Since Hamas’ October 7 brutal pogrom in southern Israel, NRC has issued numerous statements, almost entirely focused on condemning Israel for its response in Gaza – aside from token mentions of Israeli victims.

This is particularly evident in NRC’s social media posts. From October 7 to October 26, NRC’s main Twitter/X account posted 18 tweets: 16 exclusively mention Gaza and Palestinians, 1 mentions “civilians in Israel & Gaza,” and 1 sharing an “urgent petition calling for a #CeasefireNOW in Gaza and Israel.” Similarly, the NRC Middle East Twitter/X account posted 26 tweets: 24 on Gaza and Palestinians, 1 thread that explicitly mentioned Israeli victims alongside Palestinians killed, and 1 tweet calling “on all parties to stop the violence and ensure civilians are protected.” Similar activity characterizes NRC’s Secretary General Jan Egeland’s Twitter/X account.

Content Analysis

On October 7, as the massacre was unfolding, NRC posted a statement from its Palestine Country director Ana Povrzenic that did not mention – let alone condemn – the attacks, and euphemistically referred to “unprecedented hostilities.” The short statement ended by blaming the victims: “The only path towards stability and peace is for the international community to finally address the root causes of the conflict including ending the occupation of Palestinian territory.” NRC’s tweet highlighted the focus on condemning Israel: “NRC calls on all parties to stop the violence & ensure civilians are protected in Israel & Gaza. The only path towards peace is for the international community to address the root causes of conflict including ending the occupation of Palestinian territory.”

On October 9, NRC published a factsheet (updated on October 18) titled “The fighting must stop immediately.” The reason given: “This escalation is going to have long-term humanitarian consequences for Palestinians in Gaza.” As part of this webpage, in a “situation update” from October 18, NRC repeats Hamas propaganda, claiming that “Some [Israeli] hostages were confirmed among those killed in Israeli airstrikes.”

Astoundingly, but consistent with NRC’s long-time propaganda, the only allegations of illegality in the context of the pogrom and war are in regard to Israeli actions. Israel’s response to the terror attacks and preparations by Hamas in Gaza are labeled, “The collective punishment of countless civilians…illegal under international law.” Israel encouraging civilians to move to southern Gaza, presumably in advance of intensification of attacks around Gaza City in the north is deemed an “illegal and impossible order” and “forcible transfer, which is a grave breach of international humanitarian law and codified as a war crime.” NRC Secretary General Jan Egeland also repeated Hamas lies about the Al-Ahli Hospital incident and blamed Israel for “war crimes.”

Egeland in general attributes Israeli actions in Gaza to anything but targeting Hamas’ terror infrastructure. Instead, Israel allegedly seeks to “punish an entire population for the actions of extremists”; pursues “the starving of a million children to get concessions  from grown Hamas men”; and engages in the “collective punishment of countless civilians, among them children, women, and the elderly, in retaliation for acts of horrible terror undertaken by armed men.”