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What Hostages? Media Ignore Hamas’ Captives, Oct. 7 Massacre

Posters on a wall in Tel Aviv highlighting the plight of Israeli hostages seized by Hamas. Photo: Reuters/Dylan Martinez

For the past five months, Israel has repeatedly stated its aims in the war against Hamas: destroy the terrorist organization, and secure the release of the hostages abducted during its deadly October 7 attack on the Jewish state.

But as these goals are supposedly within reach — pending an Israeli incursion into Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah — international media outlets seem to have suddenly caught amnesia regarding the remaining 134 Israeli hostages and the barbaric Hamas massacre that sparked the war.

With coverage focused almost entirely on the plight of Gazans sheltering in Rafah — coupled with apocalyptic prophecies on their eternally imminent doom — the result of such omissions is a moral inversion that robs Israel of its right to self defense: Israel has become the aggressor in a war that has been forced upon it, and justice has turned into injustice.

As shown in the following examples, this inversion is achieved by using simple yet subtle reporting tactics — media outlets either omit Israel’s war aims altogether or mention only the destruction of Hamas without referring to the hostages. And there is no detailing of what happened on October 7, when Hamas terrorists brutally slaughtered 1,200 people in Israel and kidnapped some 240 others into Gaza.

No Hamas, No Hostages

TIME Magazine and Reuters took the simple route: they totally omitted the hostages and Israel’s justification for the Rafah operation from their recent reports.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been widely quoted explaining why it was necessary to operate in Rafah in order to eliminate Hamas and release the remaining hostages.

But, disturbingly, instead of reporting it, TIME made it look like Israel was fighting against America, not Hamas:

By approving plans for the offensive, which the Israeli military says involve moving civilians to designated “humanitarian islands” elsewhere in the Strip, Netanyahu has signaled his intent to cross that red line.

In fact, the word “Hamas” is mentioned only once in TIME’s report, in the very last paragraph. And there is no mention of the October 7 massacre and the hostages.

The same problems plague Reuters’ report: it fails to mention the hostages and Hamas’ October 7 attack, and ignores Israel’s reasoning for a ground operation in Rafah.

What Reuters does include is a paragraph that creates the impression that Israel is arbitrarily planning to endanger more than a million Gazans in the cramped city:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed to a cabinet meeting on Sunday that Israeli forces would thrust into Rafah, the last relatively safe place in the tiny, crowded Gaza enclave after more than five months of war, despite international pressure for Israel to avoid civilian casualties.

And to top it off, the word “Hamas” isn’t mentioned at all in the Reuters report.

Undermining Israel’s Justification

AP and The New York Times took a more subtle approach.

They quoted Netanyahu on the need to enter Rafah to eliminate Hamas, but omitted his reference to the hostages and glossed over October 7 without elaboration.

So uninformed readers are left to wonder what exactly had Hamas done to warrant such a reaction from Israel. After all, not every “attack,” as it is dryly described by The New York Times, justifies such a military campaign.

And these omissions are all the more mind-boggling judging from the articles’ headlines, which seem to promise a full explanation as to why the Rafah operation is necessary for Israel:

How, @AP, can you attempt to explain “Why Israel is so determined to launch an offensive in Rafah” and fail to mention the 134 Israeli hostages still being held by Hamas in Gaza?

— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) March 21, 2024

Ignoring the existence of hostages and Hamas’ massacre that ignited the war, while focusing instead on the suffering of displaced Palestinians, is bad journalism. But it’s worse than that.

The media’s decision to omit Hamas is tantamount to undermining Israel’s right to respond to a genocidal threat.

By doing so, the media paints a picture that actively serves Hamas’ agenda.

The author is a contributor to 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 What Hostages? Media Ignore Hamas’ Captives, Oct. 7 Massacre first appeared on

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Assault charge laid, arrest made related to incident near the University of Toronto encampment—while its president speaks in Ottawa on antisemitism, and the school seeks a removal injunction

Toronto Police have arrested and charged a man for assault over an incident May 9 near the protest encampment at the University of Toronto’s King’s College Circle on its downtown campus.  Toronto Police Services (TPS) say they responded at 3:45 p.m. that day to a call for assault in the area of the road around […]

The post Assault charge laid, arrest made related to incident near the University of Toronto encampment—while its president speaks in Ottawa on antisemitism, and the school seeks a removal injunction appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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‘Any Chance the Media Would Cover This?’ New Video Shows Terrorists in Gaza Using Humanitarian Aid to Help Prepare Rockets

Terrorists in Gaza using humanitarian aid bags to prop up rockets. Photo: Screenshot

Terrorists in Gaza have been using humanitarian aid bags to prop up rockets they were preparing to shoot at Israelis, new video circulating on social media reveals, underscoring the challenges of delivering aid to Palestinian civilians in the Hamas-ruled enclave without it being stolen.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade — which is the armed wing of Fatah, the political party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbasused bags from Turkey and UNRWA — the UN agency responsible for the Palestinians — to prop up the rockets, according to the video.

At least three of the bags say they contain “wheat flour,” and the bag from Turkey specifically says it is supposed to go “to the Palestinian people.” It is unclear whether the bags had previously been opened to extract the food and then refilled with sand, for example, or if it still contained the food that was intended to feed Palestinian civilians.

