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October 31, 2022 11:11 am

Exposed: Palestinian Journalists Who Signed ‘Anti-Zionist’ Open Letter Likened Jews to ‘Dirt and Rats,’ Tweeted Pro-Nazi Comments

avatar by Rachel O'Donoghue


Palestinians attend a protest against Israeli strikes in Gaza, in Ramallah, in the West Bank August 5, 2022. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

A further examination of the letter signed by more than 300 Palestinian and Arab reporters in support of several journalists who posted pro-Hitler messages on their social media accounts, has — perhaps unsurprisingly — revealed that a number of the signatories share these antisemitic beliefs.

The missive, which was published on the website of left-wing outlet Mondoweiss on October 23, blasted HonestReporting’s so-called “oppressive scrutiny” in response to an exposé of Palestinian journalist Shatha Hammad, who had posted a number of violent and antisemitic remarks on her Facebook profile.

Our investigation prompted the Thomson Reuters Foundation and the Kurt Schork Memorial Fund to strip Hammad of a prestigious journalism award and an associated cash prize, as well as the opportunity to have her work showcased by the charitable arm of the global wire service.

In addition, the letter accused HonestReporting of carrying out “targeted civil assassinations” in our work that led to the dismissals of journalists Fady Hanona, Soliman Hijjy and Hosam Salem from The New York Times over their support of Nazism and Palestinian terrorism.

A Who’s Who of Antisemites

Among the individuals who signed the letter slamming “Zionist incitement” is Khuloud Lafi, a freelance Palestinian photographer, who compared the Israeli Defense Forces to Nazis on her Twitter account.

Also guilty of casual Holocaust inversion was Firas Taneineh, an employee of Palestinian wire service Maan News, who responded to a tweet about the death of a young Palestinian, by rhetorically asking: “Do you still ask why Hitler killed the Jews?”

Meanwhile, Gaza-based journalist Samer Zaneen claimed, “Zionists commit a holocaust (sic) in Palestine (sic) daily” in a social media post that echoed the vile remarks from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who said the following when asked in August whether he planned to apologize for the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre: “If you want to go over the past, go ahead. I have 50 slaughters that Israel committed … 50 massacres, 50 slaughters … 50 holocausts.”

Rasha Hirzallah, a reporter and editor at the Palestinian news agency Wafa, likened Jews to “dirt and rats” in a comment he posted above a video showing cardboard cutouts of a Star of David and a Menorah on the stage of the conference hall of the Bethlehem Hotel in the West Bank on October 10.

Rasha Hirzallah tweet

Incidentally, unidentified gunmen opened fire on the Bethlehem Hotel on the same day that footage of the Jewish symbols went viral on Palestinian social media.

The latest revelations about some of the journalists who signed the letter comes just days after HonestReporting pointed out that a number of the signatories were already on our radar.

They include Mariam Barghouti, who we previously exposed for asserting that “Israel has been beating Hitler at his own game since 1948,” firebrand antisemite Mohammed El-Kurd, and Hind Khoudary, a freelance journalist who stands accused of getting Hamas to arrest a Palestinian peace activist for holding a Zoom call with Israelis. That activist, Rami Aman, was subsequently imprisoned and tortured.

The fact is, Palestinian and Arab journalists should play a critical role in scrutinizing Israel and holding its institutions to account.

However, when such journalists are unmasked as unashamed antisemites who post the evidence of their deep-seated hatred of Jews online for all to see, it is clear that their ability to report on Israel in a fair manner is compromised.

More importantly, our investigation into the signatories exposes the letter for what it is — an embarrassing attempt to defend the indefensible, and attack organizations like HonestReporting for exposing unrepentant bigots.

The author is a contributor to HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias — where a version of this article first appeared.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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