Broadcaster France 24 Suspends Arabic-Language Journalists Over Antisemitic Social Media Posts
by Algemeiner Staff
Four journalists working for the Arabic service of international broadcaster France 24 have been suspended pending an investigation into allegations of antisemitic incitement.
The announcement follows the publication of a report by the media monitoring organization CAMERA outlining the antisemitic outbursts of the four reporters in their social media feeds, including praise for Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and support for Palestinian terrorist operations against Israel.
In a statement confirming the suspension, France 24 said the decision “taken in the context of this situation aims to protect the integrity of the work of all the Arabic-speaking editorial staff of France 24, whose editorial content, both on the air and in digital environments, makes it a balanced channel, non-partisan, verifying the facts and cultivating constructive debate thanks to the professionalism of its journalists.”
The broadcaster added: “As in all the languages of France 24, the Arabic-speaking channel is illustrated every day by its commitment to the fight against antisemitism, racism and discrimination.”
The investigation into the journalists will be conducted by France Médias Monde, a state-owned company that supervises French public broadcasters, the news outlet Le Figaro reported on Wednesday.
Released last week, the CAMERA report combed through the social media feeds of Joelle Maroun, the network’s correspondent in Beirut, Jerusalem-based Laila Odeh, Geneva correspondent Dina Abi-Saab and general reporter Sharif Bibi.
Among Maroun’s antisemitic tweets was a joke about the Holocaust. “They asked Hitler, ‘What did you do with the Jews?’ He said, ‘Nothing extraordinary, [just having] barbecue with the guys,” she tweeted. On another occasion, she tweeted, “Rise, sir Hitler, rise, there are a few people that need to be burned.”
Odeh — the sister of a Palestinian Fatah terrorist killed during a clash with the IDF — separately tweeted: “Because I am a Palestinian refugee, I demand of the Arab League to arm me so that I retrieve my land which Israel has unlawfully occupied. And because I am a sister of a martyr, I demand of the Arab League to arm me so that I retrieve the body of my martyr brother.” She also described Moshe Agadi, a 58-year-old father of four who was killed during a Hamas rocket strike, as an “Israeli settler in Ashkelon.”
CAMERA’s executive director, Andrea Levin, said in a statement that she commended “France 24 for promptly investigating this serious situation, and we hope that the news outlet cuts ties with these apologists for Nazism and terrorism.”
Levin commented that “[P]rofessional journalists are expected to hold up basic standards of objectivity, which obviously includes not cheerleading for Hitler and Hamas-inspired terrorism.”