AP Hires Anti-Israel Activist as News Associate

AP's objectivity in question amid revelations it shared office space with Hamas

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Update May 20, 10:01 a.m.: Two days after the publication of this story an AP spokeswoman told the Free Beacon Wilder no longer worked at the organization.


The Associated Press's latest hire is an anti-Israel activist who accused Israel of "ethnic cleansing," called the late Jewish donor Sheldon Adelson a "naked mole rat," and helped organize protests against Jewish students traveling to Israel on the Birthright program.

Emily Wilder, who previously worked for the Arizona Republic, announced on Twitter that she would join the AP this month as a news associate, according to a screenshot of her tweet posted by the Stanford College Republicans. Wilder has since set her Twitter account to private. It's unclear whether Wilder will cover the Middle East.

The hire could fuel concerns about the AP's objectivity amid revelations that the news outlet shared an office building with Hamas military intelligence in Gaza. The headquarters was demolished in a targeted Israeli airstrike on Saturday.

Before joining the AP, Wilder co-led the Students for Justice in Palestine group at Stanford University, where she hosted a 2019 speech by cartoonist Eli Valley, whose anti-Israel drawings often depict Nazi imagery and offensive caricatures of Jews. The speech drew national attention after Wilder's group papered over posters from a Republican student group with Valley cartoons that were criticized as "largely indistinguishable from classic Nazi Jew-hatred."

Wilder also helped lead a 2017 protest outside the Taglit-Birthright office in New York, calling for a boycott of the donor-funded program, which provides free and low-cost trips to Israel for young American Jews.

She announced on Facebook that the protest would take place during Birthright's "fundraising gala with far-right, pro-Trump, naked mole rat-looking billionaire Shel Adelson," according to a screenshot of the comment posted by Stanford College Republicans. Adelson, who passed away in January, donated $127 million to the Birthright program and was a major funder of other Jewish philanthropic causes.

Wilder reportedly slammed Birthright as "nothing more than ethnic nationalist propaganda" and claimed Israel was engaged in "the ethnic cleansing and displacement of Palestinians in Palestine," according to Canary Mission, a website that tracks anti-Israel activists.

The protest was part of an anti-Birthright campaign launched by Jewish Voice for Peace, an anti-Israel group. The campaign argued that Jews have no legitimate claim to the land of Israel, stating that "we recognize that Israel is not [the Jewish] birthright."

A spokeswoman for the AP told the Washington Free Beacon that it "requires employees to abstain from political activity," according to the wire service's official statement of news values and principles.

Wilder did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.

The AP has faced criticism over its ties to anti-Israel terrorists this week. On Saturday, the Israeli military was forced to carry out an airstrike on AP's Gaza office building, which Hamas military intelligence was allegedly using as its headquarters. In an article published Tuesday, the AP referred to Hamas as a "grassroots movement."

The AP slammed the Israeli strike as an attack on the press and claimed the news outlet had no idea Hamas was working out of the building.

Former AP correspondent Matti Friedman appeared to contradict this claim in a 2014 article in the Atlantic.

According to Friedman, the Palestinian terrorist group would launch rockets from right outside the news outlet's office, and "Hamas fighters would burst into the AP's Gaza bureau and threaten the staff"— actions that the outlet chose not to report.

AP spokesman Paul Colford denied that the outlet's coverage was biased against Israel, but confirmed that armed militants did visit the Gaza newsroom to complain about a photo.

Published under: Associated Press