Jazmine Hughes, an outspoken journalist who won multiple national awards while writing for the left-leaning New York Times voluntarily resigned on November 3 after violating company policies that restrict journalists from engaging in certain types of public political protests. Hughes is a signatory to a letter authored by Writers Against the War on Gaza that accuses Israel of genocide.
Just to remember, Hezbollah joined the war in Syria and killed thousands of the Syrian people for ten years under the justification of “Librating Palestine” and defeating Israel. pic.twitter.com/UtKGiVVXgZ
— Asaad Sam Hanna (@AsaadHannaa) November 4, 2023
The Times explained that Hughes, who has run afoul of company policies in the past, voluntarily quit her job after editor Jake Silverstein discussed the controversy stirred by the letter. Hughes is the second writer to leave the Times this week over pro-Hamas positions that are not supported by the paper’s editors.
“She and I discussed that her desire to stake out this kind of public position and join in public protests isn’t compatible with being a journalist at The Times, and we both came to the conclusion that she should resign,” an email to staffers from Silverstein reads.
The letter accuses Israel of waging a war of ethnic cleansing and labels Israel an “apartheid” state that gives benefits to Jews while exploiting Palestinians. The letter repeats false statements including that the state of Israel “stole” land from Palestinians. Israel was formed from territory controlled by Great Britain who acquired the Holy Land during the fall of the Ottoman Empire after World War I. The Ottomans had occupied the region from at least the mid-1500s before the fall of the empire in 1917.
Another contributing journalist to the Times resigned earlier this week but did not face pressure from the editorial staff to do so. Instead, Jamie Lauren Keiles, a transgender Jewish writer, quit because his association with the paper was “becoming a liability” according to a post on X.
The war in Gaza increasingly has become a divisive issue in American journalism circles. Officially, the U.S. is an ally of Israel and does not recognize the existence of an independent Gaza. The region has been largely autonomous since Israel voluntarily removed itself from the region in 2005. Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist organization, assumed control in 2007 and has continuously attacked Israel, leading to repeated retaliatory strikes.
On October 7, militants aligned with Hamas broke through the border with Israel and attacked civilian communities and military posts, killing at least 1,400 people in the surprise attack and taking around 240 people hostage. Hamas militants are accused of brutally murdering Israelis, beheading children, burning people alive, and parading corpses of slain Israelis through the streets of Gaza in celebration of their atrocities.
Israel has responded with the most concentrated aerial and ground assault since the 1978 Yom Kippur War, the 50th anniversary of which was marked by the terrorist strike by Hamas. The number of casualties in Gaza is not clear, but Palestinian forces report that at least 6,500 civilians have died. Hamas is accused by Allied forces of blocking humanitarian aid efforts and using civilians as human shields to prevent attacks by Israel.