(JNS.org) The Newseum, a non-profit museum of news
and journalism in Washington, DC, has reversed its controversial decision to
commemorate Hussam Salama and Mahmoud al-Kumi, two cameramen who worked for the
Hamas-run Al-Aqsa TV in Gaza, after
considerable outrage from leading Jewish organizations.
The Newseum. Credit: David Monack.
questions have been raised as to whether two of the individuals included on our
initial list of journalists who died covering the news this past year were
truly journalists or whether they were engaged in terrorist activities,” according
to a statement on the Newseum website.
were to be commemorated as part of a memorial service on Monday for reporters
who died or were killed in the pursuit of news over the past year.
al-Kumi were both killed in an Israeli airstrike during Operation Pillar of
Defense in November 2012. Both were reported to be Hamas operatives by the
Palestinian news site Palestinian
Information Center at the time of their deaths.
Al-Aqsa TV, which is financed and run by the Hamas
terrorist group, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, is banned in
many Western countries, including the U.S.
organizations slammed the Newseum’s original decision to honor the Hamas
“The Newseum board of directors should be ashamed of
themselves for saluting two individuals who were integral to the propaganda
machine of the Hamas terrorist organization,” said American Jewish Committee Executive
Director David Harris in a statement. “We are astonished that the Newseum did
not reconsider its stance after initial concerns were raised. What are they
thinking, seeking to conflate authentic journalists and operatives for a
murderous group banned by the U.S. and European Union?”
“It is a dark
day when members of a terrorist organization advancing their agenda through
murderous violence are honored as part of a tribute to journalists killed in
the line of duty,” Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman in a