Reuters rescinds award from Palestinian journalist following surfaced social media posts praising Hitler
The Thomson Reuters Foundation rescinded an award to Palestinian freelance journalist Shatha Hammad after the discovery of social media posts praising Adolf Hitler and referring to the Nazi leader as her “friend.”
Hammad was stripped of the prestigious Kurt Schork Award in International Journalism award after the pro-Israel media watchdog group HonestReporting spotlighted her social media history, resurfacing old Facebook posts which they said were riddled with “violent and antisemitic” rhetoric.
In one post uncovered by the group, Hammad wrote that she and “Hitler are friends.”
“We have influence over each other and share the same ideology, such as the extermination of the Jews,” a 2014 Facebook post reads, according to screenshots preserved by HonestReporting.
In other posts the same year, Hammad reportedly quoted Hitler and joked that she was “in agreement” with the Nazi leader responsible for the extermination of six million Jews during the Holocaust. In a separate post, Hammad, who currently freelances for Middle East Eye and Al Jazeera, praised the terrorists that killed five Israelis in the 2014 Jerusalem synagogue massacre as “martyrs.”
Hammad was the recipient of the 2022 Local Reporter Award, which included a $5,000 cash prize and the chance for her work to be “spotlighted through a multi-media campaign on the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s social media channels.” She was set to appear as a guest speaker on a panel moderated by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour at the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s annual Trust Conference in London later this month.
On Tuesday, the foundation released a public statement saying the award had been retracted.
“The decision has been made following the discovery of a social media post on Hammad’s Facebook feed that appears to quote Hitler – which, in doing so, suggests an endorsement of his ideology. The comment appeared in 2014,” the foundation wrote.
“The Thomson Reuters Foundation and the Kurt Schork Memorial Fund stand opposed to hate speech of any description,” the statement continues. “We have therefore taken this unusual step in order to protect the integrity of the Kurt Schork Awards, established to recognize and celebrate the courageous and brilliant reporting of conflict, corruption and injustice from journalists around the world, who risk their lives daily to speak truth to power.”
The foundation said that Hammad “strongly denies” that an additional Facebook post using “antisemitic language” was written by her.
The uncovered posts come three months after the same media watchdog group exposed the social media history of Fady Hanona, a freelance producer and fixer who had contributed to the New York Times’ coverage of the escalated Israel-Gaza conflict this past summer. The Times cut ties with Hanona after HonestReporting published a series of posts in which she repeatedly espoused antisemitic rhetoric. expressed hostility towards Israel and also spoke favorably about Hitler.
“The New York Times had worked with this freelance reporter only in recent weeks,” a Times spokesperson told Fox News Digital at the time, adding “We are no longer doing so.”