Big Time Rush's James Maslow is posting misinformation about the Israeli-Hamas war again

jamesmaslow/Instagram (Licensed)

‘Does he get paid?’: Former Nickelodeon boy band member flamed for latest foray into Israel-Hamas war discourse

Fans have been confused about his post-Oct. 7 pivot.


Tricia Crimmins


Posted on Apr 15, 2024

James Maslow, a member of the boy band Big Time Rush, posted a video on Instagram in which he declared every Palestinian casualty in the Israel-Hamas war was the fault of Hamas, a comment that sparked strenuous criticism in his comments.

This isn’t the first time he’s posted in support of Israel since Oct. 7, nor is it the first time he’s received swift backlash for his statements.

Maslow’s latest video about Israel shows him in front of a green screen with words and phrases like “independence,” “human rights,” and “equality” floating around on it. He starts the video by saying “free Gaza,” that he doesn’t want “any innocent suffering” and that “the vast majority of Jews and Israelis” feel the same.

“The IDF goes out of its way to protect Palestinian civilians every day,” Maslow said. “So why are there so many civilian casualties in this war? … We can and should blame Hamas for that.”

Over 33,000 Palestinians have been killed in the Israel-Hamas war since Oct. 7, 2023. The majority of deaths are the result of Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip or starvation—Gaza is currently experiencing a famine as a result of Israeli restrictions on humanitarian aid in the area.

A number of other Israeli influencers have attempted, in recent days, to downplay the death toll.

Maslow also said Israel warns Palestinian civilians so they are able to evacuate before air strikes and that Hamas uses them “as human shields.”

Reporting on Israeli evacuation orders has shown that Palestinians who go to safe zones are still killed by Israeli air strikes.

The concept that Hamas is using Palestinian civilians as “human shields“—or protecting themselves by keeping civilians nearby to avoid Israeli attacks—is a frequently cited justification by Israel for its attacks on Palestinian hospitals, which it claims Hamas uses strategically as a headquarters.

Al Shifa, one of the hospitals that Israel targeted in its strikes on Gaza, has become a mass grave.

“I don’t want, and I believe the majority of Israelis, don’t want Palestinians to die,” Maslow said in his video. “Hamas does. So yes, I say free Gaza! Free Gaza from Hamas.”

Since Oct. 7, 2023, a portion of Maslow’s Instagram feed has become videos about the conflict. Last month, Maslow posted videos on Instagram encouraging Jewish people to visit Israel and explaining what terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah are.

Some viewers posit that Maslow is being paid to post such things.

“Why is he doing this? I never heard him say or post anything like this before. Does he get paid to say all of these things, perhaps?” a commenter wrote on Maslow’s latest video. “I can’t imagine why talking about Israel and Palestine if you can be silent about it to avoid any controversies or debates, and divide [Big Time Rush] fans.”

Others condemned his statements as propaganda—and deemed his video misinformation.

“The way you’re gaslighting people & yourself is crazy,” a commenter wrote. “Wake up.”

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*First Published: Apr 15, 2024, 4:47 pm CDT