The Associated Press has ordered its reporters and affiliated organizations to not refer to the terrorist organization Hamas as a terrorist organization, even after the group carried out a series of massive terror attacks against Israel.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, AP states in its “Israel-Hamas Topical Guide” that since “terrorism and terrorist have become politicized, and often are applied inconsistently…the AP is not using the terms for specific actions or groups, other than in direct quotations.”
As such, many regional newspapers and affiliated national publications such as Politico will follow the AP’s guidance in describing Hamas. This is despite the fact that Hamas has been categorized by many countries around the world as a terrorist group, including the United States and the European Union. Hamas has declared its intention to destroy Israel and wage war against Jews all over the world.
Instead, AP suggests that its reporters and affiliates describe Hamas terrorists as “militants.”
“Terms such as Hamas fighters, attackers or combatants are also acceptable depending on the context,” the AP continued.
The new guidance is not the first time that AP has sided with Hamas in its long-standing conflict with Israel. In May of 2021, a high-rise building in Gaza was destroyed by Israeli airstrikes after it was confirmed to be a major hub of Hamas activity. The building also featured office space that was utilized by the AP for roughly 15 years, though the AP and other non-terrorist occupants were given ample warning ahead of time to evacuate the building.
“We are shocked and horrified that the Israeli military would target and destroy the building housing AP’s bureau and other news organizations in Gaza,” the AP said in a statement at the time.
Further reports suggest that the AP employees in the building were well aware of Hamas’ presence. In 2014, The Atlantic reported that AP staffers in the building could see terrorists launching rockets into Israel from next door. They wouldn’t even report on Hamas’ activity despite facing numerous threats from the terrorists.
“Hamas fighters would burst into the AP’s Gaza bureau and threaten the staff—and the AP wouldn’t report it,” said The Atlantic’s report. “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.”
AP’s changing language towards Hamas is indicative of a broader pattern in which the major outlet seeks to warp public perception of major crises by using softer language. In March of 2021, the outlet ordered its journalists to not use the word “surge” to describe the tidal wave of third-world illegal aliens pouring over the southern border. In the summer of 2020, in the wake of George Floyd’s accidental death from a fentanyl overdose, the publication told its employees to not use words such as “riots” when describing the nationwide racial violence that followed, and to instead refer to such incidents as “unrest.”