Suspended journalist wrote: 'We'll eradicate you, Israel'

France 24 TV network suspends 4 journalists for alleged anti-Israel vitriol

One of the employees joked about Hitler having a barbecue with Jews, others called Palestinian attackers ‘martyrs’

Cnaan Lidor is The Times of Israel's Jewish World reporter

France 24 journalist Dina Abi-Saab reports from Geneva, Switzerland on June 10, 2019. (France 24)
France 24 journalist Dina Abi-Saab reports from Geneva, Switzerland on June 10, 2019. (France 24)

France 24, a state-owned news network based in the Paris region, has suspended four of its journalists following allegations that they used vitriolic language against Israel and, in at least one case, against Jews.

The network announced on Tuesday the suspension of the journalists, three of whom work for the Arabic-language edition of France 24. It cited an exposé about their rhetoric on social networks by CAMERA, a pro-Israel media watchdog, and ensuing action by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

“As a precautionary measure, and as this type of procedure requires, the four journalists concerned were exempted from work pending the results” of an internal audit, France 24 said in a statement.

Joelle Maroun, who has worked as the Beirut correspondent of France 24 since 2021, was suspended over several tweets in 2013 and 2014, according to the CAMERA exposé. In one of them she wrote: “They asked Hitler ‘what did you do with the Jews?’ He said ‘nothing extraordinary, [just having] barbecue with the guys.”

In another tweet, she wrote: “Rise, sir Hitler, rise, there are a few people that need to be burned,” the report said.

Veteran France 24 Jerusalem correspondent Laila Odeh was suspended for posting on Facebook a plea for the Arab League to “arm” her so she can reclaim land in Israel that she said was “unlawfully occupied.” On social media, she has called Palestinian attackers who died while killing Jews “martyrs,” according to CAMERA.

Dina Abi-Saab, the Geneva correspondent of the Arabic-language edition of France 24 since 2016, also used the term “martyr” in this way, and likened the 9/11 terror attack to bombing by Israel of evacuated buildings in Gaza in response to rocket fire.

The fourth suspended journalist, Sharif Bibi, has been working for France 24 since 2014. He had tweeted: “Hear ye – hear ye – hear ye – from the see of the martyrs’ blood – from the effort of the red revolutionaries – we shall eradicate you, Israel, from your [very] roots,” CAMERA said.

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