(June 8, 2021, JNS Wire) Major Jewish leaders around the world are supporting an initiative to place the blame for the deaths of dozens of children, killed in the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, on the Gaza-based terrorist organization.
An image was created mocking the recent New York Times front cover which featured a collage of 67 Gazans under the age of 18 titled “They Were Just Children” using information and statistics gathered from Hamas-run institutions in Gaza, and insinuating that Israel was at fault for their deaths.
The image being shared online, seen over a million times, changes the name of the publication to “The New Woke Times” and the same collage of children is led with the title “Hamas Wanted for the Murder of 67 Children” and features pictures of Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh, Mohammed Deif and Yahya Sinwar. The concept if to place the blame on the real culprits for the tragedy.
“The publication by the New York Times of the photograph of the children is a libelous distortion and misrepresentation of the facts of the recent conflict,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. “It was Hamas that initiated the conflict and placed its rockets among civilian populations and proceeded to launch more than 4000 rockets at Israel, even though around 700 of them landed within their own territory and may have been physically responsible for many of the deaths. The world should join in condemning them and seeking their arrest for those war crimes.”
“Hamas’ goal of generating civilian casualties is achieved,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Associate Dean, Director, Global Social Action of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “New York Times editors give Hamas ultimate victory labeling these deaths as crime against humanity by Israel instead of naming these mass murderers. If international media and donor nations continue their irresponsible policies, then more ‘innocents’ will surely die in next round and terrorists around the world will see that terrorism does pay.”
“The New York Times in their recent front-page story greatly rewarded Hamas’ tactic of using Palestinian children as human shields, guaranteeing of course, that Hamas will continue committing this horrific war crime into the future,” said Ellie Cohanim, who served as Deputy Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism at the United States Department of State between 2019 and 2021. “For a terror organization like Hamas, winning a PR victory against Israel is worth the loss of human life—Palestinian or otherwise. Hamas does not value human life, they value only getting closer to their charter goal of eliminating Israel and they understand well that it helps their cause for the world community to censure Israel for Palestinian death tolls.”
“Responsible journalism would mean NOT rewarding Hamas for their use of human shields. Responsible journalism would also mean investigating how many of those children’s deaths were caused by failing Hamas rockets, how many of the teens were actually recruited young terrorists themselves and being fair and accurate as to the fact that it is ultimately Hamas who should be held responsible for all of the death and destruction they initiated with their attacks on Israel.”
“During Operation ‘Guardian of the Walls’, Israel was fighting on multiple battlefronts, with the online campaign being no less crucial. In this regard, we were essentially engaged in a ‘war of narratives’, fighting against Palestinian propaganda and a vitriolic campaign of hate against the Jewish state, which was often aided and abetted by some elements of mainstream media, who sought to elevate Hamas and apply a dangerous moral equivalence with Israel’s inalienable right to self-defense,” said Arsen Ostrovsky, CEO of The International Legal Forum and a leading expert in digital diplomacy. “It was critical therefore, that all those who stand for truth and side with the right of democracies to fight against the campaign of terror waged against Israel, to speak out.”
The above messages were shared by dozens of other organizations including the Combat Antisemitism Movement, Club Z, Endowment for Middle East Peace and others.