Skip to main content



‘It’s their land’: Americans debate Gaza, Israel and Hamas

Nov 30, 2023


Since Oct. 7, the Israel-Hamas war has claimed at least 16,000 lives, displaced over 1,500,000 Palestinians, and has polarized and divided citizens in the United States and around the globe. The level of violence in Gaza has few global precedents since the end of World War II. Yet even as conflict mediators from the U.S., Egypt and Qatar work together to try to extend the temporary ceasefire, both Hamas and Israeli officials insist that the war must go on.

In this 54-minute episode of America Speaks, political analyst and pollster Dr. Frank Luntz asks Americans who they blame for the conflict, who they think is winning in the war for public opinion, whether or not they favor a cease-fire, and what they think of various pro-Palestinian or pro-Israeli arguments.

Of all the sessions we’ve hosted here at America speaks, none has been more difficult than the conversation about the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. Emotions are high. Tolerance for other points of view is low, and the video and visuals coming out of Israel and Gaza will break your heart. The people here at trade, our news are deeply committed to open debate and vigorous discussion about the things that matter most to people like you. And we will never shy away from tough but essential discussions. So we sat down with 19 Americans from coast to coast to better understand the perspectives of both sides of the debate. And to talk about what comes next. I can’t promise you you will agree with everything you hear. And I’m pretty sure there will be moments when you will get quite angry or upset as our participants did. In fact, for the first time in an American speaks session, tears were shed. But I can promise you that you will be smarter and better informed. If you stay with us for the entire segment, there’s a lot to unpack. So let’s start is probably a dangerous act to have a conversation like this over an issue that is so controversial.


All you have to do is look across the country at the protests on both sides, to look at the world community right now that’s upset and seeking some sort of change. This battle between Israel and the Palestinians or Hamas, depending on how you define it has really split the country and split the globe. So we’re going to try to have this conversation in a respectful in a civil way. I invite you to pay passionate, I invite you to tell me exactly what you think and how you feel and why. And all I do is ask you to be civil about it. Who do you blame for the conflict? Let’s get right at it. Who do you blame for the conflict? Israel or Palestine?


Anybody? In fact,


most okay, you’re not.


Okay, David, you said Hamas, not Palestine? Why Hamas? Well, I believe that. Yeah. All Hamas are Palestinians. But not all Palestinians are Hamas. And I think that that Palestine has been victimized by poor leadership for decades and decades. And they just can’t get ahead. And and I don’t know that Israel’s always made the right move. The settlements are. I mean, even the UN says they’re illegal. So




Judy, I saw you nodding your head. Explain. I agree with that, you know, the all Palestinians are not part of Hamas. Hamas is at the base of this, you know, and maybe Israel’s response has not been appropriate in all degrees. But I don’t blame the Palestinian people on the baseline. Not at all.


Adrian, I think Hamas is kind of like a cartel. And they control the people in Palestine and keep them down. They tax them heavily. They do all the legal stuff through the tunnels, and everything. And when you said, who’s to blame, I’d actually say it’s Russia or Iran, myself, because I’ve served over there in Iraq, and there’s a heavy presence to destabilize that part. And it sure took a lot of


our TV viewing off of the Ukraine with this. So I blame a lot of people playing the Palestinians. They’re playing the game with them. Hamas is responsible the way they went in and slaughtered those innocent Israelis. It’s unconscionable. Israeli must protect itself. And the Palestinians in in Gaza are simply victims of Hamas who have terrorizing them as much as they’re terrorizing the Israelis. who blames Israel here.


I mean, to an extent, but I really, England, if we go back to the beginning of this, it’s England is to blame. And the countries that gave away land that was not theirs to give away is really who’s to blame for this situation. But


additionally, Israel because they have treated these people whose it’s their land, you can’t come in to somebody else’s place. If somebody breaks into my house and goes, well, this is my house now. And then I deal with it for a while and get fed up. Then I’ve gotten fed up because somebody broke into my house and lied to me and said it’s there’s, that’s, you know, the Palestine people have had enough of having what their homes stolen from them. Nicole? Yes, I absolutely agree with Emily. Um,


Do I really blame Hamas but I also blame Israel because they were really overdoing it at this point like, you’re right. People are really trying to get out. They’re trying to just, you know, live they’re trying to get their kids out of there. I mean, you can see them in huge processions.


Like, they’re just, it’s gone way overboard now. And that’s just all needs really stop.


Adrian, I saw you reacting you agree with that? Yeah.


