Former AP Reporter: AP Obeyed Hamas, Used False Stats About Palestinian Casualties In 2008

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For those disgusted by the media’s tremendous bias against Israel in its current battle with the terrorist group Hamas, here’s another piece of evidence showing how the media act as lapdogs for the terrorist group.

In an op-ed published by The New York Times on Wednesday, a former AP reporter admitted that in 2008, when Hamas went to war against Israel, he complied with Hamas censorship and did not report that Hamas fighters were disguised as civilians and were being counted as civilians in the death toll. Worse, AP continued to use the death toll throughout the war, knowing that the figures were false.

The journalist, Matti Friedman, who was a desk editor for AP’s Jerusalem bureau at the time, wrote that he complied because Hamas threatened one of AP’s reporters in Gaza. Friedman wrote, “The bureau chief later wrote that printing the truth after the threat to the reporter would have meant ‘jeopardizing his life.’ Nonetheless, we used that same casualty toll throughout the conflict and never mentioned the manipulation.”

Friedman wrote, “The press could be trusted to present dead human beings not as victims of the terrorist group that controls their lives, or of a tragic confluence of events, but of an unwarranted Israeli slaughter. The willingness of reporters to cooperate with that script gave Hamas the incentive to keep using it.”

After the Hamas/Israel war in 2014, Friedman pointed out that when he was working at AP (from 2006-2011), "… the agency had more than 40 staffers covering Israel and the Palestinian territories. That was significantly more news staff than the AP had in China, Russia, or India, or in all of the 50 countries of sub-Saharan Africa combined. It was higher than the total number of news-gathering employees in all the countries where the uprisings of the 'Arab Spring” eventually erupted…” AP protested the charge Friedman made that it had suppressed a story about the Israeli government offering a peace proposal because the AP was biased against Israel, but Mark Lavie, who worked at AP’s Jerusalem bureau, backed Friedman, writing:

The AP suppressed a world-changing story for no acceptable reason. I am not ascribing motives to the decision–oh, hell, of course I am. It fit a pattern, described by Matti, of accepting the Palestinian narrative as truth and branding the Israelis as oppressors.

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