Newseum Reconsiders Honoring Hamas “Cameramen”

alaqsaguys-640x450A few days ago, it was reported that Newseum planned to honor Mahmoud Al-Kumi and Hussam Salama, two members of the Hamas terrorist propaganda television operation Al-Aqsa TV, as part of its ongoing memorial to journalists who lost their lives in the line of duty in 2012. Their ugly mugs also appeared on the Newseum website.

This decision caused a backlash, given the men’s terrorist affiliation. But Newseum refused to back down.

The Newseum Journalists Memorial recognizes 2,246 journalists who died or were killed while reporting the news. To be listed on the memorial, an individual must have been a contributor of news, commentary or photography to a news outlet; an editor or news executive; a producer, camera operator, sound engineer or other member of a broadcast crew; or a documentary filmmaker.

Hussam Salama and Mahmoud Al-Kumi were cameramen in a car clearly marked “TV.” 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 of duty.

The Journalists Memorial selection committee conducts case-by-case reviews using the above criteria.

As the IDF noted in November last year, the men were clearly Hamas operatives and having a car marked “TV” does not mean anything, since terrorists have been known to lie and deceive.

But today, Newseaum backed down. Somewhat.

Serious questions have been raised as to whether two of the individuals included on our initial list of journalists who died covering the news this past year were truly journalists or whether they were engaged in terrorist activities.

We take the concerns raised about these two men seriously and have decided to re-evaluate their inclusion as journalists on our memorial wall pending further investigation.

Terrorism has altered the landscape in many areas, including the rules of war and engagement, law, investigative and interrogation techniques, and the detention of enemy combatants. Journalism is no exception.

To further our First Amendment mission to provide a forum where all may speak freely, the Newseum will establish a new initiative to explore differing views on the new questions facing journalism and journalists.

Meanwhile, here’s the response of the 12-year-old running the Hamas Twitter account.

It’s just missing a reference to the IDF as “poopypants.”

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David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media