A BBC journalist dismissed by the broadcaster for once tweeting that “Hitler was right” issued a statement Wednesday blaming the “pro-Israel mob” for her sacking, claiming that the real motivation had been a recent report she published about pro-Palestinian celebrities being canceled.
In the midst of the 2014 Gaza war — and three years before she was hired by the BBC — Tala Halawa tweeted “#Israel is more #Nazi than #Hitler! Oh, #HitlerWasRight #IDF go to hell. #prayForGaza.”
In her statement this week, Halawa acknowledged that the post had been “ignorant and offensive,” but was written by a “young Palestinian woman tweeting in the heat of the moment as I witnessed horrific, undeserved deaths met with international media silence and used a popular hashtag at the time without thinking.”
She added that the tweet does not reflect her views and offered a “heartfelt apology for posting without thinking.”
But Halawa went on to insist that her post had not been grounds for dismissal and that her former employer had caved “to pressure from external pro-Israel interest groups and right-wing media outlets determined to eliminate Palestinians from public life.”
The pro-Israel Honest Reporting media watchdog had been the group that flagged the seven-year-old tweet, which led the BBC to open an internal investigation that ultimately led to Halawa’s firing.
My statement on my dismissal from the BBC. pic.twitter.com/gWR6tNMfxO
— Tala Halawa (@HalawaTala) July 14, 2021
“This pro-Israel censorship campaign is industrial in scale and international in its reach,” Halawa wrote.
“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 for the corporation about celebrities being criticized trolled and canceled for supporting Palestinian self-determination,” she wrote.
“The trend of bad-faith intimidation of reporters from the region by hostile actors and organized public flogging are aimed at setting the parameters of acceptable journalism to suit Israel, and policing international media maintain institutional pro-Israel bias,” she added.
Halawa also indicated that she was an easy target “both as a Palestinian and as a woman of color.”
She vowed to “continue to believe and fight for honest and brave journalism regardless of these menial attempts at character assassination.”