Palestinian photojournalist, Hosam Salem, has been fired by the New York Times for expressing support for Resistance against Israeli occupation. The Gaza- based journalist has been working as a freelancer for the American outlet since 2018, but was dismissed after a dossier compiled by a pro-Israel group, accusing Salem of anti-Semitism, was presented to the Times.
Since joining the Times, Salem has been covering critical events in Gaza, such as the weekly protests at the border fence with Israel. He carried out an investigation into the Israeli killing of field nurse Razan Al-Najjar and, more recently, the May 2021 Israeli offensive on the Gaza strip, which killed at least 254 Palestinians, including 66 children, 39 women and 17 elderly people.
After years of covering the Gaza Strip as a freelance photojournalist for the New York Times, I was informed via an abrupt phone call from the US outlet that they will no longer work with me in the future.
— HosamSalem (@HosamSalemG) October 5, 2022
Details of his dismissal were revealed by Salem himself on Twitter. He said that the decision to fire him was made based on a report prepared by a Dutch editor – who obtained Israeli citizenship two years ago – for a website called "Honest Reporting". The anti-Palestinian group is a staunch supporter of Israel and is often accused of peddling false narratives in Western media about Israel's human rights violations.
Salem said that the dossier used by the Times to dismiss him used examples of social media posts in which he expressed support for Palestinian Resistance against Israeli occupation. "My aforementioned posts also spoke of the resilience of my people and those who were killed by the Israeli army – my cousin included – which "Honest Reporting" described as 'Palestinian terrorists,'" said Salem on Twitter.
Salem claims that the editor of the dossier later wrote an article stating that he had succeeded in sacking three Palestinian journalists working for the Times in the Gaza Strip, based on allegations of anti-Semitism.
"Not only has "Honest Reporting" succeeded in terminating my contract with The New York Times, it has also actively discouraged other international news agencies from collaborating with me and my two colleagues," Salem continued, while warning of the silencing of Palestinian voices.
"What is taking place is a systematic effort to distort the image of Palestinian journalists as being incapable of trustworthiness and integrity, simply because we cover the human rights violations that the Palestinian people undergo on a daily basis at hands of the Israeli army."