Hamas

By Curtis Houck | August 8, 2014 | 3:25 PM EDT

During Friday morning’s coverage of the 72-hour cease-fire ending in Gaza, ABC and CBS refused to explicitly acknowledge Hamas as the party responsible for ending the cease-fire with Israel. Instead, those two networks referred to those responsible only as “militants” or “Palestinian militants” firing rockets at Israel.

NBC’s Today did cite Hamas as the side responsible for terminating the truce, but it came during a news brief in the 8:00 a.m. hour after a one-minute-and-17 second report aired during the 7:00 a.m. hour. News reader Natalie Morales stated during the news brief that: “The three-day truce between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza expired overnight. Israel says it responded to Hamas rocket fire with air strikes of its own. The new fighting has cast a shadow over negotiations being held in Egypt aimed at reaching a longer truce.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]

By Tom Blumer | August 8, 2014 | 1:04 PM EDT

In an English language report at NDTV.com on Tuesday, Sreenivasan Jain, reporting from Gaza, witnessed a Hamas "rocket silo being created under a tent right next to the hotel where our team was staying."

His news team then "saw the rocket being fired, just before the 72-hour ceasefire came into effect." It would seem that Western news organizations who have seen their onsite reporters intimidated and threatened by Hamas in Gaza would jump at the opportunity to report some of the reality they've refrained from showing. But there's very little evidence that these organizations have used NDTV's work. Video and a portion of the report's accompanying text follow the jump.

By Clay Waters | August 7, 2014 | 7:01 AM EDT

As a ceasefire takes hold in Israel, a review of the most recent New York Times coverage of the conflict shows old anti-Israel patterns die hard, with the paper's Jerusalem bureau chief bizarrely suggesting that "in Israel, open discourse and dissent appear to be among the casualties of the monthlong war in Gaza." No mention was made of the violent threats made by the Hamas dictatorship against both journalists and critical Palestinians.

On the front of Thursday's National edition of the Times, Jodi Rudoren and Fares Akram dwelled on the economic miseries inflicted on Palestinians by Israel in "Conflict Leaves Industry in Ashes and Gaza Reeling From Economic Toll." (Hmm...how much did all those rockets fired at Israel cost?)

By Kyle Drennen | August 6, 2014 | 3:00 PM EDT

In a report for Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel declared that "Gazans tried to put their lives back together" during a cease-fire with Israel and said of the Palestinian terrorist group that spurred the conflict: "Hamas, after a month of punishment, realized it was nearly without friends in the region. Especially Egypt, its Arab neighbor and former ally." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Engel explained: "This is Gaza's crossing into Egypt. Throughout this war, Hamas's main demand has been to open it, but it's still closed. Hamas has enemies in Israel and in the military-led government in Egypt." Strange that NBC never reported on the isolation of Hamas until after the violence subsided.

By Matthew Philbin | August 5, 2014 | 12:17 PM EDT

It’s a horrible time to be a civilian in Gaza, as ABC, NBC and CBS never tire of telling audiences. But it’s not a good time to be Jewish in Europe, either – maybe not even in America. In the month since the fighting in Gaza began, anti-Semitism has been surging across Europe, as protests against the IDF offensive drop any pretense of being about Israel and turn into orgies of anti-Semitic hate. The response from the U.S. broadcast networks: silence.

In Athens, Greece, a Holocaust memorial was vandalized, as was one in Sevastopol, Crimea. There have been at least nine attacks on French synagogues since the fighting began, and a Jewish-owned shop was burned in Paris. The cars of Jewish families have been vandalized in Amsterdam. Scores of anti-Semitic incidents have occurred in Italy, Britain and Germany. A synagogue was vandalized in Miami, and #HitlerWasRight trended worldwide on Twitter. Oh, and just the other day a Hamas official trotted out the old blood libel that Jews used to kill Christians and use their blood to bake matzos.

By Tom Blumer | August 4, 2014 | 11:53 PM EDT

A popular blood libel Palestinian leaders and parents tell their people and children goes as follows: "Jews used to slaughter Christians in order to mix their blood in their holy matzos."

In the video (HT Twitchy) which follows the jump, Blitzer asks Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan to confirm that the quoted words just cited are what he recently said and meant. Over nearly seven agonizing minutes, Hamdan never admitted to anything, but certainly conducted himself as if he had uttered those words. To his credit, Blitzer noted that the end of the segment that his question had not been answered, leaving reasonable viewers to believe Hamdan did say previously say them, and that the bare outlines of his attempted excuse, which was essentially a claim that "I was just repeating something someone else said," doesn't fly.

