The Irish Times published a report yesterday by Ronan McGreevy focusing on Steven Salaita, the professor who sued the University of Illinois for denying him a promotion after a number of hateful tweets came to light. The article (‘Criticising Israel brings ‘lifetime punishment’, says US academic’, Sept. 11th) noted some of the controversial tweets in question by the anti-Zionist academic, including “If you’re defending #Israel right now, you’re an awful human being” and “if Netanyahu appeared on TV with a necklace made from the teeth of Palestinian children, would anybody be surprised?”.
However, the report omitted Salaita’s most damning tweets. These include a couple which defended Hamas, and one charging Israel with “incinerating children”. In one tweet, not mentioned by the Irish Times, Salaita argued that Zionist Jews, by supporting Israel, are partly responsible for the antisemitic remarks directed towards them. Tweets omitted by the Irish Times also include the accusation of genocide against Israel, and at least two evoking the Israel-Nazi analogy.
Another one of the worst tweets by Salaita during the war, that the Irish Times didn’t report, characterises antisemitism as something “honorable”:
— Steven Salaita (@stevesalaita) July 20, 2014
McGreevy’s failure to include Salaita’s most hateful tweets represents a broader dynamic in media obfuscation of antisemitism, whereby reports on someone accused of anti-Jewish racism often conveniently omit the most damning evidence.
We noted the omission in a tweet to McGreevy,
Hi. Your report left out Salita's unquestionably antisemitic tweet. See image. pic.twitter.com/Mwiy8vfgGC
— UK Media Watch (@UKMediaWatch) September 12, 2017
McGreevy offered this bizarre reply:
Why did your tweet not mention the 490 Palestinian children killed in the Gazan war?
— Ronan McGreevy (@RMcGreevy1301) September 12, 2017
McGreevy could have responded civilly to our tweet, but instead offered a complete non-sequitur. This non-reply represents another example of how journalists who demand accountability from politicians and government institutions when gathering information for their reports often fail to hold themselves to the same standards when questioned by news consumers – and watchdog groups like ours.
- Anti-Israel professor loses job offer at U. of Illinoise after hateful tweets (Legal Insurrection)
- Guardian ‘forgets’ to mention Steven Salaita’s most hateful tweets (UK Media Watch)