On Saturday morning Oct. 7, Hamas terrorists from Gaza invaded nearly two dozen Israeli cities and towns, going door-to-door massacring and kidnapping people. To date, there are more than 1,400 people in Israel confirmed dead and thousands wounded.
There are reportedly around 200 women men, and children – some as young as 9 months – and elderly Holocaust survivors who were kidnapped and taken as hostages into Gaza by Hamas. As U.S. Special Envoy to Combat Antisemitism Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt said, Hamas’s barbaric action was the most lethal attack against Jews since the Holocaust.
As media outlets rush to cover these atrocities, some are using language that equivocates, excuses and/or justifies violence and minimizes the horrors that are unfolding in real-time. Most blatant is the labeling as Hamas terrorists as “militants,” or describing them as a political organization. Pundits on some broadcast media outlets have even suggested, outrageously, that Israel was at fault for the massacre.
In addition, as Israel and Hamas are at war, many outlets are reporting claims from Hamas and terrorist groups spokespeople as credible, and assigning blame on Israel without question.
The most recent attack on Gaza’s Al-Ahli Hospital is the latest example of how misinformation can quickly escalate and cause real damage, including acts of violent antisemitism against Jewish communities in the Middle East, Europe and the United States. When images of the hospital first surfaced, the news media immediately jumped to the false conclusion that the damage was the result of an Israeli bomb – a claim made by the Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health. This reinforces myths like the blood libel and raises real questions about the media’s own prejudices. When news organizations publish press releases from Hamas, they are disseminating terrorist propaganda.
Words have consequences. Join ADL in signing a petition to major media outlets urging them to report on the war in Israel in a responsible, accurate and compassionate manner, ensuring that their coverage not only honors the lives lost, but accurately describes their killers for who they are – antisemitic terrorists.