WAPO Columnist Claims Journalistic Integrity, Academic Freedom Died In Gaza

by State Brief

Karen Attiah, a columnist for the Washington Post, referred to the Israeli-Hamas conflict as the death of journalism and academic freedom in regards to military action in Gaza.

Attiah discussed the Middle Eastern military conflict in a Tuesday X thread and referred to action taken in Gaza as genocidal.

“For decades we were told ‘Never Again’ to genocide and mass atrocities,” she wrote, citing previous ethnic cleansing campaigns in the Holocaust, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. “We were taught to spot the warning signs — dehumanizing rhetoric, violence, forced depopulation, and the destruction of culture.”

“We were told to speak out and act,” she added.

Attiah said witnessing “silence, censorship, racism, and hypocrisies” along with “assault, starvation, and depopulation” of Palestinians in the region was “revealing” before taking issue with how the conflict has been documented.

“Too many consume history as stimulating entertainment, neatly packaged for movies, classes, and museums. Not something to act on,” she added.

The Washington Post columnist then mentioned the University of Southern California’s (USC) recent cancellation of valedictorian Asna Tabassum’s graduation speech, asserting “liberal institutions died in Gaza.”

Tabassum’s scheduled speech intended to discuss a pro-Palestinian argument, though USC argued her remarks were “not a free speech issue.”

“Western journalistic objectivity died in Gaza. True academic freedom died in Gaza,” Attiah continued. “Do we see how much violance it takes to uphold an imperial status quo?”

Attiah said she hoped the last few months had been clarifying for minorities and others from “marginalized communities.”

“Our governments will not save us,” she continued. “Our institutions will not save us. People of color in high places will not save us.”

“Only we can save us,” she added. “Adjust.”

Attiah went on to claim “storms are gathering” and suggested many black and other “people of color” (POC) would withdraw and divest into self and community preservation mode.

“We keep trying to educate white folks especially on how to build new shelters, but they keep holding on to old, broken tools,” she wrote.

Attiah concluded her thread by noting some minorities and POC are using new tools and building new shelters in response.

“Many will not survive what is ahead of us if our cultural and political systems don’t change course,” she wrote.

In the wake of last October’s attack on Israel by Islamic militant group Hamas, Attiah faced intense backlash after arguing in an op-ed that Israel was committing “atrocities.”

The Washington Post columnist went on to argue Palestinians were correctly pointing out “their own pain and deaths under the action of the Israeli state” had been ignored for years prior to the Oct. 7 attack.

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