October 13, 2019

CNN Photo Editor Resigns Over Anti-Semitic Tweets

Photo from Good Free Photos.

CNN photo editor Mohammed Elshamy has resigned from his position at CNN due to a series of anti-Semitic tweets from 2011, according to a spokesperson from the network.

The tweets, which started to gain attention on Twitter on July 25, involved Elshamy writing on March 23, 2011, “More than 4 jewish pigs killed in #Jerusalem today by the Palestinian bomb explode,” a likely reference to the March 23, 2011 bombing at a Jerusalem bus stop that killed two people and injured 39 others.

Other tweets from Elshamy that emerged in 2011 included several instances of him tweeting favorably of Hamas and that “Israel is the main enemy for the people of Egypt and shall always remain despite rulers who lick Jewish legs.” CNN hired Elshamy in January.

CNN Digital Worldwide & Great Big Story Communications Vice President Matt Dornic said in a statement to the Journal, “The network has accepted the resignation of a photo editor, who joined CNN earlier this year, after anti-Semitic statements he’d made in 2011 came to light. CNN is committed to maintaining a workplace in which every employee feels safe, secure and free from discrimination regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or religion.”

Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center Rabbi Abraham Cooper told the Journal in a phone interview that he didn’t think CNN’s statement on Elshamy was good enough.

“They owe the Jewish community and the victims of terrorism an apology,” Cooper said.

UPDATE: Elshamy issued a statement on July 26 apologizing for his past tweets.

“I want to unequivocally express my apology to everyone, especially those in the Jewish community, who were offended by my tweets,” Elshamy said. “I want to apologize to my family, friends, and mentors who I am ashamed I have let down in this way.”

Elshamy added that he was 16 years old at the time of the tweets were written, and he no longer holds those views.

“I would like to thank everyone at CNN, especially my manager, for the opportunity they have me,” Elshamy said. “It is with great regret that I have presented my resignation.”