The destruction caused by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7 when they infiltrated Kibbutz Be'eri, near the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip, and slaughtered civilians. Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Globe columnist dismisses atrocities of Hamas massacre

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Globe columnist dismisses atrocities of Hamas massacre

The destruction caused by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7 when they infiltrated Kibbutz Be'eri, near the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip, and slaughtered civilians. Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

As a reporter, editor and newspaper publisher, I am loathe to wade into the discussion of how other publications gather news, or what their opinion columnists should write about.

But the last 48 hours have given me pause, and I cannot be silent about an opinion piece published on Oct. 17 in The Boston Globe. (For full disclosure, I take no pleasure in criticizing the Globe – I was a staff reporter there for 15 years.)

I refer to an Op-Ed by Renée Graham, entitled “In the battle between Israel and Hamas, another potent weapon – propaganda.” Graham’s main point in her column was to refute a report that Israeli babies had been decapitated in the Oct. 7, 2023 massacre. “There was no evidence,” she concludes.

She goes on to wax poetic about the Greek dramatist Aeschylus, who “reportedly said, ‘In war, truth is the first casualty.’”

She is correct in using this quote because I believe it directly refers to her type of journalism. The bodies are still being discovered and identified in Israel, and whether or not babies were beheaded is not the point. The truth is Hamas slaughtered Israeli babies. This has been verified by Israel’s National Center of Forensic Medicine.

Maybe I’m ignorant or don’t understand just how important it was to Graham, and the editor who signed off on her column to focus on decapitated babies.

An opinion piece in Tuesday’s Boston Globe accused Israel of fabrications concerning Hamas atrocities.

What Graham and the Globe chose to ignore was the propaganda that emerged from the horrific atrocities that took place that day. This type of hate and slaughter – which was live-streamed – seemed to captivate and energize a segment of the world population eager to accept a false narrative of victimhood. This should be examined in a major metropolitan daily publication such as the Globe.

But to do that, you’d have to ask hard questions such as why this brutal slaughter has been embraced by so many on elite college campuses stretching from Harvard to Stanford. And if a columnist such as Graham chose to focus on why this propaganda resonated so far and wide, she would learn the truth: that Hamas is a proxy of Iran.

She would learn that Hamas militants are not victims; rather, they are fervent believers in a violent form of Islam that forbids freedom of speech, civil discourse and anyone who is not heterosexual. She would learn that they are not Palestinian freedom fighters, and that Hamas does not want a Palestinian state – it seeks to establish an Islamic state. She would learn that the real victims are their Palestinian neighbors who have to live under their tyranny, and their Israeli neighbors who have had to put up with their suicide bombings and rocket attacks for decades.

So, instead of wondering about what kind of human being could participate in the mass slaughter of 1,300 people – mostly civilians – Graham chose to throw a dart into the pain that many Jewish and non-Jewish Globe readers are feeling.

Remnants of a home in Kfar Aza in southern Israel after Hamas terrorists rampaged through the community on Oct. 7, murdering families and taking civilians hostage. Photo: Rina Castelnuovo

We are not ignorant, and have read the verified reports. And so I ask you, Ms. Graham, and the Globe:

Was it not enough that babies were slaughtered, and burned alive, by Hamas? This has been confirmed. You chose to omit that, and the other facts that are listed as follows:

  • Hamas terrorists did decapitate Israelis on Oct. 7, 2023.
  • Whole families were burned alive by Hamas.
  • Hamas terrorists raped women that day, and then summarily executed them.
  • Hamas chose to cut off the limbs of some of their victims.
  • Dozens of people died in a bomb shelter after Hamas threw poison gas into the bunker.
  • Hamas murdered 260 people at a dance rave – and slaughtered them in nearly every conceivable way. Survivors recall that Hamas used rocket-propelled grenades – which are used in war against tanks – to hunt down the millennials who tried to flee. The survivors also recall Hamas operatives laughing and congratulating one another after shooting someone.
  • Hamas terrorists filmed much of the slaughter (perhaps you did not see it?). They insisted on live-streaming four families they had kidnapped and were in the process of terrorizing, and torturing.
  • Hamas video, and other video taken from survivors at one scene was described this way by the Associated Press: “It showed bodies of people who had been bound. A room with at least seven bodies reduced to ash. Civilians shot in bedrooms, bathrooms, front yards. Blood so thick it nearly obscured hallway floors.”

Your subject was propaganda, but you declined to write about the cruel, psychological warfare inflicted by Hamas through social media. In our search to determine the facts, we have had to watch the sadism inflicted on Israelis, and on citizens from dozens of other countries who were attacked and butchered on Oct. 7. This is not just propaganda: this is an attempt to normalize this type of carnage.

Graham’s column concludes with some advice that would serve her well in her future reporting: “Social media and its unchecked disinformation thicken the fog of war. But it’s the job of journalists to suss out facts from self-serving fictions and behave as more than stenographers for propagandizing politicians who – willfully or recklessly – are already making truth another casualty of this still-nascent war.”

As the regional paper of record, the Globe has a responsibility to get its facts right, and not to twist the truth on its opinion pages. Its readers need it to be a credible publication.

It is time to let these babies who were murdered by Hamas rest in peace. May their memory be a blessing.

Steven A. Rosenberg is the editor and publisher of The Jewish Journal.

6 Responses

  1. Perfectly written. Will columnist Graham ever issue a retraction, clarification, apology?
    Should John Henry and his bride, the Globe editor, issue some sort of apology for their biased ‘opinion’ columnist?
    Should we cancel our subscription after 40 years???

  2. Hi Steve.
    You have written. The perfect truth.
    I’ve known you for almost thirty years. Never have I ever seen you write so perfectly and with direct clarity . I hope and wish that your message here is picked up by the globe and other National rags.

  3. Well said, Steve. It will be interesting to see if Renee or any Globe editor responds. I’m still waiting for the mea culpa of the national press explaining its erroneous reporting that an Israeli bomb destroyed a Gaza hospital, killing 500 Palestinians, when in fact the weapon was an errant Palestinian Jihad missile, it didn’t hit the hospital and the death toll was a fraction of what the Hamas- dominated Gaza Health Ministry reported. The truth never caught up with the lie, and the lie set off riots in countries throughout the world.

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