CNN Journalists Rail Against 'Zionist Entity' in Anti-Israel Social Media Posts

Pro-Hamas rally in New York City (Adam Gray/Getty Images)
January 11, 2024

Journalists at CNN have slammed Israel in social media posts, with one calling out the "Zionist entity" online, according to a report from a media watchdog.

"Your precious 'Israel' ... was injecting women of Ethiopian origin with the long-acting contraceptive (sterilizing them)," CNN producer Mohammed Abdelbary said in 2021 in a now-deleted X post. "You supporting the Zionist entity is the greatest insult to Black and Ethiopian culture one could make."

Abdelbary joined CNN in 2021 and became a producer for its show Connect the World with Becky Anderson, according to pro-Israel watchdog HonestReporting, which revealed the 2021 X post.

The Abu Dhabi-based producer has contributed to the network's coverage of Israel's war on Hamas and has the lead byline on an October article focused on the plight of pregnant women in Gaza. That article said of Israel's blockade of Gaza, following Hamas's Oct. 7 terror attacks, that "human rights organizations have condemned the move as 'collective punishment' and 'a war crime.'"

Abdelbary has made anti-Israel posts on social media as far back as 2014, when he said "fuck Israel" and that he hopes the country gets "crushed by the Palestinians."

Another journalist named by HonestReporting is British cameraman Richard Harlow, who has claimed on social media that Israel is committing war crimes, including harvesting the organs of dead Palestinians.

"People are still talking about decapitated babies but no one’s talking about the Palestinian babies that HAVE been murdered BY the Israelis," he reportedly wrote in one post. Harlow said on social media recently that he has been tasked with editing footage from a local Gazan correspondent for CNN, the watchdog said.

Harlow's byline has also appeared on CNN pieces from before the war, including one that detailed the feelings of Palestinians in the West Bank about a February 2023 meeting between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas.

CNN responded to HonestReporting's findings, telling the watchdog, "We were not aware of these posts and take what has been reported very seriously. We are now investigating the matter."

This is not the first time CNN has received criticism for the reporters it uses to cover the war between Israel and Hamas. After a November report from HonestReporting, the network cut ties with a freelance photojournalist, Hassan Eslaiah, who was pictured receiving a kiss from Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar.

Other outlets have also come under fire. Eslaiah had also worked for the Associated Press, which likewise announced it would no longer work with him after the report. A month prior, the New York Times reenlisted a videographer who had praised Adolf Hitler to cover the war from Gaza.