Australian-Lebanese journalist to 'take action' after axe over Gaza posts

Australian-Lebanese journalist to 'take action' after axe over Gaza posts
Antoinette Lattouf, an Australian-Lebanese journalist with the ABC network, was fired over social media posts calling out Israel's atrocities in the Gaza Strip.
2 min read
22 December, 2023
The ABC network's dismissal of Lattouf comes amid an uptick in censorship of pro-Palestinian solidarity in Western media [Getty/file photo]

Australian-Lebanese journalist Antoinette Lattouf said on Wednesday she is considering legal action after she was sacked from her role over social media posts concerning Israel’s brutal war in Gaza.

Lattouf was filling in for fellow journalist Sarah Macdonald on the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) Sydney mornings radio show and had two remaining slots before she was axed, a spokesperson confirmed as cited by The Guardian.

The journalist said she was "very disappointed" by the network's decision.

"I believe I was terminated unlawfully. This is not a win for journalism or critical, fair thinking," she added.

"I am considering taking legal action."

The award-winning journalist has been vocal in her support for Palestinians in Gaza who are facing one of the fiercest Israeli bombing campaigns in history.

At least 20,057 Palestinians have been killed since 7 October, with thousands more feared to be trapped under rubble.

The destruction of civilian infrastructure – including hospitals – and dire shortages of aid have sparked concerns over the spread of fatal diseases in Gaza.

Israel’s bombing of hospitals, schools, and places of worship has been decried as tantamount to war crimes by several rights groups and nations.

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Among them was a repost of a Human Rights Watch report on Instagram stating that Israel was using starvation as a weapon of war in Gaza, which has been placed under a total blockade prohibiting the entry of food, water and fuel.

Lattouf has worked across a number of Australian networks and is also the founder of Media Diversity Australia.

The Guardian said that there were "emotional scenes" at ABC, but the support from Lattouf’s colleagues was "overruled" by senior management.

Meanwhile, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) - a union advocating for Australia's creative professionals - called the sacking of Lattouf "incredibly disturbing", adding that the network "should be backing its own employees when they come under attack".

The move comes amid a wave of pro-Palestinian censorship and alleged biased coverage of the war across some media outlets in the West.

Several journalists in Europe, the US, and other Western countries have been suspended or fired for their views or comments on Palestine-Israel, including Palestinian-Canadian journalist Zahraa Al-Akhrass, who was axed from Global News in October.

Despite criticism from pro-Israeli groups in the country, Lattouf insisted that she will "continue reporting and commenting" on Gaza "without fear or favour, especially when so many innocent lives are at stake and there’s so much hate and division in Australia".

The New Arab has contacted Lattouf for comment.