The names of two terrorists whose inclusion in a tribute by the Newseum to journalists killed in the line of duty stirred controversy last month, remain on the Newseum’s “Memorial Wall,” a letter written by the chief executive officer of the Newseum confirms, The Weekly Standard reported Monday.
The letter, signed by Newseum CEO James C. Duff, is addressed to Warren David, president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and reads: “Thank you for your letters of May 14th and May 21st. The names of the two journalists in question remain on our Memorial Wall. They have not been ‘removed’. We have stated, however, that we intend to re-evaluate whether they were journalists for purposes of our Memorial. I appreciate your concerns.”
The two “journalists” in question are Mahmoud Al-Kumi and Hussam Salama, both killed during Operation Pillar of Defense in November of last year. Both journalists were working for Hamas’ media wing, Al-Aqsa.
The Newseum backtracked on its intention to honor the two in a ceremony May 13, even removing their names from its website, after several Jewish groups publicly questioned the validity of their journalistic credentials.
Jonathan Schanzer, the vice president for research of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based think-tank which expressed its alarm over the initial plans to honor the terrorists, told The Algemeiner this new revelation didn’t sit well with the organization.
“We are dismayed to learn of the Newseum’s decision to place these two Hamas propagandists on their Journalist Memorial Wall ‘pending further investigation.’
“We encourage the Newseum to follow the lead of the US Treasury Department, which has formally designated both Hamas and its media arm, al-Aqsa TV, as terrorist entities.
“Should these names remain, FDD will need to reconsider its business relationship with the Newseum. Others, we expect, will need to do the same.”
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, also expressed his consternation, telling The Algemeiner in an email:
“The memorial wall presents a teaching moment for their visitors. It should be a moment of moral clarity not debasement. You cant have Danny Pearl, a respected and courageous journalist who was brutally murdered because he was a Jew, alongside operatives of Hamas, inc. a group dedicated to murdering Jews. Ethics is not a multiple choice quiz. We can only hope Newseum makes the right choice and soon.”
The Newseum did not immediately respond to The Algemeiner’s ‘s request for comment.