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Newsweek's Middle East edition accused of biased anti-Israel propaganda

Written by Yossi Lempkowicz
  
Tuesday, 13 September 2016 12:23
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NEW YORK (EJP)---A major US Jewish group in the US has called on Newsweek to take action to “save the integrity of its hard-earned journalist brand from bigots and propagandists, in a reference to repeated anti-Israel hostility of the magazine’s Middle East edition.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the human rights group Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, mentioned specifically Leila Hatoum, senior deputy editor for Newsweek Middle East, a publication based in Dubai, and Ben White, a British freelance journalist known for his vehement anti-Israel views.

In a series of tweets late last week, Hatoum — whose Twitter tagline says in Hebrew “Occupation = Ongoing terrorism” — repeatedly used the phrase “Zionist trolls” and made statements  including, among others, “zionists are not Jews. Stay in urdark corner trying achieve ur monthly goals set to u by the mossad” and “zionist troll # 100 something .. jealous much? U can’t shame me like u do to western media. Go cry in the corner.”

Hatoum also called Zionist visionary Theodore Herzl and his followers a “malicious gang of land thieves [who] decided on stealing Palestine from its people with the aid of the British…much like what settlers did to N. America’s indians.”

The twitter rampage by Hatoum came after the publication of a tendentious video by Newsweek Middle East that claimed a Palestinian state existed before the founding of Israel in 1948. As evidence, the video cited Ottoman-era maps that used the word “Palestine” to describe lands that are now known as Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

“To allege that 19th century maps of ‘Palestine’ refer to Arab land is nothing less than a cynical attempt to invert history,” Rabbi Avraham Cooper said.

The video was a follow-up to an article published in Newsweek Middle East in late August by White. In the article — titled “Where is Palestine?” — White criticized Google’s policy of not using the word “Palestine” in its maps (it instead uses West Bank and Gaza Strip).

White also took aim at Israel, claiming that, since its establishment, the Jewish state has sought “to wipe Palestine from the map, and to deny that Palestine, or Palestinians themselves, ever existed.”

He concluded, “Whatever Google’s own motivations are, however, the issue is not going away anytime soon, as Palestinians contest and resist colonization and appropriation at every level– a battle ground that now includes online mapping.”

Joe Hyams, CEO of HonestReporting, a media watchdog organization, accused Newsweek Middle East of having ‘’evidently been hijacked by agenda-driven journalism.”

‘’Newsweek Middle East is editorially independent from the main Newsweek title. Nonetheless it’s hard to believe that the publishers of Newsweek would be happy to see their brand name being dragged through the mud by the likes of Leila Hatoum and the anti-Israel propaganda being produced on the Newsweek Middle East site’’, said a statement from HonestReporting.

The group said it questioned Newsweek’s publishers Chief Executive Etienne Uzac and Editor-in-Chief Jim Impoco on Twitter.

‘’Newsweek Middle East’s Senior Deputy Editor Leila Hatoum has displayed a consistent anti-Israel agenda that goes beyond bias, openly expressing hatred towards Israel and anti-Semitism on her Twitter feed,’’ it said.

‘’Newsweek’s brand name is being tarnished by your Middle East subsidiary and we demand that Newsweek’s global operation publicly condemn such anti-Semitism and disassociates itself from the appalling actions of Newsweek Middle East and Leila Hatoum.’’

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 September 2016 12:35
 

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