I hate it that we have to pick a side. I hate it that were either anti semitic, or anti Muslim, or anti Palestinians. Both sides are wrong here. And I think Israel, it’s like it used to be in Israel. Someone from Gaza would throw a rock and they shoot him with a machine gun. But it’s too much on their side.


What they’re doing the Gaza right now is, is horrible. Right. But do they have a right to protect their country? Yes. But I don’t know if they have a right to do the devastation that they’re doing within gardening. So Judy, I see you nodding your head. Please tell me why Absolutely. i It’s very dear and near to my heart. The Palestinian people deserve to have a homeland. The Israel got their homeland. This is so the process of this has been so long and calming. You know, but the Palestinians have just fit the Israeli civilian tolerant of them in yes, they want to keep that keep that land unstable in the Palestinian society unstable. They deserve their own homeland. Israel has certainly killed a lot of people in this war, but Hamas did started. But I do think that Israel should be a little bit more just ended, you know, discriminate with their bombing, instead of you know, bombing dropping, you know, 40 ton bombs, they do have the capability to do more precision bombing, if they say that they know that there’s a terrorist in the building, do precision bombing to get the terrorists don’t go up the building and everyone around it. So well, Israel is not, you know, to blame for starting this. I think they can do a better job of trying to do it in a better way so that they’re not killing so many innocent people. And I think that’s everyone’s concern.


They use their own people as human shields. So yeah. You know, yeah. So


it’s, I mean, they’re both to blame, but like, the rules to even war has it? Yeah, they live outside those walls. The goal is to throw a walk in and go through. Right now, Israel’s living outside those rules to their bombing stream. Absolutely. hostage, I mean, and refugee camps, so they’ve crossed lines as well.


It’s not that simple. If you’re have combatants inside of a hospital or battalion aid station, that becomes a rather murky subjects. You can’t just have combatants within a hospital.


You can wait and you can go in with ground troops. I think that just might be better than just this carpet bombing thing that’s going out works. I’m sorry. I mean, you might be right. I know nothing about warfare. I’m just saying perception. And that’s why everybody’s so angry. But


yeah, I get it. But at same time, we’re talking about combatants inside areas where they have human shields, and they’re relying on areas that are marked with red crests.


This is not an unfamiliar topic. And this has happened, you know, in other regions.


Could I agree that could be more surgical, but at the same time,


at what risk? I mean, it’s not an easy answer. There could be you don’t get to bomb hospitals and kill 10s of 1000s of children. And then say you have the moral high ground, though.


Kind of the issue from


the good guys when they get that but we’re human shields here. You know, Hamas does not have to be read, crusting, you know, a human shield target. You know, at the same time, foreign mortars and other assets of high value target.


Right, let’s make it easier. Brian, you’ve been quiet. What’s your opinion of this? Thus, um, so I personally think that what it boils down to is sales leadership


on both sides. I think what I’m most angry about personally is that on the side of Palestine, mainly Hamas,


the tactics which had been used that that had been actually carried out on there


Side tour towards Israel. I personally feel as though that they’re a little bit more dirty, a little bit less ethical. I think that obviously that we’re as a whole is not right, of course. But I think that what is been done, you know, you know, turn the ball, say human shields and things like that on the side of the moss.


That’s what really makes me the most irritable and most angry about this entire thing.


How many of you think Israel’s losing the PR war? Raise your hands?


That’s almost all of you lives. Why is Israel losing? I think the image is coming out of people fleeing southward. Last night, I saw a woman who was 98 years old hobbling, who had lived through the first instance of this, just those kinds of images coming out, it seems like they’re more so on the Palestinian side of them fleeing, and it’s kind of like if we can’t protect children on either side, like what are we doing as a human beings?


Why do you think Israel is losing the PR war? I think the images coming out no sign of, you know, all the dead children, you know, the the bodies of people wrapped up in the white tarps. You know, at what point? Is this going to end it’s been going on for, you know, a month now, and, and over 10,000 Palestinian people have been been killed.


Every one’s life valuable.


It’s very devastating and painful and evil what Hamas did to people in Israel on October 7. So we’re not going to forget about that. But at the same time, you know, what, one point? You know, is the bombing going to end? Is it going to be 20,000 30,000 40,000? what’s the end game? Nicole? Why is Israel losing the PR war? Frank, Israel is losing the PR war because it’s gone on way too far. And this is there’s no stop to this. When is it gonna stop? It’s just too devastating.


