Will Hamas Win the Propaganda War?

 

As we watch with alarm the pro-Hamas protests that are taking place all over the world and in the U.S. in response to the war in Israel, I can’t help but wonder about the mindset of these people. Can it really just be about anti-Semitism, meaning that you can cheer on the attackers and destroyers? Do all of those people ignore the evidence about the vicious attacks on civilians, women, and children in Israel, or do they simply not care because they are Jews?

Especially concerning is that when this conflict is over (and I have to assume it will end one day), what will world opinion say about the two adversaries? What happens if the world condemns Israel and supports Hamas? You may say that couldn’t happen, but if you look at the propaganda war that Hamas is waging, I wouldn’t be so sure. Even when Hamas acts in ways that hurt the Palestinians, the world takes their side. Let me give you a few examples:

  1. Demanding a cease fire to bring in humanitarian aid—there is no way to be assured that the aid that comes in will not be taken by Hamas for their war efforts. John Kirby with the NSC even tried to re-label the cease-fire by calling it a “pause,” but even if they took that approach, international pressure would likely demand that it be extended or that negotiations commence. Meanwhile, watch for pressure from the United States and then other nations to ramp up the aid on behalf of the Palestinians. Meanwhile, Hamas will steal the aid for themselves.
  2. Hamas builds hospitals, schools, homes, and businesses over the huge maze of tunnels they have built. Hamas isn’t reluctant to use human beings as shields, even their own people. Every time Israel tries to destroy a tunnel that provides a safe haven for Hamas, they could be destroying the people in the building above ground, as well as those in the tunnels, including not only Hamas fighters but hostages and other civilians. Striking hospitals, even under these circumstances, will bring Israel’s fighting strategy into question. And of course, many Israeli soldiers will die, no matter how advanced their techniques for tunnel destruction.
  3. Hamas has told the Israelis from the start to enact a cease-fire so that negotiations to release the hostages can take place. Acquiescing to any demand from Hamas would put Israel in a weak position, and the Israelis would not have the power to insist that Hamas agree to their terms. At this point, there is no way to know how many hostages are still alive. Although every human life is precious, hundreds if not thousands of lives could be at stake if negotiations for hostages took place.
  4. Most of the mainstream media is colluding with Hamas. Reports of the activities on October 7 are limited, so, information on the full horror of the Hamas attack can only be found on certain media.
  5. Even the media is using the pejorative language of Hamas: words like apartheid, colonialism, occupation are commonplace. Every time these words are used, they condemn Israel—and sympathize with Hamas.
  6. Iran will continue to supply Hamas with weapons, and at this time, there is no indication that anyone, including the US, is prepared to stop them. Joe Biden is either intimidated by Iran or still harbors the outrageous belief that he will be able to negotiate an agreement with Iran.
  7. When hospitals are hit with weapons, the Palestinian Ministry of Health reports the number of people killed or wounded. The PMH, however, has been shown in the past to be unreliable regarding the accuracy of these numbers. We saw this verified when Hamas blamed Israel for striking a hospital, claiming hundreds were killed; instead, an out-of-control missile from Islamic Jihad was responsible, and many fewer were hurt. Neither Hamas not the PMH corrected the record.
  8. Israel will enter Palestinian villages if they are harboring Hamas leaders, as they did in Jabaliya, a Hamas stronghold. In the process, many Palestinians will also perish. These actions ensure that the Hamas leadership is destroyed, but the Israelis will be accused of killing civilians.
  9. Protestors insist that the stories of Hamas atrocities are misinformation, even though Hamas filmed their actions of attacking, burning civilians, and killing babies.

*     *     *     *

If the propaganda of the war continues in a similar fashion, Israel will begin to fall out of favor. Countries will criticize the number of civilians who have died. Humanitarian aid will be insufficient. Hamas infrastructure and population will be decimated. Hamas will continue to try to justify its actions; several days after the initial massacre, a Hamas official said the following:

Hamas official Ghazi Hamad, a member of the Hamas politburo and Hamas deputy prime minister, said in an interview on Lebanon’s LBC TV that Hamas will continue to repeat the October 7 ‘Al-Aqsa Flood’ Operation, in which over 1,400 people were cruelly slaughtered and over 200 people kidnapped into Gaza, over and over until Israel is ‘annihilated.’

