The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) has a long history behind it. Unfortunately in recent years it’s become an employment agency for anti-Israel activists. Most of the time reading JTA stories is like getting your news from the New York Times. And occasionally, like the New York Times, it does something truly shocking and indefensible.
This was one of those times.
Before the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles held a secret screening of footage of Hamas atrocities.
When they learned about it, anti-Israel and pro-Hamas activists tried to threaten and intimidate the museum into canceling the screening. The hate groups involved had expressed support for Hamas atrocities on Oct 7.
J Town Action and Solidarity “unequivocally supports the Palestinian resistance and their struggle against Zionist colonialism and Western Imperialism” adding, “It is our revolutionary duty to support the Palestinian resistance and all oppressed people who are fighting for liberation, by any means necessary.” The last four words italicized for emphasis.
A small number of local Jewish community members rallied in front of the Museum of Tolerance with Israeli flags. They were harassed and taunted by Hamas supporters who then posted out-of-context clips to social media. Local teens who showed up to the rally were assaulted and fought back against other Hamas supporters.
All of this was extensively documented by local community members and pro-Israel activists.
You want to protest Israel? Fine, that’s your right. But to protest a screening of the raw footage of all the crimes against humanity Hamas did to 1,400 innocent people? Much of which Hamas recorded themselves on their go-pros & streamed live? For the world to SEE? pic.twitter.com/sG1JwoYd6R
— David Shalom (@DavidShalom123) November 9, 2023
Here is some additional footage from outside the museum. I'm not sure who shot it. The low level violence is the same as you might see at an Antifa demonstration. pic.twitter.com/k0G3ISbaBG
— Brandon Brown (@BrownBrandon503) November 9, 2023
How did the JTA cover a pro-Hamas rally outside a Holocaust museum leading into the anniversary of Kristallnacht?
Brawls erupt outside LA Museum of Tolerance screening of Hamas atrocities footage – JTA
“Erupt”. The JTA chose to illustrate this with a picture of teens with Israeli flags seemingly confronting police.
Andrew Lapin, who covered the event for the JTA, does not appear to have been on the scene. He made up for it by exclusively quoting pro-Hamas accounts.
The JTA story does not include a single quote from a Jewish protester at the scene. It does include a claim from pro-Hamas accounts that the Jewish protesters had “sexually harassed” them.
It also includes this quote from one of the pro-Hamas protesters.
“You have a film that is being shown at a time when people are calling for a ceasefire,” one protester told the Los Angeles Times. “The screening is only for a few privileged people and it doesn’t lead to conversation.”
This is despicable.
Andrew Lapin and the JTA didn’t even do ‘both sides’. The JTA ran a story which only quoted one side. The pro-Hamas side. The one that was assaulting Jews outside a Holocaust museum.
I don’t know what the final straw is for some people, but this should be it.
Contact your local Jewish paper. Tell them about this. Ask them to stop publishing the JTA.
The JTA is worse than the New York Times because it’s right there in your local paper. People have learned to trust it. And it needs to go. For local Jewish papers, the JTA is convenient. So was the New York Times crossword puzzle.
No paper can truly be pro-Israel if it’s got JTA content in it.
The JTA covered pro-Hamas assaults outside a Holocaust museum from the pro-Hamas perspective. This should be a red line for any decent person.
Ask your local Jewish paper to drop the JTA. It’s the right thing to do.
JNS is a far better pro-Israel alternative to JTA. (Full disclosure, JNS occasionally publishes my articles.) But nearly every Jewish source would be a better alternative to JTA. Jewish newspapers might have to put in a little more work to assemble materials from different sources, but would actually be providing more of a service to their readers.