They they haven’t defined in Gaza, the rubble


and are still research. I’m gonna


quote I’m sorry. It’s just this is in the New York Times that said that this was news to me, speaking of history that Netanyahu was talking to the Coode in 2019, and said those who want to thwart the possibility of a Palestinian state should support the strengthening of Hamas. And the transfer of money to Hamas. This is part of our strategy. I’m assuming it’s true, because it’s in the New York Times. I don’t understand why Israel is so opposed to the Palestine having a state, wouldn’t that be so much better than


being ruled by a terrorist group that wants to destroy Israel off the face of the earth? I just don’t understand that strategy. You’re gonna, you’re nodding? Well, it all comes down to that. And you know, Christian mentioned it earlier. It’s it almost is never about religion. And the Palestinians do deserve that homeland, but it’s about power and land. That’s what it comes down to. If you know who who wants that piece of land with the Palestinians? Who’s fighting over it. It’s it’s usually all about the power and the land. And I’m I’m really I want to go back to the question. So many of you think that Israel’s losing the PR war, you are nodding as we were having that conversation. Kimberly, from Nevada, what’s your reaction to that? Is history. I mean,


they seem to have the upper hand they need to just get together and compromise and figure this out and quit having the senseless deaths. It’s just, it’s both.


I mean,


I don’t know if there has to be some compromise. They have to figure something out. I’d say put all the heads of state together in one room, lock them in and they can’t come out until they figure it out. And quit killing innocent people.


Lot of people said this has been going on for a month. It’s been going on for 75 years.




October 7 Didn’t happen in a vacuum. This is what these are the words of the UN Secretary General, for which he was asked to resign just for saying that. So you can’t even open your mouth about anything anti Israel without being labeled anti semitic these days. You guys remember that?




complex. There’s no there’s not a right. There’s not aside That’s right. And, and so that’s why it’s so complex. It’s generations of this going on. It’s terrifying to think about speaking


up really? Why? Because when you somebody, you know, post something on social media and you go to respond and you think, Well geez, yeah, I don’t want people think I’m anti semitic because I happen to be researching and one aspect. You know, people are getting their careers messed up. I yeah, I don’t post anything about this, but I crave reasonable discussions and progress towards solutions, but I can’t do it in public.


Anything about Israel without being anti semitic? It’s two totally different things. The Israeli government is not the Jewish people, or your feeling towards the Jewish people, right? Well, there are plenty of Jewish people who are anti Zionist, anti Israeli government who see the issue or are an anti but just see the issues. So does Israel have the right to exist as a Jewish state?


I think at this point, yes to but there needs to be some sort of compromise, there has to be some land that is given back to the Palestinian people so that they can have a country as well, because the reality


wasn’t that Gaza.


So you live in a six bedrooms mansion, and I’ll give you a broom closet.


You can stay in the broom closet. That’s fine, right? Your whole household, your whole family that took up all six bedrooms, you can live in a broom closet, that’s a perfect solution.


So what land does Israel need to give to the Palestinians, they need to figure it out enough to thrive? That’s something that I you know, as far as how you redraw borders and things like that, as far beyond my like expertise, but you have to give people back enough land that they can survive, that they can have schools that they can grow, have their own government. You can’t cram people into this tiny little box, make it so they can’t travel, make it so they can’t, you know, leave and come back freely. It’s ridiculous. Louise, you agree with that?


Yeah, I mean, I don’t, I’m not knowledge enough to know where the borders need to be redrawn. But the like Palestine has no economy, they’re not going to thrive as a country. So I mean, young men, they’re going to get angry and they’re going to they’re going to radicalize that’s like what’s going to happen, you’re pushing this small piece of land, you’re pushing these people to the brink. During this session, I show participants a number of news broadcasts and videos that have appeared on American television and on social media. Let’s get our panel’s reaction first, to a segment on Algis era about the crisis in Gaza. And next, a segment from CNN. Okay, I want to show you some video. So


our tech is going to pull up and we’re gonna go through a whole bunch of stuff. Some of it, I’m gonna have you comment, in fact, everything I’m gonna have you comment on.


Like Palooza all over again,


explain that. All right, so I see a bunch of dissonance going out there and running amok on, you know, on opposing military assets and whatnot. And, you know, that’s what looks like a cleaned up image of what happened to me, because I mean, you know, anyone who’s been out in a theater, you know, it’s actually seen something like that happen. It doesn’t look that cleaned up. Not Not for real.


You know, but of what I did see smoke and fire folks running through gates, you know, a breached area.


All that’s going to do is have the idea of just lay hell.


