had some contact, some influence over the Iranians. By pulling out-we lost that.