WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — The Newseum in Washington says it’s re-evaluating plans to include two people on its Journalists Memorial honoring journalists who died last year while covering the news.
Several groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, B’nai B’rith International and the American Jewish Committee, have objected to the inclusion of two people who worked for Al-Aqsa Television because it is linked to the Islamist group Hamas.
On Monday, the Washington museum plans to rededicate its Journalists Memorial. But the Newseum says it is re-evaluating its decision to include Hussam Salama and Mahmoud Al-Kumi. Their names won’t be added to the memorial wall Monday.
“Terrorism has altered the landscape in many areas, including the rules of war and engagement, law, investigative and interrogation techniques, and the detention of enemy combatants,” Jonathan Thompson, Newseum’s media relations manager, said in a statement. “Journalism is no exception.”
The Newseum says serious questions have been raised as to whether they should be included as questions were raised whether they were “truly journalists or whether they were engaged in terrorist activities.”
Salama and Al-Kumi were killed during an Israeli airstrike last November in Gaza. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that one of the two men offered logistical assistance to Hamas military operations.
On Friday, the Newseum defended its decision to include the two cameramen, saying they were killed in a car that was clearly marked “TV.” The Newseum said the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers all consider these men journalists killed in the line duty.
The Anti-Defamation League and other groups said the men were working for a propaganda outlet, not a legitimate news organization, and they pressed the Newseum to reverse course.
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