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September 12, 2016 10:20 pm

Major Jewish Group: Newsweek Must Take Action to Save Its ‘Hard-Earned Journalist Brand From Bigots and Propagandists’

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Newsweek Middle East senior deputy editor Leila Hatoum. Photo: Twitter.

Newsweek Middle East senior deputy editor Leila Hatoum. Photo: Twitter.

Newsweek must take action to “save the integrity of its hard-earned journalist brand from bigots and propagandists,” an official with a leading US-based Jewish human rights organization told The Algemeiner on Monday following a string of recent incidents that revealed an apparent animus by the magazine’s Middle East edition toward Israel.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, was referring to Leila Hatoum — the senior deputy editor for Newsweek Middle East, which is based in Dubai — and Ben White — a British freelance journalist known for his vehement anti-Israel views.

In a series of tweets late last week that were first reported on by the Israellycool blog, Hatoum — whose Twitter tagline says in Hebrew “Occupation = Ongoing terrorism” — repeatedly used the phrase “Zionist trolls” and made a number of eye-brow raising statements, including, among others, “zionists are not Jews. Stay in urdark corner trying achieve ur monthly goals set to u by the mossad” and “zionist troll # 100 something .. jealous much? U can’t shame me like u do to western media. Go cry in the corner.”

Hatoum also called the late Zionist visionary Theodore Herzl and his followers a “malicious gang of land thieves [who] decided on stealing Palestine from its people with the aid of the British…much like what settlers did to N. America’s indians.”

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The twitter rampage by Hatoum came after the publication of a tendentious video by Newsweek Middle East that claimed a Palestinian state existed before the founding of Israel in 1948. As evidence, the video cited Ottoman-era maps that used the word “Palestine” to describe lands that are now known as Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

“To allege that 19th century maps of ‘Palestine’ refer to Arab land is nothing less than a cynical attempt to invert history,” Cooper said.

The video was a follow-up to an article published in Newsweek Middle East in late August by White. In the article — titled “Where is Palestine?” — White criticized Google’s policy of not using the word “Palestine” in its maps (it instead uses West Bank and Gaza Strip).

White also took aim at Israel, claiming that, since its establishment, the Jewish state has sought “to wipe Palestine from the map, and to deny that Palestine, or Palestinians themselves, ever existed.”

He concluded, “Whatever Google’s own motivations are, however, the issue is not going away anytime soon, as Palestinians contest and resist colonization and appropriation at every level– a battle ground that now includes online mapping.”

Joe Hyams, the CEO of the HonestReporting media watchdog organization, said in a statement published on his group’s website, “Newsweek Middle East has evidently been hijacked by agenda-driven journalism.” Furthermore, Hyams called for Newsweek to “take immediate action to protect its name from being associated with such an embarrassment.”

As reported by The Algemeiner last month, the results of an investigation recently concluded by the IDF Military Advocate General (MAG) refuted a Dec. 2014 Newsweek Europe cover story about the tragedy that befell the Siyam family in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge two summers ago. While the Newsweek story blamed “Israeli rockets” for the deaths of 12 members of the Siyam family in Rafah in July 2014, the MAG probe found that the Siyams were likely hit by mortars aimed at Israel by terrorist groups in Gaza that fell short.

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  • Edward

    If “Occupation = Ongoing terrorism” then why is there “Ongoing Terrorism” in the US, UK, France, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Australia, India, Kenya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt???

    Fact is Arabs/Muslims are at War with EVERYBODY – even fellow Arabs/Muslims.

  • E Pluribus Wombat

    Newsweek has always been in the tank for Obama and Hillary 100% no holds barred no thinking necessary. They don’t even pretend. I doubt and most people I think doubt if Newsweek cares if they viewed as an unbiased legitimate news source any more than Buzzfeed. They exist to do a job – a job to prop up the spirits of all the other liberals and democrats. In that way it’s like “The Nation” which no one reads unless they’re already glint eyed zealots who drool over every insane word.

  • rogsonl

    I have a copy of the 1957 Encyclopedia Britannica. It is refreshing to review its articles on the ME. It is not biased by 60 years of anti-Israeli propaganda.
    You hear about Fedayeen, West Bank, but nothing about a Palestinian Nation, because it had not yet been imagined by the fertile mind of the anti-Israel/Islamic groups.

    • David

      For rogsonul : ??

  • It’s time for Leila Hatoum to investigate how Arab Muslims invaded Africa. Arabs sprung from Saudi Arabia. They are not indigenous to Africa. Your people Ms. Hatoum are the biggest colonizers on the planet. And the biggest slavers. Back to Saudi Arabia with you.

    The fact that Newsweek agrees to publish your lies of commission (that Israel is an occupier), and ommission (that the Arabs don’t belong in Africa) doesn’t make them true. Get the heck out of Africa, you lying colonizers !!!!!!!!

  • nat cheiman

    OKAY!!!! So newsweek wants to play that game. Hope they have a lot of muslim readers because Im going south to another magazine

  • jakob wasi

    Israel is a nation like any other. It doesn’t need special treatment. It is judged by the media and the world for its own deeds. Allegemeiner argue for special privileges. Israel doesn’t need them. It stands or falls on its own policies.

