Following a CAMERA exposé which revealed the antisemitic social media posts of four France24 employees, the French state-owned network has fired journalist Joelle Maroun and reprimanded three of its Arabic-language correspondents.
“We commend France24 for investigating the four journalists but are dismayed at their decision to continue employing three of them,” said Andrea Levin, CAMERA’s executive director. “Maroun was the worst of them, but the other journalists’ antisemitism and unethical, partisan reporting makes them unfit to report objectively on anything to do with Jews and Israel.”
CAMERA’s research into the social media content of the three correspondents – Laila Odeh, Sharif Bibi and Dina Abi-Saab – revealed that they enthusiastically supported violence, antisemitism, and/or political extremism.
For example, France24’s Jerusalem correspondent, Laila Odeh, extolled a man who planted a bomb on a Tel Aviv bus, boasting that he “ascended to the highest heavens”; she lionized terrorists as “martyrs”; she claimed Israel has become a “version of Hitler”; and she publicly requested that Arab countries arm her personally to attack Israel.
And yet France24 has nevertheless concluded that Odeh remains fit to serve as the network’s correspondent in Jerusalem.
“How are these three journalists acceptable at a serious news outlet?” Levin asked. “They report like opinion pundits on fringe hate sites — which is where, in fact, their bigoted views belong.”
Levin pointed out that France24’s audit upheld the truth of CAMERA’s initial exposé, which prompted the network’s investigation into the journalists’ hate-filled social media posts.
“If our report had turned out to be factually inaccurate, France24 would have been justified to continue their employment,” Levin said. “But France24’s press release states that their own audit ‘authenticated’ what we found.”
France24’s investigation concluded that the three journalists failed to meet the network’s standards of impartiality and warned them that their employment is contingent on their adherence to these standards.
“We seriously doubt such a warning is enough,” Levin said. “French taxpayers deserve honorable journalists, of whom there are many the network could hire. Until then, French news consumers should be deeply skeptical of France24’s reporting on Israel and should closely watch to see if the pattern of unprofessional bias continues.”