A producer who has worked alongside Barack and Michelle Obama denied last week in social media postings that Hamas carried out brutal atrocities against Israeli women and children, saying these claims are "completely unverified" and "feed into Islamaphobic tropes."
Misha Euceph, a producer on the Obama family's various podcast series, made these claims in a series of now-deleted Instagram posts that call into question a mounting body of evidence showing Hamas raped, murdered, and dismembered scores of Israeli civilians.
Speaking about Hamas’s rampage through an Israeli neighborhood last week, Euceph said, "The more I’ve been thinking about it the more I’m realizing—and I think a lot of other people are too—that these reports and statements about the rape and murder of babies are completely unverified, and they actually feed into Islamaphobic tropes that we’re not talking about at all."
Euceph also questioned the innocence of Israeli citizens, citing the country’s compulsory military service, and denied that Hamas uses human shields and operates from civilian outposts, like hospitals and schools.
Euceph was represented by the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) until at least last week, when her online biography was erased from the website amid questions from the Washington Free Beacon about her comments. CAA, which represents Hollywood and sports powerhouses like Amal Clooney and quarterback Aaron Rodgers, did not respond to inquiries about the matter. The videos are also no longer accessible on Euceph’s Instagram page, instead replaced with a generic statement about a week of "sadness, anger, and outrage." A request to Euceph sent via CAA was also not returned.
In the since-deleted posts, Euceph cast doubt on widespread images proving Hamas targeted children, babies, and elderly Jews, even as reports emerged that the Iranian-backed terror group planned to target kids.
"We’re talking a lot about anti-Semitism but we’re not talking about very common anti-Arab sentiment that sees Arabs as desert people who behead children and rape children," she said.
Euceph went on to claim that Israel is waging an "ethnic genocide" on the Palestinian people as it seeks to root out Hamas terrorists responsible for last week's unprecedented attack.
"How many homes can Hamas possibly be hiding in? How many schools can they possibly be hiding in? How many Palestinians can be killed and the justification can be that Hamas is hiding there? And if that is true, why hasn’t the Israeli army, with everything at its disposal, been able to, after all this ethnic cleansing for so many years, been able to get rid of Hamas?"
Euceph also said it is "Islamophobic" to claim the terrorist strikes on Israel were unprovoked.
"Another common Islamophobic, anti-Arab trope that I’m seeing thrown around is the one that refers to Palestinians as terrorists—or any Palestinian resistance, which at this point is mainly armed, though it in the past has been peaceful as well," she said, adding that "from other people, they may be forms of liberation or fighting back injustice."
In another post, Euceph denied a large body of evidence showing that Hamas uses human shields and conducts its attacks from civilian areas in order to increase the number of innocents killed.
"If Hamas is actually doing that, then killing children in schools, people injured and ill in hospitals, and Palestinian civilians in their homes, is perfectly justified," she said. "If you believe that and you’re going around repeating that, I ask you to first do your research to verify that because I challenge you to find that information that is actually verifiable and true."
Hamas has already ordered Palestinians living in Gaza to remain in their homes, even as Israel warns them to evacuate amid an escalating ground and air operation. Hamas also has repeatedly used United Nations facilities, including schools, to store rockets and other military hardware.