A former employee of The New York Times has been accused of bringing back a Palestinian filmmaker to cover the war between Israel and Hamas, after posting an online photo of Adolf Hitler and praising him on Facebook. The post, which was originally shared in 2018, has since gone viral in 2022, according to police reports. One of the captions of the post reads “In a harmonious state like Hitler during the holocaust,” as translated from Arabic by the pro-Israel website HonestReporting.
Hijjy joined the Times as a freelance journalist in 2018 and has worked on a bunch of ‘visual investigations’ published by the paper over the next year and a half. He also reported on an Israeli air strike that killed over 40 people. When pro-Israel media outlets criticized the Times for hiring him, they posted his controversial 2018 post, as well as another one from 2012 that said, “How great you, Hitler” in Arabic next to an edited photo of Hitler. Since the Times rehired him last week, he’s been posting stories almost every day. His latest was from Gaza on Thursday 19th October.
What Happened to Soliman Hijjy?
Hijjy’s article was called “At a Hospital in South Gaza, a Backup Generator Becomes a Life Line,” and it focused on a facility two miles away from the bombing of Ahli Arab Hospital by a PA group. He falsely accused Israel of the attack, while Israel said it was a mistake from the PA that resulted in the death of many people. The New York Times defended their decision to bring Hijjy back. “We looked at Mr. Hijjy’s social media posts when they first surfaced in 2022 and did several things to make sure he understands our concerns and can meet our standards if he wants to work for us again in the future,” an NYT spokesperson said.
Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, said he was “surprised” at the Imes’ decision to recall Hijjy, adding on Twitter, “The NYTimes just hired a neo-Nazi.” Hijjy has praised Hitler, and the Times rehired him. Internet users were quick to react to the news. “Shocking that anyone who has been paying attention to this mouthpiece for anti-Jewish stuff would hire the Old Gray Lady – New York Terrorist News outlet,” one user wrote, adding that “boycott the NYtimes” if anyone still reads it. Another user said, “Does any of these companies run a background check? My local movie theatre wouldn’t hire him, and neither would the NYT.”