Last Updated on October 12, 2023
Corporate media is walking back its unfounded claims that Hamas fighters beheaded dozens of babies during a murderous incursion into Israel, and the Israeli government not only says it can’t verify the beheading rumors but is now refusing to investigate the claims altogether.
The walking back of Hamas beheading claims comes after virtually the entire corporate media and war hawk political establishment parroted the unfounded story, in what appears to have been a propagandist effort to drum up support for anti-Hamas military action and American support of the Israeli war cause.
On Tuesday, when beheading claims were kicked into high gear, CNN correspondent Nic Robertson reported from the scene of a liberated Israeli kibbutz that Hamas fighters had beheaded children there.
“This is the saddest part of liberating and taking back control of this kibbutz,” reported Robertson. “[…]It’s been a two-day fight, there are bodies everywhere. There were so many murdered members of the kibbutz,” he added, before claiming that residents had their “heads cut.”
“Men, women, children, hands bound, shot, executed, heads cut,” said Robertson.
Now, CNN is reporting that these claims CAN NOT BE CONFIRMED by them or the Israeli government.
This is our incubator moment in 2023. pic.twitter.com/TvsxSLkHSS
— Frankie Stockes (@realStockes) October 12, 2023
Now, just two days later, CNN is abandoning Robertson’s claims, reporting that an “Israeli official says [the Israeli] government cannot confirm [that] babies were beheaded in [a] Hamas attack.”
The apparently false beheading claims have drawn widespread comparisons to false claims made in the run-up to the Persian Gulf War, when “eyewitness” testimony claimed that Iraqi troops had raided Kuwaiti hospitals, ripped sick babies out of incubators, and brutally killed them.
Those claims were central to calls for American intervention in the conflict and were later shown to have been completely made up.
While it is unclear exactly where the beheading rumors originated, the reporting of journalist Bel Trew has been widely cited as confirmation that Hamas beheaded 40 Israeli babies as, after the initial beheading reports emerged, Trew claimed in a post to X that she’d been informed of the alleged beheadings by Israeli soldiers.
However, Trew’s original post on the alleged beheadings has been deleted and much like CNN, she’s now walking the story back.
“I just wanted to clarify that I did not tweet 40 babies had been beheaded,” Trew wrote in an October 11th post to X, the day after the claims went viral. “I tweeted that foreign media had been told women and children had been decapitated but we had not been shown the bodies.”
Notably, Trew turned off replies to her walk-back post, blocking out the voices of all who many question her narrative.
In addition to members of the media, a laundry list of high-profile politicians have parroted the beheading claims, including Florida Governor and 2024 GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis.
During an interview with CNN (which, as mentioned, amplified beheading claims before walking them back) DeSantis mocked those who dared to question the media narrative, saying “This garbage out there, you hear things, people are saying that the babies really somehow weren’t killed, that this is all just manufactured. I understand there’s conspiracy theories that can go on but we’ve got to put that garbage aside and we’ve got to stand with Israel.”
On the other hand, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib has taken major heat after refusing to address a Fox News reporter, who followed her through a hallway asking her to disavow Hamas for “beheading babies.” The network does not yet appear to have walked their claims back.
.@RonDeSantis blasts anti-Semitism, including white nationalists like Nick Fuentes, in CNN interview with @JohnBerman: "That is totally outrageous. You know, this garbage out there, you hear things people are saying that the babies really somehow weren't killed, that this was all… pic.twitter.com/IfqrFZNWgO
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) October 11, 2023
As the beheading claims implode, the Israeli government has not only been unable to confirm that the attacks took place, but is actually refusing to investigate the allegations in the first place, saying that conducting such an investigation would be “disrespectful for the dead.”