'Vice' Arabic Article Defended Hamas Massacre, Called It 'Within International Law'

Former managing editor Badar Salem says Hamas terror attack is 'justice'

(@BadarSalem X account)
December 13, 2023

Vice News's Arabic website published an article defending Hamas's Oct. 7 massacre and arguing that it was "within international law."

Badar Salem, the former managing editor of Vice MENA, condoned the attacks in an Arabic-language article for the publication. She also appeared to celebrate the massacre on social media.

Vice has faced criticism for its coverage of the Israel-Hamas war, with media watchdog group Honest Reporting calling it "skewed and dangerous." A Vice spokesman said the article was an opinion column, and noted that Salem left as managing editor last January, although she still contributes regularly to the publication.

Salem in an Oct. 27 Arabic-language "explainer" article for Vice justified the Hamas attacks, according to a translation provided to the Washington Free Beacon by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA).

Under a section headlined "Does the Palestinian deserve to defend himself?" Salem, who served as managing editor MENA until January 2023, wrote that the "concept of resistance movements which defend themselves against occupation has deep roots in international law."

"Within this framework, what Hamas and the Palestinian resistance movements do/have done against Israeli targets is within international law," Salem wrote. "When confronting the occupation, the resistance movement are allowed to resort to [exert] this 'inalienable' right to struggle for self determination."

In another section, titled "Does Israel have the right to defend itself?" Salem appeared to argue in the negative.

"When an occupying force faces resistance from the occupied inhabitants, this is not considered the occupied inhabitants' attack, but a reaction against the occupation itself," she wrote. "In the Palestinian case, the Israeli occupation is considered the root cause of violence in and of itself."

In the article, Salem also accused journalists and politicians of publicizing "false information without presenting any evidence on Hamas's attack on the Gaza envelope settlements, namely that the movement … 'raped women.'" There is overwhelming evidence that Hamas raped Israeli women and engaged in widespread sexual violence.

Vice declined to comment.

On Oct. 7, just hours after news of Hamas's attacks broke, Salem appeared to celebrate the massacre of civilians on X, formerly Twitter.

"Dignity is the highest value embedded in every form of justice October 7," wrote Salem, alongside an emoji of a Palestinian flag.

She also reposted the statement "Gaza just broke out of prison" and an image of a Palestinian parasailing—the method that Hamas members used to invade Israel—with the caption "Decolonization is a practice." In another X post, Salem denied that Hamas killed Israeli babies, calling it "the most hideous propaganda."

CAMERA, a pro-Israel media watchdog group, in a statement to the Free Beacon slammed Salem's pro-Hamas commentary.

"Any 'explainer' suggesting that Hamas's Oct. 7 rampage complies with 'international law' falls short of meeting Vice's editorial standards in English, and for good reasons," said a CAMERA spokesperson. "Author and editor Badar Salem, given her track record of spreading hatred and bigotry on social media, appears ill-suited to uphold these standards."