Meet the Nike Marketing Specialist Who Says Israel, Not Hamas, Is 'Massacring Civilians'

Nike's James Rehwald: Israeli claims of Hamas atrocities are 'pure projection'

James Rehwald (James Rehwald/Facebook)
November 7, 2023

A top marketing specialist at Nike responded to Iran-backed terror group Hamas's Oct. 7 slaughtering of innocent Israeli women and children by accusing the Jewish state—not Hamas—of "massacring civilians."

James Rehwald, who has worked as a "digital media marketing specialist" at Nike since 2021, on Oct. 16 posted a video to his Patreon account titled, "Why Israel Deliberately Targets Civilians." That video, Rehwald wrote in his caption, exposes the "brutal military and settler colonial occupation that Israel has imposed on its native Palestinians for the past 75 years." Rehwald went on to downplay the atrocities Hamas terrorists committed against Israelis during their attack on the Jewish state, arguing that Israel commits those same atrocities "on a much greater scale."

"Much of what Israel claims about [the] Palestinian resistance is pure projection," Rehwald wrote in his caption. "The killing of children, massacring civilians, the r*pe, torture, hostage-taking, and imprisonment that Israel accuses Palestinians of occurs on a much greater scale by the Israelis."

Rehwald's dismissal of Hamas's barbaric attack—which saw some Hamas terrorists gleefully film themselves using a hoe to behead a civilian's corpse—comes as some employers cut ties with young staffers over their support for the terror group. Chicago-based law firm Winston & Strawn, for example, withdrew an employment offer to New York University law student Ryna Workman, who issued a statement saying Israel "bears full responsibility" for Hamas's attack.

Many top corporations, however, have offered muted responses to Hamas's terrorism—or no response at all. Nike CEO John Donahoe nearly a week after the attack sent an internal email to employees decrying the "horrific attacks in Israel" but did not mention Hamas, prompting pushback from some Jewish employees. Hamas directly ordered its terrorist fighters to kill as many Israelis as possible, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Neither Rehwald nor Nike returned requests for comment. After the Washington Free Beacon contacted Rehwald, the Nike marketing specialist added a message to his X, formerly Twitter, account stating, "Views are my own, not my employer's."

In addition to his work at Nike, Rehwald—a California native who graduated from the University of Portland—has amassed tens of thousands of social media followers thanks to his "leftist comedy and education" videos, which have been described as "anti-imperialist satire." Rehwald in his videos discusses topics such as, "How the U.S. bourgeois state co-opts progressive rhetoric to mask class exploitation," and "How U.S. imperialism is causing climate change."

Rehwald says he started making those videos in 2020, citing his love for "leftist politics, history, media, entertainment, satire, and video production." Rehwald in April teased an expansion of his media endeavors, saying a "few big producers/creators recently reached out to me about potentially expanding into bigger projects one day!"

"I aim to develop funny, informational, and at times horrifying content," Rehwald says on his Patreon account's "about" page.

The anti-Israel video Rehwald shared to his Patreon followers, meanwhile, comes from a YouTube channel known as GDF. Its video accusing Israel of deliberately targeting Palestinian civilians only once mentions Hamas and refers to the terror group's assault on the Jewish state as a "devastating surprise attack."

The channel in other videos has accused the United States of creating the terror group ISIS, a claim that Iran's government has used as propaganda. GDF has also attacked socialist senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) as insufficiently leftist, calling him a "génocidaire" who supports "regime change." The Rehwald-endorsed YouTube channel blamed Israel for Hamas's attack just four days after it occurred.

"It should be common sense that following a terrorist attack in Israel people criticize Israel's treatment of Palestinians… the cause of the attack," the channel wrote.