In contrast, Benjamin Netanyahu stated the following:

I hope and pray that civilized nations everywhere will back this fight. Because Israel’s fight is your fight. If Hamas and Iran’s axis of evil win, you will be his new target. That’s why Israel’s victory will be your victory.

The world will be changed by this war. Even if Israel “wins the war,” the next step could be Iran’s actions to establish the next caliphate. What happens if the world rejects Israel as the victor?

Who do you think will win the propaganda war? What happens then?

Published in Islamist Terrorism
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  1. Dotorimuk Coolidge
    Dotorimuk
    @Dotorimuk

    Here in Korea, two people I know who were 100% on Israel’s side have already been swayed by the propaganda. It’s unreal how quick it happened.

    • #1
  2. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Hamas will win the propaganda war among the weak-minded, which includes a boatload of college students in this country . . .

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    Here in Korea, two people I know who were 100% on Israel’s side have already been swayed by the propaganda. It’s unreal how quick it happened.

    I

    It doesn’t take long, and it doesn’t take much. I’m worried.

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Stad (View Comment):

    Hamas will win the propaganda war among the weak-minded, which includes a boatload of college students in this country . . .

    When the fighting is over, how will that win affect Israel?

    • #4
  5. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    They fight a propaganda war because they know it will work.

    • #5
  6. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    When people talk cease-fire I just remember what I read here on Ricochet. (I don’t remember who made this comment. Sorry.) – There was a cease-fire in effect on October 6.

    • #6
  7. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    Here in Korea, two people I know who were 100% on Israel’s side have already been swayed by the propaganda. It’s unreal how quick it happened.

    Have they seen pictures of beheaded babies?  Probably not . . .

    • #7
  8. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Stad (View Comment):

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    Here in Korea, two people I know who were 100% on Israel’s side have already been swayed by the propaganda. It’s unreal how quick it happened.

    Have they seen pictures of beheaded babies? Probably not . . .

    They would say, what pictures? Or that even pictures are propaganda.

    • #8
  9. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    The answer to the post title question: Yes, at least in the short run. Sadly, Israel and the Jews have relatively few staunch friends within the total human population. A number, not most, have active hatred, the remainder are divided between the indifferent and uncaring, the sympathetic but not committed, and the committed staunch friends. We all tend to believe what we want to believe. Propaganda deepens the belief of the believers, and pulls on the indifferent and sympathetic. This is why propaganda exists and is a tool of warfare, political and kinetic. The long view permits reassessment, but too remote from the events that propaganda is intended to influence. It is sad, but reality — like human frailty and evil. 

    • #9
  10. Franco 🚫 Banned
    Franco
    @Franco

    People want to believe certain things. It becomes their identity. It becomes its own cult.

    They now must believe that things are so horrendous in Gaza and that Israelis are so evil that it ‘made’ these monsters commit these retail atrocities, and that these heinous crimes themselves prove a kind of ‘justified’ provocation. 

    We are born ‘believers’.  Children want to believe in Santa Clause. They believe because they want to believe. Even six-year-olds have enough experience and logic to wonder how Santa is able to travel the world delivering presents through chimneys despite his age and corpulence. But then evidence of Santa’s presence is certified by the half-eaten cookie and empty glass of milk on the mantle piece. Doesn’t take much to convince them of things they already believe and want to believe.

    Being psychologically invested in a belief trumps logic and evidence every time.

    They are effectively an unthinking mob who feel invigorated by the number of people who agree with them and are easily led.

     

     

    • #10
  11. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Rodin (View Comment):
    The long view permits reassessment, but too remote from the events that propaganda is intended to influence. It is sad, but reality — like human frailty and evil. 

    In general I would agree with you. But I fear that Israel will be ostracized and isolated in a whole new way–particularly economically. It will make BDS look like child’s play.

    • #11
  12. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):
    The long view permits reassessment, but too remote from the events that propaganda is intended to influence. It is sad, but reality — like human frailty and evil.

    In general I would agree with you. But I fear that Israel will be ostracized and isolated in a whole new way–particularly economically. It will make BDS look like child’s play.

    I fear you are correct. 

