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May 10, 2013 12:42 pm

Think Tank Slams Newseum’s Plan to Honor Hamas Faux ‘Journalists’ (UPDATE)

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A crowd of Hamas supporters.

A pro-Israel think tank in Washington is threatening to switch the venue of its annual policy summit after its original choice, the Newseum, decided to honor two slain ‘journalists’ who were members of the Hamas terror group.

Jonathan Schanzer, the vice president for research of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, told The Algemeiner that his organization would have reservations about affiliating itself with the Newseum were it to go ahead with honoring the journalists.

“We just learned about this last night, and we are eager to learn more. FDD’s president, Cliff May, has a call in to the CEO of the Newseum. As a think tank that has done significant research on terrorist media, we are obviously deeply concerned,” Schanzer said, while adding, “We would have a hard time understanding why anyone would choose to honor anyone working for a terrorist propaganda outfit.”

The Newseum, a journalism museum in Washington, is honoring journalists who were killed on the job this past year in a ceremony on May 13. Two of those being honored, Hussam Salama and Mahmoud al-Kumi, were killed in Gaza in November and worked for Al-Aqsa Television, a Hamas-funded outlet, which itself has been designated a terror organization by the U.S.

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“If the Newseum were commemorating members of designated terrorist organizations whose main targets were Americans or Christians or Kurds or Malian Sufi Muslims, our concern would not be lessened,” Cliff May said in an email to BuzzFeed on Thursday.

May told Buzzfeed he plans to hear out the Newseum.

“Let me be fair and give them an opportunity to answer my questions (I have more than a few),” he said. “As I said: Perhaps there’s been a misunderstanding or perhaps some re-thinking is taking place in light of additional information they have received.”

“But I will say this: I spent most of my adult life as a journalist – at the New York Times and other media organizations,” May said. “I know the difference between a reporter and a terrorist propagandist. I’m hopeful that the folks at the Newseum also are able to make such distinctions.”

A spokesperson for the Newseum told Buzzfeed that they would respond to the organization’s concerns on Friday.

UPDATE: The Newseum defended its decision to honor the terrorists, who they consider journalists, in a statement issued to the Free Beacon on Friday.

“Hussam Salama and Mahmoud Al-Kumi were cameramen in a car clearly marked ‘TV,'” Newseum spokesman Scott Williams told the Free Beacon via email. “The Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers all consider these men journalists killed in the line duty.”

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  • Saidi

    The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies should have NO RESERVAATIONS NOR THREATEN to change venue.

    The FDD should JUST DO IT!!!

    There is nothing to consider or think about.

    There should be no chance.

    Lessons must be learned and positions need be taken!

  • GABY

    Very good article. In my opinion, the words we use to describe terror are subjected to a double standard. If they are Muslim, then they are militants, if they are Israel, then they must be settlers.
    Thank you for your candor and calling things by their name. I hope there are more people like you in the media.

  • Kiflemariam Melake

    I think to honor journalists is a must. However, terrorists who took cover of journalism are not professionally acceptable. It is to make journalism a safe house for terrorists. As far as the information is clearly seen HAMAS one of the worst terrorist organization in the middle east has acknowledged them as members of the terrorist group. Journalists MUST BE IMPARTIAL AND MEMBERS OF NON-TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS IF THEY WANT TO BE JOURNALISTS. TO GIVE AN EXCUSE FOR THIS BEHAVIOR WOULD MAKE JOURNALISM TO SERVE AS A SHEEP SKIN FOR TERRORISTS AS WELL AS FOR DRUG CARTEL MEMBERS AND FOR THAT MATTER A LOT MORE. WILL YOU ACCEPT A RAPIST JOURNALIST AS A JOURNALIST?. I AM SORRY TO OPPOSE HONORING THE SAID TWO HAMAS MEMBERS. I HAVE DISTRIBUTED THE POLITICAL PROGRAM OF HAMAS 1988 AND I HAVE SHOWN ALL THOSE WHO WANT AND ARE READY TO HEAR WHAT HAMAS IS AND FOR WHAT IT IS USING THE GUN. I PREFER TO BE ON THE RIGHT SIDE AND DEFEND INNOCENT PEOPLES THROUGHOUT THE WORLD FROM THE INHUMANITY OF TERRORISTS. THEREFOR EITHER CHOOSE A JOURNALISM WHICH IS NEUTRAL AND AGAINST TERRORISM OR TERRORISM. THE TWO CANNOT GO TOGETHER.

