Jessica Abramsky

Some American college journalists don’t want to see news about Israel-Hamas War

A store near Times Square with dozens of hostage posters on March 17. Photo by Jessica Abramsky.

I recently traveled with the staff of my university’s student-run newspaper to New York City for a College Media Association conference. While we were having dinner on March 15, my friend, a student journalist, was scrolling through her Instagram Story feed looking at what everyone posted throughout the day. 

As I bit into my crispy slice of veggie pizza, she turned to me and said something along the lines of “your Story is very depressing. I see everyone posting cute pics then I get to yours and it’s sad and depressing.”

But I have no choice. I cannot stop using my platform to remind my mere 265 Instagram followers what is going on in Israel so they will not forget the scale of the Oct. 7 attack and that over 100 hostages, including about six Americans, have been held against their will in Gaza for almost six months.

As a Jewish journalist, I feel it is my job to post about the hostages, rising antisemitism and Israel’s efforts to secure civilian life in Gaza by protecting civilians from Hamas and providing as much aid as possible, as long as the United Nations distributes it and Hamas doesn’t steal it.

I told her that I do it because it’s news, important to me and most of my followers wouldn’t see anything about the war at all if I didn’t post about it, including her. I told her I felt obligated. 

An awkward silence fell over the table where I sat with her and two other young journalists. Then one of them changed the subject quickly.

While in New York, to my surprise, I didn’t witness any forms of antisemitism. On social media, I’ve seen lots of antisemitic signs and Palestine supporters protesting for a ceasefire, even protesting at the memorial site of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on Twin Towers. I didn’t see any posters, stickers or artwork calling for the destruction of Israel or to free Gaza/Palestine. I was a little nervous to travel there during this time, but I’m glad I didn’t witness any forms of Jewish hate. In fact, I saw hostage posters. 

A store near Times Square with dozens of hostage posters on March 17. Photo by Jessica Abramsky.

I saw a lone poster in Times Square of Israeli-Argentinian baby Kfir Bibas in Spanish. Near Times Square I saw a store that had dozens of hostage posters taped to the windows inside the store from top to bottom, probably to prevent them from being torn down. I thought that was brave of the employees and store owners and I’m proud of them.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s and do not reflect those of the University Press or its staff.

About the Author
Jessica Abramsky is a Jewish university student in the United States with a background in college and freelance journalism. She currently serves as the editor-in-chief of Florida Atlantic University's student-run newspaper, the University Press.