The same week it regurgitated Hamas propaganda claiming Israel struck a Gaza-based hospital, The New York Times decided to rehire a writer who previously praised former German dictator Adolf Hitler.
Previously employed by the Times as a freelancer from 2018-2021, Soliman Hijjy, a so-called “Palestinian filmmaker,” has been rehired by the outlet to cover Hamas’ ongoing attacks against Israel. As noted by the New York Post, Hijjy has published multiple social media posts throughout the past several years praising Hitler.
In 2018, the same year he was first hired by the Times, Hijjy issued a Facebook post in Arabic that included a photo of himself and a caption claiming he was “in a state of harmony as Hitler was during the Holocaust.” The post came six years after Hijjy published on Facebook a doctored photo of Hitler appearing to take a selfie along with the caption: “How great you are, Hitler.”
Hijjy’s apparent obsession with Germany’s former Nazi dictator was first unearthed last year by HonestReporting, a media watchdog, according to the Post.
A trip to his Times profile page reveals that Hijjy has published a handful of articles and videos reporting on the ongoing Hamas-Israel conflict. This repertoire includes reporting on a rocket that struck the parking lot of a Gaza hospital. The rocket was a misfire launched by Palestinian insurgents, but the Times was one of several regime-approved outlets to regurgitate Hamas propaganda that falsely claimed Israel fired a missile at and destroyed the hospital.
The Times has since defended its decision to rehire Hijjy. In a statement, a Times representative claimed the outlet had “reviewed” Hijjy’s “problematic” posts when they surfaced last year 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.” The outlet’s rep went on to contend that Hijjy has “followed those steps and has maintained high journalistic standards” and praised his work as “important” and “impartial.”
It’s remarkable how the Times has such a high tolerance for employees who publicly praise Nazis but not those who edit articles written by Republicans. In June 2020, then-Times editorial page editor James Bennet was all but forced to resign after running an op-ed by Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, which called for the U.S. military to be deployed to cities plagued by rioting in the wake of George Floyd’s death. According to Fox Business, Bennet resigned “under pressure from coworkers,” one of whom issued a tweet claiming that running Cotton’s op-ed “puts Black @NYTimes staff in danger.”
Bari Weiss, a liberal journalist and former Times writer, also resigned from the outlet after “constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with [her] views.” According to Weiss, several of these Times employees accused her of being a “Nazi and a racist,” and also purportedly complained that she wrote “about the Jews” too much.
But the Times’ rehiring and defense of Hijjy isn’t all that surprising given the outlet’s history of retaining writers sympathetic to authoritarian regimes and figures. In addition to Hijjy, HonestReporting also discovered that Hosam Salem, who worked as a Times photographer from 2018-2022, has a history of issuing social media posts celebrating Islamic terrorist attacks against Israelis and other innocent civilians. Salem posted last year that the Times had let him go.
Furthermore, the Times’ treatment of Hitler’s Nazi regime throughout World War II was anything but antagonistic. In his 2019 book, Unfreedom of the Press, conservative talk radio host Mark Levin documented how the Times effectively covered up Hitler’s internment and murder of European Jews by barely reporting on the issue.
“[O]nly six times in nearly six years did the Time’s front page mention Jews as Hitler’s unique target for total annihilation,” Levin wrote. “Only once was their fate the subject of a lead editorial. Only twice did their rescue inspire passionate cries in the Sunday magazine” signifying “‘what was surely the century’s biggest journalistic failure.’”
During this same period, the Times also employed Guido Enderis, who served as the outlet’s Berlin bureau chief. As noted by Tablet Magazine, Enderis enjoyed “close connections to the Nazi government,” and “kowtowed to Nazi officials” while penning “stories presenting solely the Nazi point of view.” He also “reined in Times reporters whose criticism he thought went too far,” effectively “shaping the news in favor of a genocidal regime bent on establishing a ‘Thousand Year Reich.'”
This same type of “kid gloves” treatment also applied to the Times’ coverage of the atrocities committed by the Soviet Union and Joseph Stalin. Walter Duranty, the Times’ head reporter in Moscow, was complicit in the cover-up of Stalin’s starvation of millions of innocent civilians, going as far as to “outright lie about the events” and “deliberately mislead his readers.” Duranty received a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting in 1932.