Palestinian Journalist Fired From BBC Over ‘Hitler Was Right’ Tweet Pins Blame on ‘Pro-Israel Mob’
A Palestinian journalist who was fired by the BBC for posting an antisemitic tweet that included the words “Hitler was right” has issued a defiant statement against her former employer, accusing the British broadcaster of “capitulating” to the “whim of a pro-Israel mob.”
Tala Halawa was dismissed from the BBC last month after the surfacing of the 2014 tweet, which was posted before she began working for the broadcaster. The tweet read: “#Israel Is more #Nazi than #Hitler! Oh, “#HitlerWasRight” #IDF go to hell. #PrayForGaza.”
A statement posted by Halawa on Wednesday conceded that her tweet had been “offensive and ignorant.” However, in the apology that followed, she refrained from mentioning the Jewish community specifically or the antisemitic and pro-Nazi nature of her words.
Halawa, who is based in the West Bank city of Ramallah, then insinuated that pro-Israel forces were behind a global campaign to silence pro-Palestinian voices.
“The BBC’s immediate dismissal at the whim of a pro-Israel mob is all the more absurd given the actual reason pro-Israel groups trained their sights on me: I recently published a video report on the corporation about celebrities being criticized, trolled and cancelled for supporting Palestinian self-determination,” she wrote. “But I am not alone. This pro-Israel censorship campaign is industrial in scale and international in its search.” She added that “pro-Israel interest groups” were attempting to “eliminate Palestinians from public life.”
Halawa also accused the BBC of racism towards her, asserting that the criticism of her “seems familiar to me both as a Palestinian and as a woman of color.”
Halawa’s claim that the BBC had dismissed her “based on a single offensive and ignorant tweet” was disputed on social media, with several users circulating screen shots of other antisemitic tweets posted by her. In one, she described the ongoing clashes between Hamas and the IDF as a “continuous #Holocaust,” while in another, she lambasted “stupid Zionists” for not realizing that the “antisemitism melodrama isn’t trending anymore.”
Halawa’s 2014 tweets surfaced again in May of this year, during the renewed conflict between Israel and Hamas. Her last story for the BBC was published on May 23, just before an investigation into her social media activity was announced. She was formally dismissed from the BBC in early June, according to a spokesperson for the broadcaster quoted by London’s Jewish Chronicle newspaper.