Video game and entertainment media outlets IGN and Game Informer published and then retracted articles encouraging readers to donate to charities for the Palestinian civilians caught in the crossfire of the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
On May 14, IGN
posted an article titled, "How to Help Palestine," which provided links to five charities and organizations that provide humanitarian relief to Palestinian civilians living in the West Bank and Gaza. The article featured a graphic of the Palestinian flag in IGN's masthead.
"Palestinian civilians are currently suffering in great numbers in Jerusalem, Gaza, and West Bank, due to the active Israel-Palestine conflict," IGN staff wrote. "The NYTimes reported that most of the deaths so far have occurred in Gaza. Below are charities and organizations on the ground in those areas where you can donate funds to help those most in need. We will continue to update this article with other ways you can help."
Game Informer staff published a similar article on May 15, citing the IGN post and linking to the same charities. Several top gaming outlets posted their own pro-Palestine stories, following IGN's lead.
But on Monday, the IGN and Game Informer articles were taken down. IGN released a statement about the removal, apologizing for appearing to take sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"We have a track record of supporting humanitarian efforts and charities across the globe. In the instance of our recent post regarding how to help civilians in the Israel-Palestinian Conflict, our philanthropic instincts to help those in need was not in-line with our intent of trying to show support for all people impacted by tragic events," IGN said.
"By highlighting only one population, the post mistakenly left the impression that we were politically aligned with one side. That was not our intention and we sincerely regret the error."
Game Informer has not yet released a public statement on why its article was taken down.
Kotaku reported that after the IGN article went live, IGN Israel shared a statement on its social media accounts condemning the U.S. IGN article and social media posts supporting Palestinian charities as "misleading."
"We at IGN Israel support the State of Israel (obviously) and support IDF soldiers who do everything to keep us all in these tough days," IGN Israel stated. "We work in every way possible to remove this misleading and offensive content from the American edition which does not represent our views."
That post by IGN Israel has since been deleted.
Reacting on social media, various game industry journalists and media figures were critical of the decision and speculated that IGN's Palestinian-sympathetic editorial staff was under orders from the website's corporate owners to take down the post.
Israeli-Palestinian fighting began again after weeks of tensions boiled over into violence when Israel's Supreme Court approved the evictions of six Palestinian families from a neighborhood in East Jerusalem to make way for Israeli settlers. On May 7, Israeli police were deployed to the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, where conflict with Palestinian worshippers there led to rocket strikes on Israel by Hamas and retaliation by Israeli Defense Forces.
President Joe Biden on Sunday spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, raising concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza amid the ongoing violence. Palestinian health officials claim at least 140 civilians, including dozens of children, have been killed by Israeli airstrikes, while nine people, including two children, were killed by Hamas rockets in Israel.
More than 25 Democratic senators, led by Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) have called for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Palestine to "prevent further loss of life and further escalation of violence."