TEMPO.CO - A US journalist, Emily Wilder, was fired by The Associated Press news agency for allegedly supporting Palestine. Wilder has recently been targeted by far-right groups for her pro-Palestinian activities at Stanford University.
Wilder condemned her dismissal. "I am one of the victims of the asymmetric enforcement of rules around objectivity and social media that has censored so many journalists - especially Palestinian journalists and other journalists of color - before me," she said as quoted from Aljazeera, Sunday, May 23, 2021.
In a statement shared on Twitter on Saturday, Emily Wilder said her managers at the AP told her that she had violated the news agency’s social media policy when she was fired this week, but that they did not say which tweets were in violation of that policy, or how.
Emily Wilder's statement on her termination from The Associated Press. pic.twitter.com/kf4NCkDJXx— emily wilder (@vv1lder) May 22, 2021
Her dismissal on Wednesday came after right-wing groups at her alma mater, Stanford University, launched what Wilder described as a “smear campaign” against her over her student activism in defence of Palestinian rights.
A post on Twitter on Monday from Stanford Republicans criticized Wilder, who herself a Jew, as an "anti-Israel agitator" while on campus.
The Washington Free Beacon then published an article entitled, “AP Hires Anti-Israel Activists as News Associates. AP's Objectivity is Questioned Amid Disclosure, AP Shares Office Space with Hamas ”. The story was picked up on other forums, including the Fox News website.
"Every AP journalist is responsible for maintaining our ability to report on this conflict, or otherwise, with fairness and credibility, and cannot take sides in public forums." said AP spokesman, Lauren Easton.
Wilder actively voiced Palestinian rights during the 11-day Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip. The attack killed nearly 250 Palestinians and injured more than 1,900 others. Twelve people were also killed in Israel by rockets fired by the Hamas group.
Just days earlier, Israel bombed a building in Gaza that housed the AP’s bureau, as well as the offices of Al Jazeera and several residential flats.
The Israeli government said al-Jalaa tower “contained military assets belonging to the intelligence offices of the Hamas terror organisation” – a claim that was rejected by the media organisations, which demanded an independent investigation.