The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the UK’s national broadcaster, said it has launched an investigation over controversial statements made on social media by one of its reporters, who in a since-deleted tweet compared Israel to Nazi Germany and wrote, “Hitler was right.”
Digital journalist Tala Halawa, who works as a Palestine Specialist for the BBC Monitoring service, reportedly posted the comments on Twitter on July 20, 2014.
“Israel is more Nazi than Hitler! Oh, #HitlerWasRight – IDF go to hell #PrayForGaza,” Halawa wrote, according to the Honest Reporting Twitter media monitoring group.
Tala Halawa is a “digital journalist” for the @BBC.
Halawa directly influences and creates news content watched by many millions around the world.
In what world can someone like this work for a professional news outlet? pic.twitter.com/r2LIHmZfF2
— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) May 23, 2021
Halawa’s post came about three years prior to her joining the BBC in 2017.
In a statement to British news outlet The Telegraph, the BBC said: “These tweets predate the individual’s employment with the BBC but we are nevertheless taking this very seriously and are investigating.”
The Epoch Times was unable to reach Halawa for comment, while her Twitter account appears to have been deleted.
It comes as the BBC continues to reel from a scandal after an inquiry (pdf) by former senior judge Lord Dyson found that then-BBC reporter Martin Bashir used forged documents to secure an interview with Princess Diana in 1995, two years before her death.
The inquiry led to the resignation of former BBC director general Lord Hall as National Gallery chairman. Hall was director of news when Bashir used deception to get the interview.
Following the outcry, the BBC issued an apology.
Tim Davie, the BBC’s current director general, said in a statement: “Although the report states that Diana, Princess of Wales, was keen on the idea of an interview with the BBC, it is clear that the process for securing the interview fell far short of what audiences have a right to expect. We are very sorry for this.”
“While today’s BBC has significantly better processes and procedures, those that existed at the time should have prevented the interview being secured in this way,” Davie said, adding, “While the BBC cannot turn back the clock after a quarter of a century, we can make a full and unconditional apology.”
Bashir has since apologized and admitted his wrongdoing, but denied that the interview had any impact on Diana.
“Everything we did in terms of the interview was as she wanted, from when she wanted to alert the palace, to when it was broadcast, to its contents,” Bashir told the Sunday Times in an interview, in which he said he’s “deeply sorry.”