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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Associated Press fires journalist for pro-Palestinian activism

The Associated Press has fired a news associate for her pro-Palestinian activism. The journalist claimed that the AP did not detail which of her tweets broke its policies.

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The Associated Press has fired a news associate, Emily Wilder, for violating the company’s social media policies, a move that drew backlash from journalists after it became clear that Wilder had been targeted by rightwing media outlets for her pro-Palestinian activism in college.

Wilder confirmed to The Guardian that she was “terminated for violating the company’s social media policies in their News Values and Principles sometime between my start date on May 3 and yesterday”. Wilder said the AP did not detail which of her tweets broke its policies.

A spokesperson for the AP said that while the organization “generally refrains from commenting on personnel matters, we can confirm Emily Wilder’s comments on Thursday that she was dismissed for violations of AP’s social media policy during her time at AP”.

The spokesperson added that AP’s policy exists so that “one person cannot create dangerous conditions for our journalists covering the story. Every AP journalist is responsible for safeguarding our ability to report on this conflict, or any other, with fairness and credibility, and cannot take sides in public forums.”

Notably, the Stanford College Republicans publicly condemned Emily Wilder for her past involvement in Stanford Students for Justice in Palestine.

On Monday, SCR took to social media to condemn Wilder for her past involvement with SJP, calling her an “anti-Israel agitator” and a “Marxist” and criticizing the AP for “staffing their offices with hardened anti-Israel activists.” After news broke on Thursday of Wilder’s firing, SCR applauded her termination, writing in a statement to The Daily that they are “proud that our efforts directly led to this individual and the Associated Press being held accountable for their actions.”

It is important to note that Human Rights Watch (HRW), an acclaimed international rights group, has claimed in its latest report that the “Israeli authorities methodically privilege Jewish Israelis and discriminate against Palestinians,” and these “deprivations are so severe that they amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.”

It says Israel has a policy “to maintain the domination by Jewish Israelis over Palestinians”, including those who are its citizens. Apartheid amounts to state-sanctioned racial discrimination and is considered a crime against humanity.

Read more: Is deal of century a pathway to peace or a recipe for disaster?

Human Rights Watch’s 213-page report, entitled A Threshold Crossed, states that the present-day reality is that Israel is the sole governing power throughout most of those areas and that in the remainder it exercises primary authority alongside limited Palestinian self-rule.