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Palestinian ‘Journalists’ on October 7: Why Won’t The New York Times Let the Facts Decide?

The body of a motorist lies on a road following a mass-infiltration by Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip, in Sderot, southern Israel October 7, 2023. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

In the aftermath of HonestReporting’s exposé of Palestinian photojournalists who infiltrated Israel’s border from Gaza on October 7, several media outlets reacted by attacking HonestReporting’s integrity. As we noted at the time, this appeared to be an attempt to avoid the uncomfortable question of their freelancers’ activity by trying to reframe the conversation. They denied having advanced knowledge of the attack (which we did not claim), and then accused HonestReporting of spreading misinformation.

Notably, many of those very same media outlets either publicly severed ties with their Gazan freelancers or quietly stopped working with them — all except for The New York Times, which publicly backed Gazan photojournalist Yousef Masoud to the hilt even though we had noted in our original exposé that Masoud was working for the Associated Press on the morning of October 7.

Masoud’s name reappeared on the radar just last week as it was announced that he is to be a recipient of the prestigious George Polk Award for his photojournalism coverage for The New York Times from inside Gaza.

Today, @nytimes is celebrating Yousef Masoud’s prestigious Polk Award for his photojournalism.https://t.co/4xaqK94iPR

Reminder: Masoud didn’t only photograph the conflict “from its opening hours on Oct. 7” – he infiltrated Israel’s border from Gaza that very morning.

Questions… pic.twitter.com/OIrmg2rBbm

— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) February 20, 2024

The announcement of the award prompted Itay Milner, the spokesperson for the Consulate General of Israel in New York, to write a letter of protest to the award committee at Long Island University.

The New York Times fired back with its own letter. Aside from taking Milner to task, the letter said:

The false accusations against Mr. Masoud can be traced back to the reckless posting by the advocacy group Honest Reporting that insinuated — without any evidence — that Mr. Masoud, a freelance photographer who has done work for The New York Times, may have had prior knowledge of the Oct. 7 attack.

The basis for Honest Reporting’s claim is a fabrication: that Mr. Masoud began shooting pictures at 5:30 a.m. when the attack began an hour later. Wrong. Mr. Masoud, we know from the photographic evidence, began shooting photographs after 6:30 a.m. — from his home’s rooftop with the fighting visible in the distance– when the noise of combat awoke him.

So what was the basis for our supposed “fabrication?” The New York Times’ own story, published the day after our exposé, explained Masoud “was woken at home in Khan Younis, in southern Gaza, by the sound of rocket fire, shortly after 5:30 a.m. on Saturday morning.” HonestReporting asked how he could have been woken by rocket fire at 5:30 a.m. when rockets did not start until 6:30 a.m.

We repeated this question after the announcement of Masoud’s award.

It has now come to light that three days after its story, The New York Times issued a correction, changing the time Masoud was awoken to 6:30 a.m. In that same article, they explain that his first photograph was taken more than 90 minutes after the attack began.

Yet the AP image database shows metadata confirming that the photo he took of Gazans standing atop a tank east of the security fence was created at 6:41 a.m. (13 minutes after the attack began).

So, if Masoud’s first picture was, as The New York Times claimed, taken “from his home’s rooftop with the fighting visible in the distance — when the noise of combat awoke him,” how did he manage to get from his rooftop to the other side of the border in little more than ten minutes to snap the photo of Gazans on top of an Israeli tank?

Curiously, the same photo also appears on the AP’s image database with a later creation date of 10:11 a.m. Different submission dates are understandable as a photojournalist might send images to an employer at random times. But how to account for this discrepancy in the creation date?

We asked a professional photojournalist with many decades of experience in the media. He pointed out the ease at which photo metadata can, at worst, be manipulated or might be incorrect due to erroneous settings on the camera. We hope that the AP can provide a logical explanation.

Our original article led to subsequent investigations that credibly linked some photojournalists to terrorist organizations. Given all of these discrepancies, it is entirely reasonable for HonestReporting to be raising these questions and holding Masoud, the AP, and The New York Times publicly accountable.

On November 12, we wrote that by publishing our exposé, our intentions were to: “shine a light on the conversation surrounding the media’s use of Palestinian stringers who, at best, operate in an environment controlled by Hamas, and at worst, are active accomplices. There are clear complications surrounding freedom of the press in Gaza. While international news agencies want to work with local Gaza photojournalists or other Palestinian stringers, they owe their readers transparency.”

This conversation continues to prove its legitimacy as evidence emerges of Gazan journalists having ties to terrorist organizations.

Included in The New York Times’ letter to Itay Milner was a claim that has been repeated in multiple media outlets since our exposé:

Gil Hoffman, executive director of Honest Reporting, has since admitted the group had no evidence for the insinuations against the freelance journalists although for reasons that only Mr. Hoffman can explain, Honest Reporting has once again been trafficking in falsehoods about Mr. Masoud.

As we said at the time, Hoffman’s subsequent conversations with Reuters and AP were misconstrued and taken out of context in an attempt to discredit our original exposé. To avoid the uncomfortable question of their freelancers’ activity on October 7, the media tried to reframe the conversation. They denied having advanced knowledge of the attack (which we did not claim), and then accused HonestReporting of spreading misinformation. We wholeheartedly reject this baseless assertion. HonestReporting noticed the details and asked the questions that fact-checkers and editors at these news organizations should have asked themselves.

Gil Hoffman tweeted a response to the media claims against him at the time, which was also ignored by those media outlets.

Enough is enough. It’s time the media, and particularly The New York Times, started giving proper answers instead of denigrating the people who are asking the relevant questions.

The author is the Editorial Director of HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias — where a version of this article first appeared.

The post Palestinian ‘Journalists’ on October 7: Why Won’t The New York Times Let the Facts Decide? first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse

Samantha Kline, 22, presented photos of antisemitic graffiti she says targeted her.

The post OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in a propaganda video released by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Tuesday released a short propaganda video featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare.

Trufanov’s mother said in a video released by the family that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but “it was heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Trufanov was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend.

All three were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

The post Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023

Gal Gadot as Rachel Stone in a scene from the trailer for “Heart of Stone.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

Netflix released its engagement report that details the films with the most views from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2023, and Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s action thriller Heart of Stone secured the number two spot with 109.6 million views.

The film — starring Gadot alongside Jamie Dornan and Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt in leading roles — was the runner-up to Leave the World Behind, the drama starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke that garnered 121 million views on Netflix.

Heart of Stone, directed by Tom Harper, was released on the streaming giant on Aug. 11 of last year. The action film is about international intelligence operative Rachel Stone, played by Gadot, who goes on a mission to protect an artificial intelligence system, known as The Heart, from falling in the wrong hands. The film was produced by Pilot Wave, a company founded by Gadot and her husband Jaron Varsano.

Gadot also stars in Netflix’s most popular film of all time, Red Notice, alongside Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.

The post Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023 first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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