And what does that make you feel about Israel and about the Palestinians? I think what it makes me feel


Hamas better find cover, and that’s why they’re going for human shields.




I think you can see that the horrible energy that is there, just just the horrible, pent up like somebody else was saying energy and just fury and the worst part of human nature is what you saw on that.


Okay, Adrian? I, I feel sympathetic, because it was a group that came across into Israel and kill people and attack people at the concert and killed young people. They didn’t care. So I’m sympathetic to that attack to the


People who suffered from that attack not necessarily to the Israeli government, but to the people that were killed. Okay, and I want to emphasize we’re going to go video by video. I know it’s not going to change your point of view overall, I just want to know your reactions to each video.


That was a Palestinian that by the way, that was not there was a Palestinian video, I want to emphasize that was not an Israeli video. That was a Palestinian video and I’m gonna go back and forth. Okay, let’s do the next ad next video


okay, that was the protests in Congress for a ceasefire. Your reaction to that video? I think for me, the protests definitely made me do a deeper dive in the both sides.


Because the first week after this thing, you hear the horror stories. And then, and then factual stories. They it’s so the word propaganda has been


thrown out a lot. But I think the videos you’ve seen, these things actually happen. So they’re actually facts.


So but then all the mass protests have just made me just want to learn more about conflict. Just last night, in New York City, I live in New York, there was a combined rally, they were pro Israel, there were Israel, folks condemning it, along with Palestinians, they were shoulder to shoulder shut down Grand Central, if you know what Grand Central is in New York City. And it was very moving. I think that’s what the common folks want to have. They want to have peace on both sides. And I would support a movement like that, as opposed to being aligned to one side or the other. I see it both communities can harmonize, it would be beautiful. And I saw


the embryonic stages of that last night on TV.


Brittany, from Oregon. I don’t know how you couldn’t feel more hopeful when you see the energy of like you said, the common people. It’s our only hope here is to press those entrenched interests to sit at the table. I thought it was beautiful. And I want more of it got down there right now, in Portland. And relief in Nevada. theme here. I mean, it’s wonderful. And I know that people on both sides don’t want this more to continue. And I’ll get three people who say the protests don’t matter anymore. I mean, I want to I want to see where where’s the outrage for Ukraine? Where’s the outrage for Darfur? There’s so many regions in the world that are currently on fire. And nobody showed up for those lately. And so, you know, it’s sort of, you know, you’re so people are so firm in their beliefs about this particular issue. They don’t care about all the other human suffering. It’s, you can care about more than one thing at a time. You don’t protest more than one thing at a time. Well, I got people who are doing fundraisers for Ukraine right now playing music, so I disagree.


Okay, let’s do another video. Attention has urgently needs your help. Right now. Nowhere is safe in the Gaza Strip on it. While the largest humanitarian operation in Gaza has already recorded direct damage to at least 20 of facilities, including the schools that are sheltering hundreds of 1000s of displaced refugees. We need you to take action now by sending a pre drafted letter to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, urging him to ensure that United Nations facilities in Gaza remain protected at all times. And to allow for humanitarian access to Gaza. A pre drafted letter is ready for you. You just need to add your name. It takes less than 30 seconds visit underway. Congress Okay, how many of you would say that that had an impact on your point of view? Raise your hands


12345 Okay. So majority said no. Tell me why not?


Well, there’s nothing new there. We know that that Gaza needs humanitarian aid. I don’t need to watch a video two young ladies telling me so we know that.


I mean, we’re pretty aware of what’s going on in Gaza and the humanitarian disaster that’s happening there with the water shut off and food barely being able to let in.


Very convenient to make a video


On the safe confines of the United States.


Your signatures on a pre drafted letter, even if there’s a million them aren’t going to move, Secretary blink and to do diddly squat.


I agree. I agree with you. Absolutely. Absolutely.


If you want to make a difference, maybe pick up the phone and call someone. But pre drafted letter? No.


I agree. Okay, let’s go to the next one. The Biden administration would argue that a pause allowing innocent Palestinians to flee and allowing humanitarian supplies to get into Gaza, that that’s one thing, but that stopping the Israeli campaign against Hamas, which is what a ceasefire would be stopping it would be another. Here’s how former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton put it at an event at the Baker Institute.


People who are calling for a ceasefire now do not understand Hamas. That is not possible. It would be such a gift to Hamas, because they would spend whatever time there was a ceasefire, in effect, rebuilding their armaments, you know, creating stronger positions to be able to fend off an eventual assault by the Israelis. But you know, don’t don’t take her word for it. Gaza Yamada, a member of Hamas political bureau told Lebanese TV that the Al Aqsa flood, that’s what Hamas called the October 7 attack.


