Here is the Editorial Published by Harvard's 2024 Commencement Speaker, Maria Ressa

Maria Ressa (Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

Editor's Note: In early May, the Washington Free Beacon published a report about an editorial that ran last year in the Rappler, the news outlet co-founded and led by Harvard University's 2024 commencement speaker, Maria Ressa. Our report quoted the Rappler, indicating that the news outlet had argued:

"It is a great irony that the [Jewish] race that suffered centuries of oppression, even genocide at the hands of Adolf Hitler, is now [denying] the same aspirations [for] the Palestinians." 

When critics such as Rep. Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.) expressed concern, the Rappler told Time magazine that the Free Beacon had misrepresented its views: The editorial was published in Tagalog, and the Rappler said Stefanik "should get an accurate translation."

The Free Beacon commissioned a translation of the editorial from Anna Katarina Rodriguez, the former executive director of the Commission on Filipino Language. We are posting Rodriguez’s translation in full below.

There is a need for a ‘humanitarian ceasefire’ in Gaza

Did you know that Palestinians wear bracelets bearing their names? This is because, at any moment, they can perish during airstrikes and they wish for their bodies to be identified.

When the Hamas launched a surprise attack in Israel last October 7, it resulted in the deaths of 1,400 people from Israel and the hostage of 241. Almost 250,000 Israeli lost their homes during the hostilities.

But the counter-attack of Israel killed approximately ten thousand people (9,770 people according to the latest tally of the Associated Press) and displaced 1.5 million people.

There is a side controversy regarding the running count of those killed by Israeli attacks in Gaza where no less than the President of United States of America, Joe Biden, has said, "I have no confidence in the number the Palestinians are using."

Regardless of the hocus-pocus of the Health Ministry of Gaza, it cannot be denied that there is a huge gap in the numbers of the death toll. This is also not disputed by respected media that monitor from a distance. (By the way, the ministry sent Biden a 212-page answer - setting out the names, gender, and ages of those killed.) There are also experts who allege that the death toll is probably higher considering those who remain unaccounted, crushed beneath the rubble of destroyed buildings.

It is clear that Israel has taken a disproportional response, not merely intended to retaliate but to wage an all-out war. Israel, by deploying its godlike technology, reveals its paleolithic instincts by disregarding the distinctions between civilians and its enemy, the Hamas.

On the other hand, the underdog, Hamas, frequently resorts to terrorist-like methods, such as its ruthless shooting of civilians, including students and the elderly, when it attacked last October 7.

In his column, the sociologist, Randy David, traced the diaspora of the Jews around the world, all longing for a homeland. It is with great irony that the race that for centuries, suffered oppression, even genocide at the hands of Adolf Hitler, is the same race that is now depriving the Palestinians of this same dream. According to David, "Yesterday’s oppressed have become today’s oppressors."

In the context of a territorial war stemming from Biblical times, we recognize the aspiration of all people to have a homeland where they can be free and where their human rights are respected. (Watch: What is the origin of the Israel-Hamas war?)

On the home front, it is not surprising why the Philippines abstained during the vote in the UN (Of course, the US’s little brown brother is back) because the resolution did not condemn what the UN Ambassador Antonio Lagdameo referred to as "terrorist attack of October 7."

Is it not more important for the Philippines to add its voice to the clamor for a humanitarian pause to grant a respite from the airstrikes and to allow the entry of food, water, and medical assistance to innocent civilians? Ambassador, sulking does not cultivate peace. In fact, lawyer, Mel Sta Maria, referred to it as an "amoral, if not immoral, decision."

Rappler adds its voice to those seeking a humanitarian ceasefire – which may begin as a humanitarian pause – amidst the bloodiest hostilities between Israeli and Palestinians since 1948.

•   For diplomats and politicians, there is a difference between a pause and a ceasefire, but, in either case, we speak of a cessation of bombings and attacks. A ceasefire is better. But if a pause is achieved, it may result in a ceasefire or an armistice.

•   We also support the actions of the UN General Assembly that call for Israel to refrain from its order for approximately 1.1 million civilians in Gaza to evacuate to the South.

•   We also call for the immediate release of civilian hostages, particularly those kidnapped by the Hamas.

They say that a "reporting crisis" exists in Gaza. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, in its latest tally last November 5, around 36 journalists and media workers have died since the outbreak of the war. Journalists play a crucial role during war because they are able to provide an accurate picture on the ground, more than what government or semi-government sources can offer.