CAMERA Op-Ed: The Washington Post Echoes Hamas

Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other Iranian-funded terror groups have carried out the largest massacre of Jewish civilians since the Holocaust. But several columnists and reporters are misleading readers about Hamas’ crimes. Worse still, some are even echoing the terror group’s propaganda. 

On Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas attacked Israel, firing hundreds of rockets at civilians, and infiltrating the Jewish state. Terrorists butchered more than 1,400 people, almost all civilians. Children were shot to death in front of their parents. Babies were murdered. Families, some in their own homes, were set on fire. At one music festival, terrorists murdered at least 260 people, many shot while fleeing. Women were raped before being murdered, some near the corpses of their dead friends. 

In addition to the 1,400 dead, more than 5,000 people were wounded, some severely. 

Proportionally this is at least 15 times the number of people who were murdered during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. 

A reported 150-250 Israelis and foreign nationals have been kidnapped and taken to Gaza, which Hamas rules. The group has threatened to publicly execute them. 

Hamas was proud of its handiwork, filming — even livestreaming — its barbarism. For its part, one of the world’s largest newspapers, The Washington Post, seemed content to echo Hamas propaganda. 

Hours after the attack, the Post blamed the barbarism not on Hamas, but Israel. The Post’s Claire Parker claimed that an Israeli counterterrorist raid on Al-Aqsa Mosque “stoked tensions” leading to the attack from Hamas. 

As the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA) has highlighted, Palestinian terrorist groups have long used the false claim that Jews seek to damage or destroy the mosque to incite anti-Jewish violence. The founding father of Palestinian nationalism, the future Nazi collaborator Amin al-Husseini, did precisely that, sparking mass pogroms in 1929, in which 133 Jewish men, women, and children were murdered, and 339 were injured. 

As the scholar Nadav Shragai has documented, the so-called “Al-Aqsa is in danger” libel has been employed many times since. It is a staple of Palestinian terrorist propaganda. Hamas’s rival for power, Fatah, has a military unit called the “Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade” and Fatah’s leader, Mahmoud Abbas, used the claim to incite the so-called “Stabbing Intifada” in 2015, in which dozens of Jews were shot, stabbed, and ran over with vehicles. 

Yet, none of this history was highlighted by the Post.

Nor did the newspaper note that Hamas operative Ali Baraka has claimed that the “operation” — labeled “Al Aqsa Flood” — was planned for two years, according to a transcript from the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a nonprofit organization that translates Arab, Iranian, and Russian media. 

The Post also published a backgrounder on Hamas that was equally misleading. The newspaper claimed that the group’s origins rested with the “Israeli occupation.” 

But as CAMERA has documented, Hamas is a spin-off of the Muslim Brotherhood, and has had a presence in the area since the 1930s — more than a decade before Israel was created in 1948. The group’s well-documented history of using human shields — a war crime — was also omitted. 

Perhaps most damningly, the Post omitted Hamas’s genocidal ambitions. The group’s founding charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the genocide of its Jewish citizens. Hamas routinely makes such calls in its state-run media and schools. 

The massacre in Israel offered an unmistakable glimpse into Hamas’ intention. But for one Post columnist, Hamas’ savagery was understandable. 

Karen Attiah “liked” and shared a tweet praising the attacks as “decolonization.” Attiah later penned a column striking false equivalency between the Nazis of today and their victims. To her everlasting shame and that of her employers, Attiah “all lives mattered” the victims, acting as an apologist for a group that burns children alive. 

Attiah warned that Israel was about to commit an “atrocity” by trying to deter Hamas from future attacks. Yes — she claimed Israel was wrong for trying to put an end to the genocidal terrorists who seek the Jewish State’s destruction. 

Curiously, she failed to pen similar columns when the US and its allies conducted their anti-ISIS campaign. The Jewish state alone is held to a different standard. 

Attiah also failed to sufficiently highlight Hamas’ extensive, and well documented, use of human shields. Hamas uses hospitals and schools as headquarters, and uses these civilian areas to launch and store weapons. In 2014, the Post previously noted that Hamas uses these locations. But that was another era — and a very different Washington Post.

Hamas has sought to prevent Gazans from fleeing — another salient fact that goes unmentioned by the Post columnist. The terrorist group has put up roadblocks and tried to prevent Gazans from leaving. Israel, by contrast, has given them time to flee — sacrificing precious time and giving the enemy a hint of their potential battle plans. 

Indeed, the Jewish state has told Hamas that it would once again, supply food, water and electricity to the area — provided that Hamas turns over the hostages that it has seized. Hamas has declined. 

Attiah argues that Israel should provide food, water, and electricity to their tormentors. She should instead report that by declining to release the hostages the culpability rests with Hamas, not Israel. 

As with their use of human shields, it is Hamas, not Israel, that is responsible for the suffering of Gazans. Hamas alone bears responsibility. The US did not provide water, electricity, and food to ISIS, but Attiah expects the Jewish state, and the Jewish state alone, to do just that. 

Nor can Attiah’s professed concern for Gazans be seen as genuine. In 2019, during the so-called Hunger Revolution, Hamas shot and killed an unknown number of Gazans protesting living conditions. Attiah didn’t send out a tweet, much less author an opinion column. 

In January 2023, a nonprofit organization released a report documenting Hamas’ repression of everyday Gazans. CAMERA highlighted the report in an op-ed for National Review. However, both the Post and Attiah ignored it. 

Indeed, Attiah has never penned a single column on the systematic human rights abuses of Hamas or Fatah, whether the victims are Palestinian or Israeli. 

“We are forced to see state violence as justified and moral,” Karen Attiah recently tweeted, “while violence by non-state actors isn’t. This is changing.”

If so, both readers and Hamas can thank The Washington Post

(Note: A slightly different version of this article appeared as an Op-Ed in the Algemeiner)

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