Hussam Salama and Mahmoud al-Kumi were two Hamas members who worked for the Hamas-run and financed al-Aksa Television. The U.S. government labeled al-Aksa Television a foreign terrorist organization in 2010. These two terrorists were successfully targeted by the Israel Defense Forces during Operation Pillar of Defense, in November, 2012.
In several different places and using different words but all with the same meaning, Hamas referred to these two men as part of their military efforts, and once they were dead, as having died as martyrs.
Salama and al-Kumi were savvy terrorists, they taped the letters “TV” on the side of the car they traveled in, as a special form of immunity. They may not have fooled the IDF, but they are making fools of what should be a great institution, the Newseum.
The Newseum in Washington, D.C. is a huge museum dedicated to the news industry. It opened in 1997 with a simple mission: to educate the public about “the value of a free press in a free society.”
One of the Newseum’s many exhibits is the Journalists Memorial. This exhibit contains the names of journalists who died or were killed in pursuit of the news since 1837. The museum rededicates the memorial each year to add the names of journalists who died on the job the previous year. In the opinion of quite a few, this year’s ceremony makes a mockery of the exhibit.
The Newseum will hold this year’s Journalists Memorial ceremony on Monday, May 13. During Monday’s ceremony the Newseum will add the names of 82 individuals who were killed while covering military conflicts, plus two individuals, Salama and al-Kumi, who were actual participants – and on the side of terrorists – in one such conflict.
It is particularly ironic that Richard Engel, NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent will be the keynote speaker for the Newseum’s Journalists Memorial rededication. Engel is a Jewish journalist who was kidnapped and held for five days this past December while on assignment in Syria. Engel was captured by forces allied with the Assad regime, militants also associated with Hezbollah. Hezbollah and Hamas are two of Israel’s sworn enemies.
It is worth wondering whether Engel would have agreed to speak at an event honoring two members of Hezbollah who moonlighted as “journalists” for a terrorist front media outlet. And it is also curious that the Newseum’s mission statement talks about “free press,” whereas the two Hamas members whom they are honoring were part of a fascist-controlled media, in a territory – Gaza – without any free press.
Despite outcries from pro-Israel sources, the Newseum refused to rescind its decision to include the two Hamas members as honored fallen journalists.
Cross the Newseum off the list of “must see” destinations in Washington, D.C.Lori Lowenthal Marcus