Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) slammed the Associated Press (AP) on Tuesday for allegedly sharing a building with the Palestinian Hamas terrorist organization.
As Breitbart News reported on Saturday, Israel destroyed the Jala Tower in Gaza, which housed several international organizations — and also, allegedly, facilities used by Hamas.
There was an outcry from press freedom organizations, and the Biden administration — but Israel has since provided intelligence to the U.S. that, Israel says, shows Hamas was indeed using the building.
Cotton spoke on the Senate floor on Tuesday, criticizing the AP for its apparent coziness with the terrorist group.
Cotton noted that there were had been no casualties in the building, since Israel had warned the occupants of the building to leave before it was bombed.
He then asked: “Why was the Associated Press sharing a building with Hamas in the first place? Did it knowingly allow its journalists to be used as human shields by a U.S.-designated terrorist organization? Did the AP pull its punches and decline to report for years on Hamas’s misdeeds?”
Cotton noted that his questions received more criticism from the left than Hamas seemed to have received.
“But in fact, there’s plenty of evidence that some media outlets stained in Gaza allow themselves to be used as pawns by Hamas,” he said.
Cotton cited a 2014 article in the Atlantic documenting the fact that Hamas had burst into the AP’s offices, and had fired missiles nearby.
“What’s equally scandalous is the AP continued to locate their offices in a building they knew was dangerous,” he said.
“Under the circumstances, I’m not sure what’s worse: that the AP knew they shared a building with Hamas, or that they didn’t know. Instead of uncovering the truth, the AP concealed it.”
Cotton called Israel’s airstrike on the building “fully justified” and “wholly appropriate,” and said the AP’s condemnation of the strike was a “parting gift to their neighbors from Hamas.”
He asked whether the AP would share a building with Al Qaeda or ISIS, whose radical Islamist ideologies are similar.
Cotton noted that the AP, in the past, had represented different values, sending brave war correspondents like Ernie Pyle to document the Allied effort in the Second World War.
Noting Pyle’s work in London during the Blitz, Cotton drew parallels between the British people forced into bomb shelters during German air raids, and Israelis forced into bomb shelters by an “indiscriminate, evil attacker — a people, unbent and unbroken by terror, dedicated to victory, no matter the adversity.”
Cotton concluded: “We all could learn from reporting like that. But you may not read it these days in the Associated Press.”