    • #12
  13. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    A few of observations:

    1. Trump was absolutely correct when he called the press the enemies of the people.  He should have gone further and called them the enemies of civilization.  
    2. Israel will lose public support in a lot of places, but probably not private support.  It does no good for the Sunnis to support Hamas and Empower Iran, so while Israel may be reviled, in the end they are doing the dirty work that the Saudis, Egyptians, and Jordanians want done. 
    3. Europe appears to be already lost to the Islamists.
    4. If Hamas and Iran win it will be a blow against civilization and may cause a global cataclysm 
    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Raxxalan (View Comment):
    Israel will lose public support in a lot of places, but probably not private support.  It does no good for the Sunnis to support Hamas and Empower Iran, so while Israel may be reviled, in the end they are doing the dirty work that the Saudis, Egyptians, and Jordanians want done. 

    An interesting take, Raxxalan. So while the rest of the world will berate them, the Sunni Arabs will be grateful. It will be interesting to see if they are public about that support.

    • #14
  15. Jim George Member
    Jim George
    @JimGeorge

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    Here in Korea, two people I know who were 100% on Israel’s side have already been swayed by the propaganda. It’s unreal how quick it happened.

    Have they seen pictures of beheaded babies? Probably not . . .

    They would say, what pictures? Or that even pictures are propaganda.

    A member of Ricochet implied that very thing in a recent comment. Persuasive evidence of the power of propaganda over easily manipulated minds. 

    • #15
  16. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):
    Israel will lose public support in a lot of places, but probably not private support. It does no good for the Sunnis to support Hamas and Empower Iran, so while Israel may be reviled, in the end they are doing the dirty work that the Saudis, Egyptians, and Jordanians want done.

    An interesting take, Raxxalan. So while the rest of the world will berate them, the Sunni Arabs will be grateful. It will be interesting to see if they are public about that support.

    I doubt they will be; however, maybe they’ll be a little muted in their criticism.  

    • #16
  17. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Raxxalan (View Comment):
    I doubt they will be; however, maybe they’ll be a little muted in their criticism.  

    And we’ll have to see if Saudi Arabia and Israel continue their negotiations when it’s all over.

    • #17
  18. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Stad (View Comment):

    Hamas will win the propaganda war among the weak-minded, which includes a boatload of college students in this country . . .

    … and others.

    • #18
  19. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Percival (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Hamas will win the propaganda war among the weak-minded, which includes a boatload of college students in this country . . .

    … and others.

    Well said!

    • #19
  20. DrewInWisconsin, Demagogue 🚫 Banned
    DrewInWisconsin, Demagogue
    @DrewInWisconsin

    The propaganda outlets in the U.S. will help them win the propaganda war.

    Which is to say, every vector of influence and information in the United States: the news media, the entertainment industry, academia, education, . . . and on it goes.

    • #20
  21. aardo vozz Member
    aardo vozz
    @aardovozz

    Percival (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Hamas will win the propaganda war among the weak-minded, which includes a boatload of college students in this country . . .

    … and others.

    Insufficiently cynical.

    • #21
  22. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    aardo vozz (View Comment):
    Insufficiently cynical.

    • #22
  23. Misthiocracy has never Member
    Misthiocracy has never
    @Misthiocracy

    Susan Quinn: Even when Hamas acts in ways that hurt the Palestinians, the world takes their side.

    How does one judge what “the world” believes?

    Does one mean the mainstream world media?  That’s actually a very small number of people working for a very small number of media outlets owned by a small number of corporations and governments, and not really a good proxy for “the world”.

    Does one mean according to votes at the UN?  The way the UN is structured (with every country getting a single vote regardless of population) really skews what a UN vote actually means (and creates a huge disincentive for small countries that really aren’t viable as independent entities to seek mergers with each other) so it’s not really a good proxy for “the world” either.

    Or does one mean the governments of the biggest and richest countries? The “great powers”, as they used to call them.

    • #23
  24. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Misthiocracy has never (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: Even when Hamas acts in ways that hurt the Palestinians, the world takes their side.

    How does one judge what “the world” believes?

    Does one mean the mainstream world media? That’s actually a very small number of people working for a very small number of media outlets owned by a small number of corporations and governments, and not really a good proxy for “the world”.

