The Newseum is a museum in Washington, D.C. devoted to the historical evolution of the news media. Much of the 250,000 sq. ft. museum is a giant pat on the back for the mainstream media, but some parts of its exhibits are noteworthy for their significance. One such exhibit is the Journalists Memorial, which honors newspeople who died or were killed in the pursuit of news.
Next Monday, the Newseum has planned a rededication ceremony for the memorial during which the names of 84 journalists who died covering the news in 2012 will be added, along with six killed in previous years. The Weekly Standard notes today that among those to be honored are former members of the terrorist group Hamas — Mahmoud Al-Kumi and Hassam Salama.
The Newseum describes the men with identical profiles as “Al-Aqsa cameramen” who were “killed in an Israeli air strike. They were covering fighting between Israel and the militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, when a missile hit their vehicle. Al-Aqsa said the journalists’ car was clearly marked ‘TV.’”
“But these men weren’t exactly your run of the mill journalists,” Daniel Harper writes. ”They were in fact working for a deadly terrorist organization.”
According to Israel Defense Forces, Al-Kumi and Salama were “Hamas operatives and cameramen for Hamas’ Al-Aqsa television network, which regularly features programming that encourages and praises attacks on Israeli civilians. The IDF targeted Al-Kumi and Salama on Nov. 20.”
Additionally, Harper points to Palestinian media which also report the men as Hamas terrorists:
Faced with serious accusations of Al-Aqsa TV’s connections to terrorism, the head of the network, Mohammad Thouraya, denied that Al-Aqsa was the voice of Hamas — a hard fact to deny, since the channel is financed and controlled by Hamas — but he did admit that his employees were “all part of the resistance.”
Being “part of the resistance”, in other words, could mean that those carrying a camera during the day could be carrying rockets at night.
The Newseum is sticking by its decision to add the men to the memorial. Via WFB:
“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.”
Middle East experts disagree with this assessment, however.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which combats anti-Semitism, said the Newseum has made a “shameful decision” to honor the terrorists.
“Duct Tape on car with the letters TV does not a journalist make,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the center’s associate dean. “A shameful decision based on a falsehood that besmirches the true heroes of journalism who died while pursuing their mission of seeking and reporting the Truth.”
“What would the legitimate martyred journalists like Daniel Pearl say as their heroism and humanity is debased and degraded?” Cooper asked.