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Briahna Joy Gray Blames Everyone But Herself

Not only has she misrepresented the facts surrounding her firing, she has rejected the testimonies of sexual assault victims, denied clear evidence of sexual violence by Hamas and launched personal attacks on pro-Israel individuals, myself included.
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June 19, 2024
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For those who missed it, podcaster and anti-Israel pundit Briahna Joy Gray was fired earlier this month from Rising, a political talk show she co-hosted on The Hill’s YouTube channel, which boasts nearly two million subscribers.

The departure of Joy Gray followed a recent interview she conducted with Yarden Gonen, whose sister has been held hostage since Oct. 7. As the segment came to a close, the guest called out Joy Gray specifically for consistently denying that Hamas terrorists committed sexual violence on Israeli women. In response, Joy Gray visibly rolled her eyes in disdain. 

This abhorrent dismissal of the pain of hostage family members would be unseemly coming from random users on social media, let alone someone calling herself a journalist. For this, and this alone, The Hill severed her contract.

Yet, in the nearly two weeks since her exit, Joy Gray has been on an internet-wide media tour blaming everyone and everything but herself. Not only has she misrepresented the facts surrounding her firing, she has rejected the testimonies of sexual assault victims, denied clear evidence of sexual violence by Hamas and launched personal attacks on pro-Israel individuals, myself included.

As someone who twice appeared on her program, once in February and once in May, I have become the most visible target of Joy Gray’s recent ire. By my count, I have been named at least three times, including in a recent episode of her own podcast — ironically called “Bad Faith.” During the show, Joy Gray claimed that she supported having Zionist voices on Rising but questioned why her producers couldn’t find “someone who has written a book, not just some guy off the internet.”

Unfortunately for Joy Gray, I am an author. My book is called “The Wrong Kind of Jew.” The book, which has been called an “energetic, and heartfelt book that enriches the discussion about Israel and its future” by New York Times contributor Martin Friedman, is about how my Jewish family was ethnically cleansed from North Africa and Iraq by pan-Arabs. A simple Google search of “Hen Mazzig book” reveals the top 10 results are all about my book, which is also available at Barnes & Noble and Kindle, as well as on Amazon, Google and Apple Books. 

Further, during my February appearance on Joy Gray’s show, the chyron with my name on it read, “Author: ‘The Wrong Kind of Jew.’” Not to mention the fact that I contacted Rising following the 2022 release of my book with the express desire to appear on the program to discuss the often untold stories of Mizrahi Jews who sought refuge in Israel following Holocaust-like pogroms across the Middle East.

More important than my own credentials though is that in her many interviews since being fired, Joy Gray has grossly misrepresented the truth. Primarily, her issue lies with the idea that — in her view — The Hill has a “clear pattern” of suppressing free speech. This claim is unfounded considering she shared her anti-Zionist and antisemitic views consistently on the program for months.

The idea that Joy Gray was fired for simply being critical of Israel is downright absurd. The truth — available on video — is that she brazenly dismissed a family member of a hostage to her face. As if this weren’t bad enough, the reaction was based on her assertion that sexual violence against Israeli women by Hamas did not happen.

The idea that Joy Gray was fired for simply being critical of Israel is downright absurd. 

This claim is based solely on two debunked accounts, among a litany of other verifiable ones. In fact, the most recent reporting in May revealed that the United Nations and a host of other international organizations presented “credible evidence” that Hamas militants committed sexual assault. The sick irony of all of this is that had the terrorists not filmed themselves committing these atrocities, we may never have known the true depravity of these acts.

Joy Gray is out at The Hill, but that does not mean she will disappear from the political landscape. In fact, her willingness to scapegoat her former employer, cry censorship, and attack pro-Israel voices is likely to earn her even more favor amongst her most ardent supporters. But make no mistake: The blame for Joy Gray’s ousting from The Hill lies squarely on her shoulders alone.


Hen Mazzig is an Israeli author, former IDF Humanitarian Officer and a Senior Fellow at The Tel Aviv Institute.

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