Former Al Jazeera managing director Yaser Ali Abu-Hilalah deleted a Twitter post comparing Mary holding a crucified Jesus to what appears to be a Palestinian mother mourning her dead child – but not before creating a storm of controversy.
The side-by-side photos were captioned “after 2000 years [and] it’s the same killer.”
Abu-Hilalah’s paired images regurgitate the same anti-Semitic “Christ-killer” trope which accuses the Jews of murdering Jesus – and now also Palestinians.
Joshua L. Zarka, head of Strategic Affairs at Israel’s Foreign Ministry, reposted Abu-Hilalah’s since-deleted tweet and called it “pathetic, vile and pure anti-Semitism.”
“[Why] don’t you add the blood libel, or the protocols of the elders of Zion, as well, [while] you are at it?” Zarka wrote.
Abu-Hilalah said he deleted the tweet “to prevent confusion, while emphasizing that the design is not mine and I do not adopt it and everyone understands it in their own way.”
Abu-Hilalah was the managing director of the Qatari-owned network between 2014 and 2018.
Hatred of Jews and of Israel often characterizes reporting in the Arabic-speaking media and is often propagated by mainstream news sources without accountability.
HonestReporting – a watchdog group which seeks to hold the media accountable – forced the hand of The New York Times this week after compiling posts by the paper's Gaza-based stringer Fady Hanona, who called for the killing of Jewish children and seniors, and for burning Jews “like Hitler did.”
Hanona had been a regular writer for BBC and The Guardian, in addition to the Times, which 53% of Americans consider a credible news source according to a recent survey. HonestReporting called out Hanona for tweeting: “I don’t accept a Jew, Israeli or Zionist, or anyone else who speaks Hebrew. I’m with killing them wherever they are: children, elderly people and soldiers.”
HonestReporting noted that in 2021, Hanona made public his support of Marwan Barghouti, a lead terrorist who co-founded the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the organization responsible for the deaths of dozens of Israelis by several bombings and shooting attacks during the Second Intifada in the early 2000s.
Before the HonestReporting exposé, The NYT had entrusted Hanona with writing six of the eight articles the paper published about Operation Breaking Dawn, the recent conflict between the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group and the State of Israel.
Hanona wrote on social media during the conflict: “I am in favor of killing [the Jews] and burning them like Hitler did. I would be extremely happy.”
HonestReporting’s efforts reportedly led the NYT to fire Hanona and to stop him from publishing with The Guardian, VICE News and other prominent news organizations. The NGO reportedly is still working to have the BBC drop the writer.
“The fact that the British public broadcaster has yet to distance itself from Hanona is particularly egregious,” HonestReporting stated on its website, calling on readers to write to the BBC and to expose the broadcaster's inaction on social media.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.