The AP goes Sgt. Schultz: A correcton

Yesterday I rashly credited the Associated Press with cluelessness about holing up in the 12-story Gaza office building it shared with Hamas. I should not have done so.

Yesterday afternoon Tablet emailed readers former AP correspondent and editor Matti Friedman’s 2014 column “An Insider’s Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth.” Friedman’s related 2014 Atlantic column “What the media gets wrong about Israel” reported:

The AP staff in Gaza City would witness a rocket launch right beside their office, endangering reporters and other civilians nearby—and the AP wouldn’t report it, not even in AP articles about Israeli claims that Hamas was launching rockets from residential areas. (This happened.) Hamas fighters would burst into the AP’s Gaza bureau and threaten the staff—and the AP wouldn’t report it. (This also happened.) Cameramen waiting outside Shifa Hospital in Gaza City would film the arrival of civilian casualties and then, at a signal from an official, turn off their cameras when wounded and dead fighters came in, helping Hamas maintain the illusion that only civilians were dying. (This too happened; the information comes from multiple sources with firsthand knowledge of these incidents.)

Yesterday’s AP story on the IDF bombing of the office building is here (headline: “‘Shocking and horrifying’: Israel destroys AP office in Gaza”). Today’s is here (headline: “AP’s top editor calls for probe into Israeli airstrike”).

Contrast these with Alex Traiman’s JNS story. Headline: “AP, Al Jazeera and the mainstream media are tools in Hamas’s war against Israel.” Subhead: “If Israel had targeted those outlets for their open and intentional support of its enemies—not simply hit the Hamas building in which they were housed—it may have been justified on those grounds alone.” I’m with Traiman.

Fares Akram is one of the 12 AP reporters and freelancers who reported from the office tower. One would never know that Akram is a reporter inside a terror state. His Twitter feed provides a steady stream of notes on Israeli strikes in Gaza. Here is Akram’s May 15 account of an IDF strike on his family farm in northern Gaza. So far as I can tell, Akram maintains silence about Hamas.

Here is Akram’s May 16 first-person account of the destruction of the office building. Here is Akram’s May 16 account (with Ravi Nessman) of IDF strikes in Gaza City. The latter story is datelined Gaza City, but Nessman was obviously reporting his part from Israel.

As noted above, the AP itself reports that its top editor is calling for an independent investigation into the Israeli airstrike that targeted and destroyed a Gaza City building housing the AP and other media organs, “saying the public deserves to know the facts.” Israeli authorities can be counted on to put their cards on the table in due course. Until that time, we can turn to Friedman’s 2014 column.

By the same token, I am calling for an independent investigation of the AP as a Hamas collaborator. The public deserves to know the facts.

NOTE: I wrote about the AP’s collaboration with Palestinian terrorists in the 2008 Weekly Standard article “He didn’t give at the office.”

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