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‘New York Times’ defends rehiring freelance writer who praised Hitler

The paper said that it took steps with Palestinian Soliman Hijjy “to ensure he understood our concerns and could adhere to our standards.”

The New York Times building in New York City. Credit: Serge Attal/Flash90.

Palestinian filmmaker Soliman Hijjy has posted on social media of being “in a state of harmony, as Hitler was during the Holocaust” and wrote, “How great you are, Hitler,” according to the media watchdog HonestReporting.

Hijjy freelanced for The New York Times from 2018 until 2021. Per the Times website, his last piece prior to the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel was on July 14, 2021. Since Oct. 12, he has had nine bylines—four of them videos—in the Times. His most recent piece, which bears his sole byline, is titled: “At a hospital in southern Gaza, a backup generator becomes a critical lifeline.”

“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,” according to a Times spokesperson.

The spokesperson added that Hijjy “has maintained high journalistic standards. He has delivered important and impartial work at great personal risk in Gaza during this conflict.”

“For most normal businesses or organizations, an employee expressing support for Adolf Hitler is a clear red line with no second chance. Not, however, for The New York Times,” wrote Simon Plosker of HonestReporting.

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