By Kyle Drennen | August 4, 2014 | 4:50 PM EDT

All three network morning shows on Monday eagerly touted the Obama administration denouncing Israel after an attack on Hamas targets in Gaza led to civilian deaths. On NBC's Today, correspondent Richard Engel proclaimed: "After another attack on Palestinians taking shelter at a U.N.-run school on Sunday, Washington issued its strongest condemnation yet of its ally. The U.S. State Department said it was 'appalled by the disgraceful shelling.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Engel continued: "U.N. officials were shocked Israel chose to attack where it knew so many civilians would be in danger....The U.N. secretary general called the Israeli strike 'a moral outrage and a criminal act.'"

By Tom Blumer | August 3, 2014 | 10:43 AM EDT

On Thursday, as Connor Williams at NewsBusters reported, Joe Scarborough at MSNBC "ripped Israel for their 'indiscriminate' attacks upon Gaza, and feared that this would only cause the conflict to worsen in the future." Specifically, Scarborough said that "this is asinine. This continued killing of women and children in a way that appears to be indiscriminate is asinine," and "we will rue the day that this is happening every day and women and children are being seen."

On Friday, as Laura Flint at NewsBusters noted, Scarborough attempted to walk back some of what he said, insulting his objectors by saying he would use "simple talk that simple minded people can understand." He was apparently so proud of what he said that he had it printed virtually verbatim at the Politico late Friday afternoon, complete with an emphatic, condescending title. Let's revisit the screed to make a few important points (produced in full because it has already been broadcast; bolds and numbered tags, used so Joe can better follow "simple-minded" points, are mine):

By Curtis Houck | August 1, 2014 | 11:20 PM EDT

On Friday night, the major broadcast networks all covered the latest developments in the conflict between the Israelis and Hamas as a three-day cease-fire collapsed after an Israeli solider was captured during an ambush while the two sides fought in an underground tunnel. In their coverage, the networks used some harsh language in describing the Israeli offensive to seek out those responsible and two networks touted Palestinians praising the capture. 

Anchor Diane Sawyer said on ABC World News described Israel’s actions after “one of their soldiers was apparently captured by Hamas” as “[a] pounding response.” In a report from ABC News chief foreign correspondent Terry Moran, he noted how, at the start of the cease fire, there “was quiet in Gaza” as “[y]ou could hear the birds chirp” before noting that, not long after, “it was on again.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]

By Clay Waters | July 31, 2014 | 10:46 PM EDT

New York Times Cairo bureau chief David Kirkpatrick's front-page story on Thursday, "Arab Leaders, Viewing Hamas as Worse Than Israel, Stay Silent," appeared under a sympathy-inducing photo of a shattered United Nations school allegedly hit by an Israeli shell, while Kirkpatrick's story tried to induce sympathy toward Hamas, abandoned by Egypt and Saudi Arabia, its erstwhile allies in the fight for the destruction of Israel.

An online teaser actually suggested Egypt's opposition to the terror group Hamas was a regrettable obstacle to peace: "Led by Egypt, a coalition of Arab states has effectively lined up with Israel in its fight against Hamas, posing new obstacles to efforts to end the Gaza conflict." Acording to Kirkpatrick, Hamas's terrorist status is up for debate, as it is merely "deemed a terrorist group by the United States and Israel."

By Kyle Drennen | July 31, 2014 | 11:00 AM EDT

In an interview with Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie noted how "anti-Israel protests around the world" "have taken a disturbing turn and become anti-Semitic in nature," but proceeded to blame Israel for the prejudice: "Do you ask yourselves, 'Okay, we may be winning militarily but are we losing the larger battle, the PR war?' And perhaps, as one headline put it yesterday, minting the next generation of terrorists?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

The headline Guthrie cited was from the liberal Daily Beast website, which on Wednesday published an article by Jesse Rosenfeld, who ranted: "It is not Hamas propaganda, the school curriculum or even their parents that make these children see a future where continued resistance is the only option for survival. That was an education taught by the Israeli bombs that flattened their homes and by the bread lines across the street from the school."

By Kyle Drennen | July 30, 2014 | 10:28 AM EDT

In a report for Wednesday's NBC Today, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel – who on Monday fretted that Hamas would get "nothing" out of a cease-fire deal with Israel – highlighted a Palestinian teenager celebrating the terror group's attacks: "In Gaza, many see these attacks as justified. 16-year-old Farah Bakkar has developed a following online after live tweeting as [Israeli] bombs fell....Farah never supported Hamas before, but does now." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

A sound bite ran of Bakkar proclaiming: "When I see the [Hamas] rockets getting to Israel, I start loving them more and more and I pray for them."