POLITICS

Newseum’s decision to honor Hamas cameramen not just outrageous, but dangerous

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Philip Klein

In previous posts, I’ve reported that the Newseum is honoring employees of a television station controlled by Hamas, which has been designated a terrorist group by the U.S. government. The decision is certainly outrageous, but more importantly, it’s dangerous.

As part of its justification for adding Mahmoud Al-Kumi and Hussam Salama, employees of the Hamas-funded propaganda network Al Asqa, to its memorial of journalists killed in duty, a Newseum spokesman argued that they “were cameramen in a car clearly marked ‘TV.’ ”

This is problematic, because in the past, Hamas has been caught storing and firing rockets directed at Israeli civilians from residential neighborhoods, schools and hospitals. The signal being sent by Newseum to Hamas (and terrorist groups everywhere) is that as long as they plaster “TV” on a vehicle, it should be considered off limits for attack. They can use this tactic to transport weapons and terrorists during wartime, putting nations such as Israel in the difficult position of either firing on vehicles marked “TV” or putting their own civilians at risk.

The whole alleged point of Newseum’s memorial is to honor the legacy of journalists who sacrificed their lives in the act of reporting the news. But by blurring the distinction between legitimate journalists and the propaganda arm of a terrorist group, Newseum officials are putting more real journalists in the line of fire.

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