Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark, gave a blistering speech Tuesday lambasting the Associated Press for sharing a building with the terrorist group Hamas, which attacked Israel last week and has been engaged in back and forth fighting with the nation, leading to hundreds of casualties.
Israel destroyed the 12-story al-Jalaa tower with three heavy missiles over the weekend, one in a series of targeted strikes to take out Hamas leadership, the country says.
AP heavily criticized Israel for bombing their building, though they were warned and able to evacuate.
Sen. Cotton took the AP to task in a Senate floor speech:
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. Then, when the IDF carried out its fully justified and wholly appropriate airstrike, the AP condemned Israel in one final, parting gift to their neighbors from Hamas. Now, one would think this episode might result in some soul-searching. The AP’s leadership might see it as a humbling moment, instead of an opportunity to self-aggrandize and play the victim.
But the AP’s willingness to double down on their Hamas apologism raises, yet again, some more uncomfortable questions. Would the AP allow its reporters to share a building with al Qaeda? What about ISIS? Because there’s little differences between these U.S.-designated terrorist organizations and Hamas.
Cotton accused the AP Tuesday of ignoring evidence that Hamas could be in their midst.
“According to an article from the Atlantic magazine in 2014, written by none other than, yes, a former Associated Press reporter, the AP had abundant reason to suspect Hamas’s presence years before the IDF informed them by telephone last weekend,” he said. “According to the article, Hamas fighters burst into the AP’s Gaza bureau during a previous conflict and threatened the staff. Hamas also launched missiles right outside the AP’s office. In each case, somehow, the intrepid reporters of the Associated Press’s Gaza bureau didn’t even report on these incidents.”
Though AP criticized Israel for the attack, Sen. Cotton says the news outlet knew what it was getting itself into.
“The AP instead turned a blind eye to terrorism and embraced a culture of silence on behalf of murderers who actively endangered its own reporters and staff. What’s equally scandalous is the AP continued to locate their offices in a building they knew was dangerous. The AP had been in that building for 15 years. Hamas fighters had threatened AP staff in its offices and launched missiles right outside on the street. In 15 years, did no one ever say, “Gosh, I wonder why Hamas keeps running around our office building?” Did no one in the AP’s leadership think, “You know, maybe we should move our people to a safer building in a better neighborhood?”