    • enufizenuf

      Not quite, the reality is that the arabs have been attempting to bring it down through their own propaganda and by infiltrating the news media with shills for that propaganda. Israel does not need special treatment, it needs fair and honest treatment, two words which the arab media, governments and people have no interest in.

    • dg

      Israel does not need special treatment and shouldn’t get it. But it does get it. Most of it is negative. Most of it applies standards the are only applied to her.

      • quite right. Israel can do without “special treatment.” it doesn’t want it. it doesn’t need it. but, it certainly does get it. anyone in doubt about this should visit the website.

        here’s a pertinent and disagreeable fact: almost all media errors, even acknowledged errors, are errors that disparage Israel. the “mistakes” are virtually all in one direction, i.e. hostile to Israel.

  • Ted Crawford

    Under all that make-up beats a heart of hatred.

  • Yaakov

    Use of the word “brand” always sounds strange — marketing talk, which is distasteful.

    Throwing in the term “Jewish state” when quoting White does not represent unbiased reporting either.

  • Al jazeera does the same thing.

  • If its ideas and bad news about Israel, some people will believe it, as is the case Leila Hatoum who is clearly misguided in her hatred for the Jewish State. When hatred foggs the mind then anything is possible. Even the rewriting of history will do to forward the lies of Leila Hatoum. Please fire her as they have a job for her at Al Jazeera.

  • Subj:
    September 12, 2016
    Major Jewish Group: Newsweek Must Take Action to Save Its ‘Hard-Earned Journalist Brand From Bigots and Propagandists’

    The “leading US-based Jewish human rights organization” is unnamed.

    Please send me the names of the organization as your story loses credibility w/o it.

    Thanks. MR

    • Holy Shirt

      Smiley identified (or edited-in, after the fact?) in the next paragraph Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. We must not allow card-carrying socialists hiding behind unquestioned respectability and authority conferred by “rabbi” to blind us, or blind us into their own brand of submission. Rabbis aren’t gods.

  • Alana Ronald

    Another horrible example of mainstream anti-Semitic media bias.

  • Shimmy Neufeld

    The reality is that when many journalists reach what seems to be a “tenured” position
    at their respective publications, they become giddy with their golden opportunity to Israel bash, with little chance of having to retract their venomous attacks. Reminds me of cameramen just waiting to capture video of IDF being “overly aggressive” in stopping
    what the biased press would call “alleged assailants” “who may or may not have been
    carrying a butcher knife” It’s just so easy to be anti-semitic, which is the same as anti-zionists.

  • Charles Martel

    It’s about time for the Jewish community to wake up in this country. Americans, and Jews in particular, seem to be having a hard time realizing that the MSM is at the service of agendas which counter the interests of Israel and the Jewish people.

    A friend of mine is one of the most informed people I know. She reads the New York Times and the Washington Post daily, as well as Times and other weekly magazines. But she was not aware of the BDS movement, or the attacks in Germany against women and children by “refugees.”

    These publications shape the mind of their audiences by keeping out information that does not agree with the current narrative.

  • the transformation of newsweek represents the capitulation of fact to bias, opinion, delusion and hate.

    the malevolent clowns who run the “newsweek middle east” are not interested in facts; they cannot be reached by facts…but, for those who care about facts, about reality, no one has denied the existence of the people who have in the last 70 or 80 years decided to call themselves “palestinian.” the issue is, rather, that their national identity, i.e. as “palestinians,” is novel and synthetic, i.e., contrived or fabricated. it not some ancient identity; it arose in response to political Zionism.

    and, unlike the white American settlers, the Jews settled Israel 3000 or more years ago. the place names, even the Arabic names, are based on the Hebrew names. get it? the Jews were there for more than 1500 years before the Muslim armies conquered the land.

    if one wants to know anything about the middle east, one would be well advised to skip newsweek…I guess most people do.

  • Rachel Cohen

    Newsweek–has been taken over by godless Marxist globalists, long ago. Time to wise up–they aren’t going to get better–but rather much worse.

    • Holy Shirt

      My mostly-Leftist high school pals of the early 1960’s were already spelling it NEWSWEAK. THYME was no better, as Ariel Sharon learned in the 1980’s. Like The NOTION, US NOOSE and WHIRLED REPORT is not much better. Should we be believe Symbianese Liberation Army bankrobber just rode off into the sunset after walking away scot-free? If you cannot understand lamestream media’s sudden tilt to the Left two decades ago, don’t you realize the teen-age heiress to William Randolph Hearst’s publishing empire eventually grew up, quietly acquiring control long ago? Politicization of public broadcast media may have encouraged private media’s, as the BBC Whirled Service and its American junior partner National Public Radio, attest.

  • Unfortunately, “Newsweek” cultivated a different brand, where history is distorted by a new generation of journalists. According to history, the Ottoman Turks were one of many empires that occupied territory that belonged to the Jewish people. Jewish historic claims to Jerusalem are verified by history and archeology.