This is just the first time and there will be a second, a third, a fourth, because we have the determination, the resolve and the capabilities to fight. Will we have to pay a price? Yes. And we are ready to pay it. We are called a nation of martyrs. And we are proud to sacrifice martyrs. Okay. And Nicole, I see you nodding your head. No, tell me why. Because Hamas has overstepped and they’re continuing to overstep. And they don’t even care. They’re putting their own people lives in danger, children, elderly, women. That’s just awful.


Somebody else? Yeah, I don’t see that guy going out there. Exactly. Yeah.


That was the whole idea of a country of martyrs is just horrific. I mean, are the children behind that? Whose idea is that? This like somebody said, let him go out there. This guy in the safety of a TV studio somewhere that was just reflecting on his message. I mean, that’s that’s the extreme message of that they want to wipe Israel off the earth.


That’s a sorry. So that’s, that’s just me. If I was gonna wait, this, definitely more sympathetic. I was really excited after seeing this. Britain because it shows.


I just think that is a portrayal of Hamas sensibility and thinking and it’s horrible. And if they do need to be eradicated, I just don’t think the way to do that is what we’re doing right now.


Kim from Illinois.


Yeah, I agree that Israel cannot do a ceasefire, because Hamas would keep going.


But I do think that it was funny that he was sitting in a studio probably in Qatar, like the other heads of Hamas. And, you know, letting the Palestinians be slaughtered. That was their plan all along. They don’t care. John, how do you react to that video?


Yeah, I mean, I think that’s the whole point, the martyrdom that’s just


misinterpretation of the Koran. And


we just we don’t like that as As Americans, we don’t like that they do that they strap bombs and sells it to innocent people. It’s 1000 Palestinians that suffer from it.


Duty, how do we react to that video?


Yeah, I mean, it’s true is sitting in a safe little studio and talking about wiping people out.


They’re terrorist. I mean, and they have to be stuck. How do you stop them? Even if you get the united nations involved in this with Iran? How do you how do you stop that kind of terrorism? Liz?


You know, it’s scary. It’s scary that that rhetoric is out there, and that’s getting airtime. But I think that’s I mean, I’ve heard it before. I’ve heard Iran’s leaders say the same type of things calling for Jihad calling for violence. It’s kind of more of the same.


Okay, the next one, I want to tech. I know that there’s another segment from Jake Tapper since redoing him. Let’s let’s stay with CNN for one more segment. The fact that Hamas embeds within the Palestinian population. What did they say?


What happened? It turns out that a Saudi journalist asked the spokesman for Hamas that very question, his response was quite telling in terms of Hamas has concerns about Palestinian lives.


I shouldn’t be dear sister nations are not easily liberated. The Russians sacrifice 30 million people in World War Two in order to liberate it from Hitler’s attack, the Vietnamese sacrifice 3.5 million people. And so they defeated the Americans, Afghanistan sacrifice millions of martyrs to defeat USSR. And then the US. The Algerian people sacrificed 6 million martyrs over 130 years. The Palestinian people are just like any other nation. No nation is liberated without sacrifices.


No nation is liberated without sacrifices. Not exactly an expression of regret for innocent Palestinian deaths. Okay. Kim from Illinois, your reaction to that video?


Oh, it makes me so angry. Those poor Palestinian people, they have no one looking out for them. And I mean, their leaders are trying to get them killed. And then like someone said earlier, all of the Arab nations, none of them help them. It’s just It’s just horrible. Horrible. Jen from California.


It’s pretty sickening to hear this.




I’m just kind of speechless, honestly.


I’ll have to get back to you on that. Chris from Connecticut. I don’t like how Hamas has sort of tethered the Palestinian people to itself. And this guy is out save, you know, hundreds of miles away from where this is all happening. And there. Palestinians are completely being used literally as Yes. Yeah. Absolutely. from Massachusetts.


Absolutely. God from Massachusetts. Yeah, absolutely. The Palestinian people are being used Hamas doesn’t give a about them. Okay, again, it all comes down to land and power. That’s what I believe it, and they’re gonna get something out of it. And that’s what they’re thinking. They don’t give a crap about them. Sacrifice.


Man, she’s from Virginia.


