A pro-Israel think tank in Washington is so concerned over the Newseum's honoring of two slain Palestinian journalists with links to Hamas that they may consider pulling their annual policy summit from the venue, two top officials at the organization indicated on Thursday.
"I'll be putting in a call to the CEO of the Newseum first thing tomorrow morning," Cliff May, the president of the hawkish Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, said in an email to BuzzFeed. "I'm hoping he'll tell me there's been a misunderstanding – or a re-thinking once it became clear that these 'journalists' were members of designated terrorist organizations."
May said his position has less to do with his group's support for Israel than its opposition to terrorist tactics.
"If the Newseum were commemorating members of designated terrorist organizations whose main targets were Americans or Christians or Kurds or Malian Sufi Muslims, our concern would not be lessened," he said in a follow-up email.
The Newseum, a journalism museum and event venue in Washington, is honoring journalists who were killed on the job this past year in a ceremony on May 13, a plan first noticed by the conservative Weekly Standard. Two of those journalists, Hussam Salama and Mahmoud al-Kumi, are cameramen killed in Gaza in November who worked for Al-Aqsa Television, a Hamas-funded outlet, which itself has been designated a terror organization by the Treasury. The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies is scheduled to hold its event there later this year, but has become concerned about the Newseum's choice to pay tribute to the cameramen.