NYT defends rehire of blatantly antisemitic Gaza journalist

Despite his spreading lie of Israel bombing Gaza hospital, paper says Soliman Hijjy has “maintained high journalistic standards.”

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The New York Times (NYT) is pushing back against criticism for rehiring a blatantly antisemitic Gazan journalist who was dropped a year ago due to his open admiration for Adolf Hitler.

As the Algemeiner first reported Thursday, freelance videographer Soliman Hijjy (also spelled Sulaiman Hejji) had eight bylines or contributor credits starting five days after Hamas’ October 7 invasion of Israel, when its terrorists massacred 1,400 men, women, and children and took 210 people as hostage back to the Gaza Strip, including infants.

Hijjy has a history of posts on social media dating back to 2012 that talked of how he was like the Nazi leader in his hatred of Jews. In 2018, he openly demonstrated that he supported Hamas terrorism by calling one of its indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israeli cities “the resistance.” His current reports sanitize the mass slaughter of Israelis by calling it simply the “Hamas attack.”

He also was one of the journalists who rushed to report the Hamas lie that Israel had attacked a hospital in Gaza last week when the blame lay on a Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket that failed to reach Israel, landing instead on the medical facility. The NYT was one of many news outlets that took the Hamas claim at face value instead of checking the facts, but as one of the most respected newspapers in the world, this was considered particularly unacceptable.

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Only hours later, the IDF proved that the terrorist organization knew what had happened and invented a cover-up story for the press. Unlike the BBC, CNN and other news outlets, NYT did print a correction to their story.

When media watchdog HonestReporting, which had revealed Hijjy’s pro-Hitler posts to the paper leading to his dismissal, sharply protested the reinstatement, the paper did not respond.

However, the group said that when Fox News asked it for a comment on how it could use a journalist who venerated Hitler to cover the current war, the Times showed it was not bothered by Hijjy’s bias.

“We reviewed problematic social media posts by Mr. Hijjy when they first came to light in 2022 and took a variety of actions to ensure he understood our concerns and could adhere to our standards if he wished to do freelance work for us in the future,” the paper answered.

“Mr. Hijjy followed those steps and has maintained high journalistic standards. He has delivered important and impartial work at great personal risk in Gaza during this conflict.”

It declined to comment further after Fox News asked what those standards were and how he could be impartial, considering his hateful views.

“How is it conceivable that only days after the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, The New York Times has rehired a journalist who admires Hitler?” HonestReporting editorial director Simon Plosker asked on X. “It was previously unacceptable for someone with Solomon Hijjy’s views to be working for a supposedly credible news organization and it is equally if not more unacceptable now…. We are demanding that The New York Times does the right thing now and cuts all ties with Soliman Hijjy once and most definitely for all.”

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Israeli Ambassador the UN Gilad Erdan went further, demanding consequences that would get the paper’s attention, as in a reader and advertiser boycott.

“The @nytimes has just rehired a NAZI,” he posted to X. “Let that sink in. Soliman Hijjy praises Hitler, and the NYT rehired him. We all saw how the NYT immediately parroted Hamas’ lies regarding the al-Ahli hospital (which Hijjy contributed to) and still refuses to retract these fabrications.”

“Spreading Hamas propaganda and rehiring a Holocaust-praising terror supporter, actively stokes antisemitism,” he continued. “Every Jew must understand that not reading or advertising in Hamas mouthpieces is an integral part of our right to self-defense. And we must defend ourselves!!!”