Twitter’s new “editorial curation lead” for Middle East and North Africa (MENA) news is drawing criticism from pro-Israel organizations, pointing to her history of anti-Israel bias.
Fadah Jassem, a London-based former television producer and editor, announced Monday on Twitter her appointment for the position, which is responsible for curating stories Twitter displays on its platform.
“Cats out the bag, I’m thrilled to say that I join Twitter as Editorial Curation Lead for MENA today,” Jassem tweeted on her now-private Twitter account. “Very excited to get stuck in and delve deeper into the discussions that matter from this diverse and lively region!”
She followed the text of her tweet with 17 flag icons from the region, leaving out the flag of Israel.
It was immediately criticized by pro-Israel organizations like Israel War Room, which tweeted on Monday, “Hey, Twitter, why did your new MENA Editorial Curation Lead not list Israel alongside its Middle Eastern neighbors? This is either woeful ignorance of the territory Fadah Jassem is supposed to cover or anti-Semitic erasure of the only Jewish state.”
Further digging into Jassem’s Twitter history by Gnasher Jew uncovered more anti-Israel tweets, including one from 2010 and 2011, when Jassem said Israel was “not born” but “dropped like a bomb in the middle of Palestine.” She also tweeted quotes from anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, questioning why tax dollars are spent on foreign aid to Israel and calling him a “great example of faith transcending boundaries.”
“No TWITTER, a person who erases Israel from the map cannot be Twitter’s Middle East gatekeeper. What’s next? Longtime Twitter user Ayatollah Khamenei on your board? Twitter empowers every anti-Semite by elevating this bigot to censor Middle East news,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in a news release on Tuesday.
Before making her profile private, Jassem apologized for omitting the Israeli flag after receiving outrage from Twitter users, posting another tweet including the flags of Israel, Turkey and Djibouti, and saying that she was unable to find one of Oman.
She also responded to Emanuel Milleredia analyst with HonestReporting.com regarding her anti-Israel tweets.
“I can see that I have been ill-informed with some tweets when younger. I apologize for any offense caused by these particular tweets, and like I said, for forgetting the Israeli flag with reference to MENA as I did others,” she tweeted.
As a curator, Jassem would not create content but select what content Twitter features on its platform.
“What a fascinating day. Thanks for the lovely messages to my news today and support RE the trolling,” Jassem wrote before making her account private. “I’ve been advised to make my profile private, which I’ve done now. Not easy having horrid allegations thrown your way but always better to ignore—however tempting.”