Journalism Award Stripped from Palestinian Journalist Over Antisemitic Facebook Posts
The Thomson Reuters Foundation and Kurt Schork Memorial Fund stripped Palestinian journalist Shatha Hammad of a journalism award following its discovery that she quoted Adolf Hitler and used “extreme antisemitic language” on Facebook.
Hammad had received the Kurt Schork Award, an honor named after an American freelance reporter who died in Sierra Leone in 2000 while reporting on the country’s civil war. It recognizes “the courageous work of freelance journalists, local reporters, and news fixers.”
“The decision has been made following the discovery of a social media post on Hammad’s Facebook feed that appears to quote Hitler, which, in doing so, suggests an endorsement of his ideology,” the foundations said on Tuesday. “We have therefore taken this unusual step in order to protect the integrity of the Kurt Schork Awards, established to recognise and celebrate the courageous and brilliant reporting of conflict, corruption and injustice from journalists around the world, who risk their lives daily to speak truth to power.”
The Reuters Foundation and Schork Memorial Fund confirmed that they identified two posts by the Hammad. She has claimed that one of them is falsely attributed.
“Me and Hitler are friends. We share the same ideology, especially regarding the extermination of the Jews,” Hammad wrote in a post from 2014. In another message she wrote, “Opinions are neither right nor wrong!! -Hitler,” attributing the quote to Adolf Hitler.
On Wednesday, the Jewish Chronicle reported that Jacki Alexander, CEO of HonestReporting, a pro-Israel advocacy and media watchdog group, maintained that rescinding the honor given to Hammad “is not about denying a Palestinian journalist an award.”
“This is about relegating unrepentant antisemites to the fringes of society and not rewarding them with international recognition,” she continued. “Antisemitism is on the rise globally, and Shatha Hammad’s language only serves to incite more violence against Jews.”
Hammad, the Jewish Chronicle continued, was also removed from an upcoming panel scheduled to be moderated by Christiane Amanpour at the Thomas Reuters Trust Conference in London on October 26 and 27.
In August, The New York Times terminated its relationship with a Gaza City “fixer” who has a social media history that includes a post that said, “I don’t accept a Jew, Israeli or Zionist, or anyone else who speaks Hebrew.” The Times also terminated its relationship with a freelance photographer who had expressed support for Palestinian terrorism.