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Reprinted from Honest Reporting.
Much attention has been given to figures published by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) that suggest the ongoing Israel-Hamas war has led to the “deadliest month for journalists since CPJ began gathering data in 1992.”
According to the CPJ, at least 57 journalists and media workers are among the more than 14,000 who have reportedly died since Hamas terrorists rampaged through southern Israel on October 7, with the CPJ describing that day as the deadliest for journalists with six media workers killed.
As of November 26, the CPJ said a total of 50 Palestinian journalists, 4 Israeli journalists, and 3 Lebanese journalists have been killed, in addition to 19 who were reportedly arrested, 11 who were reported injured and 3 who were reported missing.
“Journalists in Gaza face particularly high risks as they try to cover the conflict during the Israeli ground assault, including devastating Israeli airstrikes, disrupted communications, supply shortages and extensive power outages,” the CPJ added in its report.
As it should, the CPJ notes the media organizations and affiliated bodies that the dead journalists worked for. In the case of many Palestinians listed, this included mentioning the fact that they were employed by outlets like Al-Aqsa TV and Quds News Network, which are affiliated with Hamas.
Yet, when it came to the media covering the CPJ’s findings, the connection between the dead journalists and Hamas has been erased, and the details of how they died were made deliberately vague so as to suggest they were killed in the line of duty.
The Guardian, for example, reported how the “spiralling death toll over a six-week period compares with the 42 journalists killed worldwide in the whole of 2022, including 15 who died covering Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, widely considered a highly dangerous conflict for news media.”
It also quotes at length the committee’s coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Sherif Mansour’s criticism that the “Israeli army has refused to take any responsibility for the killings” and references the CPJ’s “urgent plea to Israel and its Western allies to reform the rules of engagement deployed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to prohibit the use of lethal force against journalists bearing press insignia.”
Yet, even as the outlet stated that it is unclear how many of the journalists were actually covering the conflict at the time of their deaths, The Guardian still failed to mention the terror connections of any of those included in the list — despite the CPJ clearly noting such affiliations.
Meanwhile, ABC News appeared to suggest that the high journalist death toll is a result of the Israeli military being negligent — if not deliberate — during its strikes in the Gaza Strip:
Israeli officials say they are not targeting civilians in Gaza, doing everything they can to minimize civilian casualties and that their goal is solely to eradicate Hamas. Israel has also said that Hamas is intentionally positioning itself near journalists in an attempt to avoid strikes.
However, Israeli airstrikes going on since the beginning of the conflict have targeted hospitals, schools, refugee camps and ambulances, according to nonprofits like the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and UNICEF, sparking wide international outrage and calls for a cease-fire. Israeli officials maintain they are against a cease-fire until all of the 239 hostages believed to be held by Hamas have been released.”
Sadly, ABC News completely omits the salient and well-documented fact that it is proven that Hamas embeds its terror resources within civilian infrastructure, which is what the IDF targets — not schools and hospitals.
Supporting a ceasefire is a no brainer, right?
Except, when one side are terrorists, a ceasefire is not about humanitarian aid or a path to peace. It’s a chance for them to rearm and regroup.
If you want to advocate for peace, don’t side with Hamas. pic.twitter.com/mHwuJVcxG4
— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) November 20, 2023
Looking through the list of journalists killed during the war, it is noticeable just how many were killed along with family members as a result of Israeli airstrikes in the vicinity of their homes. They were clearly not killed in the course of carrying out media activities. Rather, tragically like thousands of other Palestinians, they are victims of Hamas’ propensity for using the population of Gaza as human shields.
Likewise, the 4 Israeli journalists were murdered by Hamas as part of the October 7 massacre, either when terrorists invaded their homes or attacked the Nova music festival. They were murdered not because they were journalists but because they were Israelis targeted during Hamas’ brutal rampage through southern Israel.
The likelihood that journalists have died in their own homes and not on the job hasn’t stopped the Daily Beast and VOA News from parroting claims the IDF has targeted journalists and media organizations during the war, despite this being a flimsy assertion.
Disturbingly, the Daily Beast even printed the baseless allegation from pro-Hezbollah propaganda network Al Mayadeen that its TV crew was deliberately targeted “owing to the channel’s pro-Palestinian sympathies and its support for Iran’s regional military alliance.”
While an addendum at the bottom of the CPJ’s report claims that “multiple sources have found no evidence to date that any journalist was engaged in militant activity,” it’s frankly absurd that the CPJ includes Hamas-linked media employees in its running tally of journalists killed during the ongoing war. Should they even be considered to be professional media workers if they are effectively in the employ of a terrorist organization?
This became an issue in 2013 when the now-defunct Newseum media museum in Washington DC withdrew two Al Aqsa TV employees from its memorial to fallen journalists after it became clear that the two were also Hamas operatives, blurring the line between journalists and activists.
Absurdly, mainstream media organizations continue to blindly cite the CPJ tally while failing to note the connections to terror groups while the CPJ appears to define journalists as simply anyone driving a car with the letters TV taped to the vehicle.
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Photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib via Flash90
Honest Reporting is a website that seeks to bring balance to the left slant in the major news media.