I thought the video was disgusting. This guy’s talking about you know, martyrdom, and he’s sitting in a wherever he is in comfort. He’s not doing anything to help his people. They don’t care about the Palestinian people. They’re just tools for their madness. Yep. Brittany, from Oregon.


It’s this gusting? I keep thinking, aren’t we evolving as a society? Are there different ways we can stand up for oppressed people and negotiate? Editor? It’s horrifying. So I got to ask this question. And this is a tough question that


you’re seeing the Hamas leader, these are the real Hamas leadership.


And they’re talking about murdering their people. What is Israel supposed to do in this situation? When these are the people who are leading


the war against Israel? Adrian, you’re a military guy, Johnny, you sound like a military guy. What is an I’ll take any response from any of you. Once here, right now, coed, Michelle just signed their death board. Because at this point, you know, we’re going to look at every person who’s Palestinian, as a potential embed. And so with that, you know, the whole idea of wanting to go out there and sacrifice. I definitely consider that. You’re just gonna say bet Brian, you’ve seen the video you see what they say. This is the leadership watch it is. Yeah, well, it gives them one choice and it’s very sad tries. But Israel is being pretty much cornered to either fight or laid out. So being given their choices.


You know, you know because of a tyrant leader.


They have to keep on fighting and pretty much take them out. I mean, it’s it’s very sad and unfortunate, but that’s that’s their only possible choice at this morning. For seven hours. six year old Susie was trapped under piles of rubble.


Her home was hit by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza. Her mother and four siblings died.


In hospital, she reunited with her father, but they hold hands facing a new life without their family that it didn’t.


I was filled with all the anger of the universe. But when I heard that one of my daughters was alive, I


I sent thank God because this girl might capture some even a little of my other daughter smile.


There’s not much room for innocence in Gaza play time with their new E toys is cut short for the sisters when the sounds of fighting come too close for comfort.


Their father Achmed months, he made YouTube videos that were widely shared on social media to distract his kids from the violence. But days after this recording, he died in an airstrike.


This boy lost his home.


He holds back tears trying to recover some of his belongings


amid the wreckage, a moment of joy for these children who managed to save their pet fish. But experts fear the fleeting moments of happiness may soon be replaced by long term trauma. I would say, if I can jump in fairing, this is what’s hard for me is how media portray stuff. So you can have a media organization like Al Jazeera, and it’s running this the whole time. And then they’re showing how America’s pro Israel, and then you have other conservative ones here in the US that show all the people dying on the Israeli side, and then cutting to those protests in Chicago. So we scratch our heads and say, why are the Liberals so crazy, and anti semitic? It’s how you put those together. And that’s what frustrates me when I watch the news is, depending on which channel I have it on. If it’s a conservative one like Fox, they’re saying, they say, here’s the Israelis, here’s Hamas, they don’t say Palestine. And it’s the other way. On the other shows on the more like MSN VCs and Al Jazeera you’re, you’re seeing it the other way. And so which one you buy into already is the one you’re going to believe, instead of just looking at the people that are getting hurt? No, that’s a very good point. You can’t just look at one media source and you just can’t look at what’s coming. You know what, you know, produce in the United States, you have to look at other media sources. I thought that video that was very devastating. And I hate using this word, but it really humanizes Palestinians are human. But you know, you don’t see that perspective so much. On our media, it is slightly one sided, of course, because Israel is an ally of the United States, but we need to see the whole picture, we need all the information, especially since so many of our tax dollars are going over there and are contributing to suffering that’s happening to the Palestinians. And those children very well could have been American children for how they looked after a disaster. You know, like they


they’re just people you know, caught in a bad situation.


They’re innocent, their innocence. Yeah. And I mean, like, if we can’t do things to protect children, what are we doing as a society as a world you know, it’s messed up. As I watch that video, all I could think is Hamas, you know, it’s just this this entire situation is just perpetuating more vitriol is going in trying to, you know, end or whatever we use their word, they’re using Hamas. But, you know, Hamas is going to turn around and recruit every one of those kids whose parents was killed.


And they just perpetuate the entire thing over and over and Exactly.


Next Generation Yeah, exactly. Right. And it’s just so scary that it’s there’s no there’s because of that endless cycle of violence. Anger with Hamas is overflowing even among those who identify with the Palestinian cause. And one of the reasons can be found in the reaction to this real video.


Why oh,


about a god








Hey, gotta stop. You gotta stop.


I’m your moderator. I’m supposed to be prepared for this. But


wow. I’ll just flat out said,


if you think you’re gonna get me to sympathize with Hamas after that, yeah, they go go to hell. Yep. Done. I’m done. I’m done that that did it for me.


