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February 2, 2023 11:27 am
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SBS Australia Journalist Who Tweeted ‘#F***Israel’ Unsurprisingly Produces Biased Reports

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avatar by Akiva Van Koningsveld

Opinion

A Palestinian returns a tear gas canister fired by Israeli troops during a protest against Israel’s plan to annex parts of the West Bank, in Hebron, June 12, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma/File Photo.

Can a journalist who once tweeted “#F***Israel” and called the Jewish state “the BIGGEST terrorist in the world,” be trusted to report on the Arab-Israeli conflict without bias or agenda?

On January 31, 2023, in a news podcast titled “‘Calm tensions rather than inflame them’ — Anthony Blinken in Israel,” Australia’s publicly-funded Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) omitted several key facts:

On Monday, shortly before Mr. Blinken’s arrival, the Palestinian Health Ministry said Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man in the flashpoint city of Hebron. The Palestinian Health Ministry says that Nassim Nayef Salman Abu Fouda was shot in the head by soldiers. His death brings the total of Palestinians killed in January to 35.

The segment by journalist Essam Al-Ghalib failed to mention reports that Abu Fouda had attempted to carry out a terrorist attack by ramming his vehicle into a group of soldiers. Al-Ghalib also left out that the 35 Palestinians killed in the first month of this year were virtually all terrorists associated with terror organizations designated by Australia.

Al-Ghalib works as a “cross-platform journalist” for SBS, and previously served as a freelance producer for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Assigned to SBS’ world news desk, Al-Ghalib has produced numerous reports on various issues surrounding the conflict in the Middle East, including the death of Al Jazeera’s Shireen Abu Akleh, the 2021 conflict between Hamas and the Israel Defense Forces, and Benjamin Netanyahu’s recently-formed coalition government.

“#F***Israel”

In tweets published between 2014 and 2015, uncovered by HonestReporting’s research team, Al-Ghalib made no effort to hide his overt hatred of the only Jewish state. The Australian journalist dubbed Israel “the BIGGEST terrorist in the world,” employed the hashtag “#F***Israel,” and accused “a f***king Israeli soldier” of choking a Palestinian child, among other libels.

Al-Ghalib moreover described IDF troops as “bloody murderers,” called for the arrest of Benjamin Netanyahu, and claimed that Jerusalem put Palestinians in “concentration camps” — a nauseating charge that would be considered antisemitic under the widely-adopted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of the term.

Following the publication of our tweet, Al-Ghalib swiftly moved to delete his posts.

In correspondence with HonestReporting, the journalist pointed out that he had posted the unprofessional and profane tweets during his employment at Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture and Information, before he started working in news.

However, his slanted approach to Israel should disqualify him from being able to specifically report on the Arab-Israeli conflict for a publicly-funded broadcaster.

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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