  • Stuart Hersh – victim of Hamas terrorism

    The Newseum’s defense is absurd on the following grounds:
    1.Anyone can mark their vehicle “TV”. All it takes is a roll of white adhesive tape.
    2. The vehicle itself was not the target. It was the “journalists” inside.
    3. There is no rational or logical reason to presume that because they were in a vehicle with homemade marking, that these individuals were, in fact, “cameramen” to be considered as “journalists killed in the line of duty.”

    I would attempt to honestly answer the question: What, in fact, was their true “line of duty?”

  • Vivienne Leijonhufvud

    I’d want to be convinced these two guys, didn’t steal a TV van for the purposes of deceiving the rest of us. Frankly I wouldn’t put it past them. I cannot believe the US after numerous terrorist attacks on the States are taking this attitude. Most of the news we get in Europe out of the Middle East, always has the proviso from the Newscaster, stating “we have no proof the film here is genuine.” Many terrorists fake up pictures, videos. Terrorists take pics on their mobiles which they may well send to Algazera etc. I watch both Arab, European and world news and there are times one can see pics are faked up.

    Apart from anything else if you are genuine Journalist common sense tells you you keep out of the line of fire. Further more two journalists together, questionable? BBC have lost guys and gals, don’t think two on the same day. More propaganda to turn the World against Israel in my view and as a member of Jo Public, and its Jo Public, Israel needs behind her.

    World opinion from Joe Public counts, we’re in the majority. Shame on these folks honoring Hamas terrorist journalists? Propaganda on the part of Hamas, I believe!

  • Bella

    So if SS henchmen were killed ‘in the line of duty’ would they also merit awards?

  • Asher

    Perhaps they should also honor the Nazi “journalist” Goebbels or the editor of the Shturmer for being a journalists “killed in the line of duty”.

  • AmericanJuice

    Newseums’ reply is completely idiotic, to paraphrase Martin Luther King we should judge people by the content of their character not the writing on the outside of their vehicle. By that logic I guess we could all just wear t-shirts that say “PRESS” or “Photographer” and completely disregard morality, human rights and laws.

  • gregg solomon

    Islamic Extremists use marked ambulances to move “team-members” around, to move guns, explosives, rockets. Islamic Extremists use civilian homes, hospitals and Mosques as bases of operation. Transporting yourself in an ambulance does not make you a medic, operating out of a home does not make you a civilian, out of a hospital a doctor, out of a Mosque a cleric, and declaring yourself a journalist does not make you a journalist.

    An acquaintance headed a territory for one of the most prestigious news organizations in the world. The territory included a well known dictator. This acquaintance, very well educated, used to tell me how “uneducated” this dictator was and he couldn’t understand how the guy got so far. I remember thinking how my well educated friend didn’t understand the reality of thugs.

    Maybe like this friend, the Newseum is just to smart–it’s painful and hurtful though.

  • Here’s the thing: within the west’s upside down, PC-driven, multi-culti relativism lens, there is NO right or wrong, or good and evil. Everything is subjective, even concerning those who operate at the behest of terror organs.
    Therefore, this museum’s inability to discern the difference is of piece with the west’s immoral dementia – http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/04/23/the-incalculable-price-of-moral-relativism-the-co-option-of-freedom-of-speech-its-direct-nexus-to-bostons-jihad-commentary-by-adina-kutnicki/

    In reality, this is precisely why leftist-driven media blamed Boston’s jihad on right wing, conservative America, as opposed to placing the onus upon Islamic-driven jihadists.

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • Jill Skriver

    my comment “I’ve seen dead children with a spliced in Gaza background” should have said “I’ve seen dead Syrian children who were then spliced into a Gaza background”.

  • Jill Skriver

    They were part of the problem and create huge walls barring a solution. I’ve seen the Palestinians stage a video depicting a dying bleeding man only to see him walking around two minutes later. I’ve seen dead children with a spliced in Gaza background. Hamas however, does encourage women and children to stay in areas Israel has dropped flyers over, alerting residents to flee the building as it will be bombed immediately. The media is run by Hamas; not to report real news, but as part of their wildly successful and hugely deceitful global media campaign. The fact is though, the truth isn’t hard to find if you want to look. That Nuseum has bought into this is atrocious. Have they not read that 85% of all those polled in Gaza want to die as martyrs, preferably killing Jews? That these men were killed may or may not be an accident. How does anyone know if they didn’t deliberately park where they knew they would be hit? Western minds really don’t even come close to understanding this. Mothers there sit their babies on their lap and teach them to “yearn” for death as a martyr. The most celebrated Mother sent 3/6 sons to their death and hoped her other 3 would follow. Now her grandchildren are making children’s talk shows encouraging other children to want death. Yes, it’s twisted, but it is reality in Gaza, mostly due to Hamas. Fatah is now catching up however. Nuseum needs to read some MEMRI clips like this:http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/3801.htm This is reality folks.

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