“Any chance the media would cover this, yet another violation of international humanitarian law?” pro-Israel commentator Hen Mazzig wrote on X/Twitter while sharing the video.

Rafah, Gaza: Hamas is using UN humanitarian aid bags as rocket launchers today.

Any chance the media would cover this, yet another, violation of International Humanitarian Law?

— Hen Mazzig (@HenMazzig) May 29, 2024

Almost every day for the past seven months, Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist organizations have been shooting rockets into Israel from civilian areas, which is a war crime. Tens of thousands of Israelis are internally displaced and unable to return to their homes as a result.

There is mounting evidence that Hamas has also operated in civilian clothing and in civilian infrastructure such as hospitals. However, these violations of international law are rarely noted by much of the media.

The latest video of terrorists using humanitarian aid for military purposes underscores the issue of making sure such aid gets to Palestinian civilians. 

The US built a pier to deliver 2,000,000 meals daily to Palestinian civilians, but after a few weeks of operation, the Pentagon said none of the aid unloaded from the pier had made it to those who needed it. On one occasion, about 70 percent of the aid has been stolen while en route to a UN warehouse. In other cases, it just never showed up.

Israeli estimates suggest approximately 60 percent of the aid that has gone into Gaza has been stolen — either by Hamas or other groups and individuals. Oftentimes, that aid is then sold to the population at high prices, making it difficult to impossible for most Gazans to gain access to it. 

According to Ehud Yaari, an expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Hamas has made more than $500 million in profit from selling humanitarian aid since Oct. 7.

The terror group began the war last October by massacring 1,200 people in Israel and taking more than 250 people hostage, about half of whom have still not been released.

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Columbia University Anti-Zionist Group Endorses Hamas

Demonstrators take part in an anti-Israel demonstration at the Columbia University campus, in New York City, US, Feb. 2, 2024. REUTERS/David Dee Delgado

Columbia University’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has endorsed Hamas, a US-designated terrorist organization, the latest sign of its growing extremism and willingness to embrace antisemitic violence.

“The Palestinian resistance is the only force materially fighting back against isr*el [sic],” the group said in a series of posts shared by Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus, a social media account which exposes antisemitism on college campuses. “There is no way to eliminate the resistance without ending the occupation. When you see a video of a young palestinian [sic] boy traumatized in a hospital talking about how iof [the Israel Defense Forces, or IDF] shot his pregnant mother in cold blood in front of his own eyes, do not question how he chooses to resist years later.”

.@Columbia and @BarnardCollege, @ColumbiaSJP is actively promoting terrorism and anti-Israel rhetoric on their social media channels. They are sounding more and more like Hamas spokespeople every day. When is the university going to permanently ban this “student group”?

— Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus (@CampusJewHate) May 26, 2024

Campus Reform, a higher education watchdog which first reported Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus’ posts, noted that Columbia SJP has added an “inverted red triangle” to its social media biography, further indicating its support for Hamas. The Palestinian terrorist group has used an inverted red triangle in its propaganda videos to indicate an Israeli target about to be attacked, and anti-Israel protesters on university campuses have been using the symbol in their demonstrations.

Columbia SJP, a group that has reformed under multiple organizations since being suspended by school administrators during the fall semester, has been central in staging a slew of riotous demonstrations in which anti-Zionist activists verbally assaulted Jewish students with antisemitic epithets, clamorously expressed support for terrorism and Hamas, and caused thousands of dollars in damages to school property.

The group’s behavior after Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel is the subject of a lawsuit filed by the StandWithUs Center for League Justice (SCLJ).

The complaint alleges that after bullying Jewish students and rubbing their noses in the carnage Hamas wrought on their people, the pro-Hamas students were still unsatisfied and resulted to violence. They beat up five Jewish students in Columbia’s Butler Library, according to the lawsuit. Another attacked a Jewish students with a stick, lacerating his head and breaking his finger, after being asked to return missing persons posters she had stolen.

Following the incidents, pleas for help allegedly went unanswered and administrators told Jewish students they could not guarantee their safety while SJP held its demonstrations. The school’s apparent powerlessness to prevent anti-Jewish violence was cited as the reason why Students Supporting Israel (SSI), a recognized school club, was denied permission to hold an event on self-defense. Events with “buzzwords” such as “Israel” and “Palestine” were forbidden, administrators allegedly said, but SJP continued to host events while no one explained the inconsistency.

The explosion of end-of-year protests held by the group forced Columbia officials to shutter the campus in April and institute virtual learning. Later, the group occupied Hamilton Hall, forcing President Minouche Shafik to call on the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for help, a decision she hesitated to make. According to The Columbia Spectator, over 108 arrests were made.

“Yes, we’re all Hamas, pig!” one protester was filmed screaming during the fracas, which saw some verbal skirmishes between pro-Zionist and anti-Zionist partisans. “Long live Hamas!” said others who filmed themselves dancing and praising the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas terrorist organization. “Kill another solider!”

Amid the chaos, a prominent rabbi at the school urged Jewish students to leave the campus for the sake of their safety. Ultimately, the university cancelled its main commencement ceremony.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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