Israel slams top journalism award for citing photographer linked to October 7 attack

Following Ynetnews report, Consulate General in New York issues letter to George Polk Award selection committee, calling to strip Yousef Masoud of award due to ethical concerns raised by his association with terrorists during Hamas attack
Following a Ynetnews report, the Foreign Ministry issued a scathing letter to the selection committee for the George Polk Award, one of journalism's highest accolades, for honoring photojournalist Yousef Masoud, who accompanied Hamas terrorists on October 7 and documented the atrocities.
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"I am writing to express grave concern over your 2024 George Polk Award selections,” wrote Itay Milner, a spokesperson for the Consulate General of Israel in New York.
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פריצת הגדר בגבול עזה
פריצת הגדר בגבול עזה
Palestinians breaching Israel's border fence on October 7
(Photo: Reuters)
"Equally troubling is the specific awarding of Yousef Masoud, whose public connections to Hamas and well-documented foreknowledge of the terror group's plans for invasion mortally compromise the integrity of his reporting,” the letter added.

'Divorced from any semblance of ethics'

“By honoring Masoud, the George Polk Awards endorse a journalist whose work is deeply tainted, sending a dangerous message that journalistic recognition can be altogether divorced from any semblance of ethics. Masoud was intimately tied to a vicious terror group designated as such by the U.S., the EU and much of the civilized world.
“Awarding those complicit with crimes against humanity crushes the George Polk Awards’ reputation as an authority on journalistic integrity, and raises dire moral questions about turning a blind eye to acts of great evil. You must not allow the mores and pressures of our time to cloud your moral compass,” Milner wrote, urging the award committee to reconsider their decision.
According to a statement by Long Island University, which presents the award annually, Masoud, along with fellow Gazan journalist Samar Abu Elouf, was cited for "chronicling Israel’s bombardment and invasion of their homeland, Gaza."
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חטיפת גופתה של שני לוק ב 7.10
חטיפת גופתה של שני לוק ב 7.10
Photos of Hamas terrorists abducting a body taken on October 7 used by AP
(Photo: AP Photo/Ali Mahmud)
"The two photographed the conflict from its opening hours on Oct. 7 until they escaped the territory exactly two months later," the statement read.
"Under harrowing circumstances, they captured gripping and unforgettable images. Of frightened children looking skyward toward an Israeli plane. Of bodies pulled from the rubble of flattened buildings. Of a little boy touching the bloodied face of his dead baby sister. And of the chaos of hospitals overwhelmed by dazed, gravely injured patients."
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צלם ynet רועי עידן
צלם ynet רועי עידן
Ynet photographer Roy Edan
(Photo: Shai Machluf)
Milner added in the letter, “Many courageous journalists have indeed borne witness to their trials, and deserve recognition. I will highlight one example: Roy Edan was an Israeli photojournalist who was murdered by Hamas on October 7. Up until his very last moments, he did his job to the utmost, capturing singular photos of the terrorists as they invaded his community of Kfar Aza.
“He was slain that day together with his wife Smadar. Their three-year-old daughter Abigail was kidnapped by Hamas and celebrated her fourth birthday in captivity. She was finally freed after 50 days in the terror group’s dungeons. Edan’s work and life were a testament to realities as they were, no matter how uncomfortable.”
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