NYT Reenlists Anti-Semitic Freelancer for Gaza Coverage

Soliman Hijjy (X/@SolimanHijjy)
October 20, 2023

The New York Times has reenlisted a freelancer, who was exposed last year for sharing anti-Semitic posts, to cover the war between Israel and Hamas.

The paper said it took "appropriate action" in 2022 when a watchdog revealed that Soliman Hijjy, a Gaza-based freelance videographer for the Times, had a history of making posts praising Adolf Hitler and attacks by Hamas against Israel.

"How great you are Hitler," reads a 2012 Facebook post from Hijjy. He also posted a photo of himself in 2018, describing himself as "in a state of harmony as Hitler was during the Holocaust." In 2020, months before the Times hired him to work on coverage of 2021 skirmishes between Israel and Hamas, Hijjy re-shared the 2018 post, according to HonestReporting, which revealed the posts.

In addition to his praise of Hitler, Hijjy in 2018 posted a picture of rockets headed toward the Israeli city of Ashkelon, referring to the barrage as "rockets of the resistance."

After HonestReporting published its report, the Times told the watchdog the newspaper had "reviewed these concerns and taken appropriate action." Hijjy's byline ceased to appear in the Times' coverage of Israel. Hijjy's Times author page, however, has become active again in the past eight days, following Hamas's surprise attack on Israel.

The Times credited him with a co-byline on Oct. 12 for a video capturing the scene at Al Shifa Hospital, where doctors treated civilian patients wounded in Israeli strikes. Hijjy was given sole credit for a Thursday video about another hospital in Khan Younis. Hijjy has a byline on nine Times pieces published this month, his author page shows.

The Times defended its decision to employ Hijjy again, telling the Washington Free Beacon it reviewed Hijjy's posts when HonestReporting first exposed them 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."

"Mr. Hijjy followed those steps and has maintained high journalistic standards," a spokeswoman for the Times said. "He has delivered important and impartial work at great personal risk in Gaza during this conflict."

The Times has received backlash for its coverage of the war between Israel and Hamas. After a blast at Gaza's Al Ahli Hospital on Tuesday, the Times was one of several outlets that uncritically reported Hamas's claims that an Israeli strike was responsible. That report has since been called into question, with both the United States and Israel saying the evidence shows the blast was caused by a misfired Palestinian rocket.

Hijjy did not return a request for comment.