BBC’s ‘Palestine Specialist’ Posted ‘Hitler was Right’, Compared Israel to Nazi Germany

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 29: General View of BBC Broadcasting House on January 29, 2020 in London, England. The BBC announced today that it is to cut 450 jobs by 2022 in an effort to save GBP 80 Million. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)
Peter Summers/Getty Images

A ‘Palestinian Specialist’ for the BBC has been revealed to have said that “Hitler was right” and compared the Jewish state of Israel to Nazi Germany.

The BBC has launched an investigation after one of its digital journalists, Tala Halawa, was reported to have posted on her social media in 2014 that “Israel is more Nazi than Hitler! Oh, #HitlerWasRight – IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) go to hell #PrayForGaza.”

The post was uncovered by Honest Reporting, an NGO which claimes to seek to counteract media bias against Israel.

The report also revealed that Halawa also said that “Zionists can’t get enough of our blood” following violence between Israel and Palestine in 2014.

Halawa lives in the Palestinian city of Ramallah, where she reports for the BBC, including a recent video for BBC Monitoring on the latest round of conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Honest Reporting said: “These are not the tweets of an objective reporter. Quite simply, not only does Halawa fail to meet the BBC’s own stated requirements, she represents the polar opposite of what is expected of any professional journalist.”

The NGO went on to question: “Why did the BBC not do its due diligence before hiring Halawa? How did someone with a history of openly antisemitic statements end up being hired by one of the world’s most recognized news outlets? Surely an organization with such extensive resources at its disposal could carry out a simple Twitter search as part of a basic background check?”

In response to the report, a spokesman for the BBC said: “These tweets predate the individual’s employment with the BBC but we are nevertheless taking this very seriously and are investigating.”

Responding to the statement, the DefundTheBBC campaign wrote: “You employed someone who had publicised these abhorrent views and who was comfortable with them being on public record right up until this morning, when they were called out – whilst working for you.”

The leader of the Greater London Assembly Conservatives, Susan Hall AM, said: “It’s simple, Tala Halawa is a disgrace! I sincerely hope that BBC manage to deal with this appropriately.”

Following the uncovering of the anti-Semitic posts, Halawa’s Twitter account has been deleted.

In September of last year, the recently installed director-general of the BBC, Tim Davie, said that he would look into limiting partisan posts on social media from journalists employed by the publicly-funded broadcaster.

“If you want to be an opinionated columnist or a partisan campaigner on social media then that is a valid choice, but you should not be working at the BBC,” Davie said at the time.

The BBC’s code of conduct states: “Trust is the foundation of the BBC. We’re independent, impartial and honest. We’re honest and fair with the courage to say and do the right thing. We deliver on what we say and take responsibility for our actions.”

The liberal-progressive broadcaster has been criticised by the political left and the right in the United Kingdom, both of which have made allegations of media bias against the broadcaster.

In 2017, the broadcaster came under fire for apparent bias in its reporting on Israel following a post that read: “Three Palestinians killed after deadly stabbing in Jerusalem.”

The BBC failed to mention that those killed were in fact Palestinian terrorists who had stabbed an Israeli policewoman to death. The BBC only later updated the article‘s title to read: “Israeli policewoman stabbed to death in Jerusalem.”

The former chairman of the BBC, Lord Michael Grade, said at the time: “If the BBC can get this wrong… it is little wonder that Israel finds it so hard to put aside the idea that some critics are motivated by something more sinister than political commentary.”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.