The Los Angeles Times’s owner’s daughter, who has been an influential force on the paper’s news coverage, denounced Israel as an "apartheid state" and said journalists should be allowed to describe it that way in their reporting.
Nika Soon-Shiong, the daughter of Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, also accused Israel of committing "genocide" and claimed media figures and politicians who support the Jewish state have been "paid."
"It’s not journalistic malpractice to describe the state of Israel as an Apartheid state," wrote Nika Soon-Shiong in a Twitter post on Tuesday. "This is well-established in international law."
It’s not journalistic malpractice to describe the state of Israel as an Apartheid state. This is well-established in international law. It’s the legal term for unlawful 'killing, torture, forcible transfer, and denial of basic rights." pic.twitter.com/hIoi3FiuSB
— Nika Soon-Shiong (@nikasoonshiong) November 1, 2023
Soon-Shiong’s comments come as the Los Angeles Times has faced criticism over its Israel coverage. The paper recently scrubbed a column that noted that Hamas raped women, saying the claim wasn’t substantiated. And one of the paper’s reporters, Adam Elmahrek, spent days dismissing reports that Hamas beheaded babies as "unverified" and "sensational" and said journalists who cited the claims "will have blood on [their] hands."
The Los Angeles Times did not respond to a request for comment.
Soon-Shiong has become "actively involved at the newspaper" since her father purchased the Los Angeles Times in 2018, according to a Politico article last year. She reportedly participated in staff meetings and helped shape the paper’s coverage of race, leading some Los Angeles Times insiders to accuse her of "meddling in news coverage." The Los Angeles Times reported that Soon-Shiong has also "been involved in high-level management issues" at the paper.
Soon-Shiong said it is accurate for journalists to call Israel an "apartheid state" and criticized news outlets for failing to do so. She claimed there is "incontrovertible evidence that Israel aims to ‘maintain a system of domination.’"
Media figures and politicians who support Israel have been paid off, she added.
"This genocide is on livestream. The pundits have been bought. The actors (and confused comedians) have been given the script," she wrote on Twitter. "The politicians have been paid for. The ink on the Lockheed Martin and Accenture contracts is drying."
Earlier this month, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA), a pro-Israel media watchdog group, accused the Los Angeles Times of publishing misleading coverage that was slanted against Israel. The paper issued corrections on a few articles, including one that claimed Israel controlled the Gaza strip and another that significantly underreported the number of hostages taken by Hamas.
CAMERA also noted that the paper's managing editor Sara Yasin had accused Israel of "genocide." A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Times defended Yasin and said the paper would "continue to deliver on our promise to the public by reporting the news with journalistic rigor, fairness, and compassion."