    Does one mean according to votes at the UN? The way the UN is structured (with every country getting a single vote regardless of population) really skews what a UN vote actually means (and creates a huge disincentive for small countries that really aren’t viable as independent entities to seek mergers with each other) so it’s not really a good proxy for “the world” either.

    Or does one mean the governments of the biggest and richest countries? The “great powers”, as they used to call them.

    Good question, Mis. I’d say the first and last item you list.The media may be a small group, but would you deny that they are incredibly influential and shape public opinion? I’d like to think that nobody pays attention to the UN. And yes, some governments have already adopted BDS. I expect, even though many of those countries will want products from Israel (which they may still choose to buy), they will berate Israel for their cruelty. Do my concerns not seem legitimate?

    • #24
  25. Misthiocracy has never Member
    Misthiocracy has never
    @Misthiocracy

    Jim George (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    Here in Korea, two people I know who were 100% on Israel’s side have already been swayed by the propaganda. It’s unreal how quick it happened.

    Have they seen pictures of beheaded babies? Probably not . . .

    They would say, what pictures? Or that even pictures are propaganda.

    A member of Ricochet implied that very thing in a recent comment. Persuasive evidence of the power of propaganda over easily manipulated minds.

    < devil’s advocate mode = on >

    Or, memories of the “babies taken from incubators and thrown on the floor” narrative from the first Gulf War that was revealed to have been created by Hill & Knowlton have taught people who remember that incident to be very very very skeptical of any evidence coming from interested parties in a conflict.

    Trust but verify. Trust but verify.

    <devil’s advocate mode = off >

    • #25
  26. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Misthiocracy has never (View Comment):

    Or, memories of the “babies taken from incubators and thrown on the floor” narrative from the first Gulf War that was revealed to have been created by Hill & Knowlton have taught people who remember that incident to be very very very skeptical of any evidence coming from interested parties in a conflict.

    Trust but verify. Trust but verify.

    <devil’s advocate mode = off >

    Sorry, Mis, but could you make your point specific. I’m not following you. So far, nobody is verifying anything if they’re pro-Hamas, and I suspect over time, more and more people will be skeptical of the Israelis.

    • #26
  27. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    When this much emotion is demonstrated all over the world, I don’t expect people to be reasonable or rational. If anything, they will retreat to their corners and yell even louder. 

    • #27
  28. Globalitarian Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    Jim George (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    Here in Korea, two people I know who were 100% on Israel’s side have already been swayed by the propaganda. It’s unreal how quick it happened.

    Have they seen pictures of beheaded babies? Probably not . . .

    They would say, what pictures? Or that even pictures are propaganda.

    A member of Ricochet implied that very thing in a recent comment. Persuasive evidence of the power of propaganda over easily manipulated minds.

    In this case, I don’t think it was propaganda that did it, but a hatred all his own.

    • #28
  29. Misthiocracy has never Member
    Misthiocracy has never
    @Misthiocracy

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):
    I doubt they will be; however, maybe they’ll be a little muted in their criticism.

    And we’ll have to see if Saudi Arabia and Israel continue their negotiations when it’s all over.

    Well, Palestinians have not always been reliable friends of Arab nations. For example, the PLO supported Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait way back in 1990. As such, Gaza cannot count on support from Arab nations if such support isn’t strongly in those nations’ political or economic interest.

    Furthermore, the fact that Hamas is basically an Iranian client (i.e. much or most of their funding comes from Shiite Iran rather than from Sunni governments) also creates a disincentive for Arab nations to take Gaza’s side.

    • #29
  30. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Misthiocracy has never (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):
    I doubt they will be; however, maybe they’ll be a little muted in their criticism.

    And we’ll have to see if Saudi Arabia and Israel continue their negotiations when it’s all over.

    Well, Palestinians have not always been reliable friends of Arab nations. For example, the PLO supported Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait way back in 1990. As such, Gaza cannot count on support from Arab nations if such support isn’t strongly in those nations’ political or economic interest.

    Furthermore, the fact that Hamas is basically an Iranian client (i.e. much or most of their funding comes from Shiite Iran rather than from Sunni governments) also creates a disincentive for Arab nations to take Gaza’s side.

    I agree with all you say! The Gazans will not be popular with any country–except to be used as a propaganda tool against Israel. That’s why the Arab countries kept them in place all this time.

    • #30
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