AP fact-checker Philip Marcelo beclowned himself on Friday as he rated a claim that Hamas sympathizers chanted anti-Semitic remarks “false,” not because they didn’t—he admits that they did—but because the clip “is more than two years old.”
Under the headline, “Old video of pro-Palestine supporters shouting antisemitic remarks is being misleadingly shared,” Marcelo begins by laying out the “CLAIM: A video shows Hamas sympathizers driving through London shouting antisemitic remarks during Friday’s day of protests against Israel.”
He then responds, “AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The widely shared clip is more than two years old. London police at the time apprehended four men in connection with the incident.”
Amazingly, Marcello reports on:
A distorted voice can be heard coming from a megaphone on one of the vehicles as they come to halt at a stoplight.
‘Sound on. This is London,’ the text on the video reads. ‘F— the Jews. Rape their daughters.’
‘A pro-Hamas caravan drives through the streets of London shouting into a bullhorn: ‘F*** the Jews. F*** their mothers. F*** their daughters. Rape their daughters’,’ wrote one user who shared the video on X, the social media platform formerly known as X [sic]. ‘Western civilization is committing suicide before our eyes.’
Marcello’s X-used-to-be-known-as-X blunder aside, nowhere in those quotations does anyone mention anything about a date. It is not as if the people who demonstrated in support of Hamas on Friday have suddenly changed their tune. Quite the opposite, in fact. This is who Hamas and their sympathizers are. Nevertheless, he adds, “But the video dates to May 2021 and is not in response to the ongoing conflict sparked by Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel Oct. 7.”
Nor is Marcello alone in this bizarre attempt by fact-checkers to claim that highlighting rhetoric from Hamas or the sympathizers is somehow out of date as both PolitiFact and USA Today tried to do the same thing on straw man claims that Hamas’s Iranian patrons didn’t chant “Death to America” after the attacks of October 7 because the videos were from 2020.