I just did my stomach, Johnson, Illinois,


disgusting and vile


God, Jen from California.


It’s making me really sick. I


don’t even need to see any visuals, just the sounds just the tone and everything. It’s just, I don’t want to ever hear that again.


God from Massachusetts, it’s under some kind of perverted Concept of Religion. I mean, come on, what the hell? You know, I don’t want to sound like Pollyanna. But where the hell does that hatred come from?


So it really is unconscionable? Like,


it’s just like, so unconscionable, like for the flick of father to say, God bless you. I know. Are you serious? Like what God supports that? You know, what? I don’t what good power would be on board with that. It’s perverted. And your your reaction to that ad and then the coal. I mean, it’s it’s horrific. I mean, these are terrorists, they’re homicidal maniacs. I expect nothing less than what they said. That’s what they do. That’s what they are. And the distinction is, that’s Hamas. They are terrorists. That’s not the Palestinian people. So we’re just gonna keep that. Let me step in you inadvertently keep calling it an ad, Frank. And maybe that is true. There is so much propaganda, and this happens on both sides. But there is so much propaganda. We’re all convinced seeing that AD AD again, that this is look at the general reaction, but 75 years of apartheid is behind the real time event that just occurred. No, no, that’s perfectly fine. I understand that. But no, it’s not perfectly fine. That is what he was saying. And you know that he? No, no, look, this is a recent event. All right. And we’re talking about


when you spoke, I did not interrupt you. article about it. No, no, no, no, don’t interrupt me. Okay, you go ahead. You said you Peace Now that we finished mine. So for every one of us was was intended to be converted into this view by that particular ad that we just saw. No one is justifying what the father said, no one knows what that father suffered for 75 years of what a pothead. How many men and women in his family were probably killed before him to be converted into that inhumane monster that resulted in that and that path?


No, no, please, please don’t interrupt.


You know, those folks did not have five years of what happened to whatever that what is that kid laid waste to a bunch of innocent men, women and children.


25 years, none of that has happened to deal with that.


For slaughter, one of the most impactful video segments was an Israeli father talking about the final phone call between himself and his daughter. Several participants said it was one of the most powerful videos they had ever seen. Okay, tech, let’s do the next video. What happened on October 7, October 7.


Started with a phone call when I saw ROM, his name on the cell phone


screen answered. And she said, Abba, I’ve been shot. Where are you? I mean, festival. How come in a festival. Somebody’s shooting you. She said okay, I need to give you a context. I mean, festival in the south of Israel. And there are so many rockets that like pouring rockets on us. And I said Romi Run, run, run for your life. The next call was guy and Ben murder. And I was shot in the hand and she was keep screaming and shouting and I’m going to die. We will comforting her. That no way she’s going to die today. And then slowly, slowly Romney didn’t answer to any of our requests.


But it’s gonna get tough and by the way, it’s gonna get even tougher as I last


I know what the last few videos are, we’ll talk about that in a moment.


Of all the videos,


who would say that that’s the most impactful? Raise your hands.


I thought so. And I want to understand why. So please, Nicole, I’m gonna start with you. And then whoever wants to go,


that just shows the depth and the loneliness of like the moss and how they started this, they entered in and started rocketing and dropping into the concert. And that was just young people, innocent people just trying to enjoy themselves. And so it’s so there. Hello, there, and then I absolutely agree they do need to be stopped. Ryan and then Johnny.


Yeah, you know, I think the lowest of low is to take any kid hostage. And this really speaks to the level of just being a total maniac, that the leaders and the people that are a part are, you know, moss, there it is absolutely tyrants. And it’s just, you know, a speaks to more of why, at this point, I’m more of a moderate, but I’m more pro pro Israel than Palestine. And it’s not the people that I don’t like and Palestine, because I actually have people that that are friends that are actually from Palestine. Um, but the people that are currently leading their nation are really shiny and very negative and a very bad light on their nation. And its people. Very sad. Okay. Johnny, and then Adrian. Alright, so, um, unrest, unscripted. Ra


was evoking emotion from his memories of what happened to his kids. And I think that the fact that was a first strike towards them in a way that was so barbaric and so unconscious.


You know, that, that draws an awful lot.


You know, it just kind of draws you in.


I remember, I was gonna say, I apologize, I was listening to what Brian said, and it threw me off. So to hear that kind of account from somebody that, you know, it’s like his first person account, he was on the phone with these people, I don’t know if it was a family or a friend. And, and, and to hear him account the way that it went down in real time for him, and losing contact with that loved one. It’s just it makes it very personal, it brings it back home, and it’s no longer just watching things on the TV, it was very personal.


And then Adrian, and then whoever else lives actually pull you in on this, Adrian? Well, what it does is, you know, you have Israel on one side, you have Hamas on the other side. And we forget that there are people, and we have our way of viewing already, whether we’re pro them or pro the others. But when someone actually talks and talks about their daughter dying, while he’s listening to her on the phone, it makes them real humans. And I think we could watch a video of that happen on the Palestinian side, have normal everyday people whose daughter just got blown up by a bomb. It makes them real. And so videos like that. Touch us because we are fathers, we are brothers. We’re all that. And it connects us again.


I completely agree with Adrienne.


Better than I could say,


Christian, I gotta ask you a question.


Are you crying? Yeah, I got a little. Look, I’ve got children that age, they go to concerts, they go to a visa, they go, you know, running Burning Man, whatever the hell it’s called. You know, I’ve got kids that age and it just got me a little emotional. And why is that?


It’s so unnecessary. I just, you know, all my life shit. I’m 58 I’ve been hearing about this since I’ve been coming up. This is gonna go on too long. And I guess now that I’m at this stage of my life, and I actually lived in Tel Aviv for four months working with a company called bezig. Like the AT and T the communications carrier. And those people in in that side live, you know, in the same space that the average middle class folks, or on both sides, Palestinians and Israelis coexist quite wonderfully. It’s just leadership and it’s terrible. It’s just terrible, terrible. And just put back a motion. That’s all


why was the Palestinian position over the last two hours stronger for you? And we have two more volunteers.


I think from


It’s not about who sided is because we started out saying who’s who’s at fault and everything. And it just for me, it brings things back to being human. You know, peace people are dying. And even people who aren’t even involved in this, and it just affects just human beings in general. Not about it’s not targeted about fault.


Okay, and one more person on the Palestinian side that the Palestinian argument was stronger, one more.




Oh, I’ll say something. Um, I think just the the level of bombing and the length of, you know, what’s happening over there. I think it I am still, you know, pro Israel. However, I have the caveat there, you know, the level of bombing is just just really outrageous. And I think, you know, the ads definitely swayed me to the Palestinian side. Okay, can I have three people who say that the Israeli position, you feel the Israeli position is stronger after this whole conversation? Yeah. So when we started this, I was honestly very neutral on both sides. I think that the most powerful and most moving video was the video that was by the leader of Hamas.


I think what makes the most sense for a logical person would be to, to compromise to have a middle ground,


he’s made it extremely evident, that he’s not going to be willing to find middle ground to be a rational thought leader, that person in general. Um, so that leaves one choice only for Israel, to keep at this to keep doing what was what they’re currently doing. Because if they don’t, more of their people will will be taken out as each egg is like going by so I don’t think that based on the leader of the terrorist group, Hamas, that there’s much of a choice, and that leads me to be in a much bigger advocate now for for Israel than house. Gianni.


I think you know, ultimately, we all feel for the civilians, but the two things that hit me the hardest were parents in their phone call recount. And, you know, looking at the audio listening to the audio, of,


you know, the Hamas guy going under and killing civilians,


you know, and just bragging about it to their parents.


I think Hamas has created a quagmire. And I think that there’s no way Israel is gonna be back up to the wall when they have the numbers when they have the weapons. And human shielding is not going to gain too much world sympathy back it’s gonna make it worse. So where do we go from here? The one thing everyone in the session agreed on, regardless of whether your loyalties are with the Israelis, or the Palestinians or both. We can never ever let this tragedy happen again.


We will return to this conversation in the weeks ahead, but for now, I’m Dr. Frank Luntz. On behalf of everyone here at straight arrow news. Thank you for watching.

Video Library

Latest Commentary

We know it is important to hear from a diverse range of observers on the complex topics we face and believe our commentary partners will help you reach your own conclusions.

The commentaries published in this section are solely those of the contributors and do not reflect the views of Straight Arrow News.

Latest Opinions

In addition to the facts, we believe it’s vital to hear perspectives from all sides of the political spectrum. We hope these different voices will help you reach your own conclusions.

The opinions published in this section are solely those of the contributors and do not reflect the views of Straight Arrow News.

Weekly Voices

Left Opinion Right Opinion


Left Opinion Right Opinion


Left Opinion Right Opinion


Left Opinion Right Opinion