A freelance CNN contributor has been fired after he reportedly praising Adolf Hitler in tweet on Sunday in response to the growing violence between Israel and Palestine. In a since-deleted post, Adeel Raja, a journalist based out of Pakistan, wrote, "the world today needs a Hitler." Raja's tweet was immediately met with backlash and termed anti-Semitic .
Several social media users also claimed that Raja is known for posting anti-Semitic tweets and this is just one of the many in recent times. Although Raja deleted the tweet after the backlash, CNN decided to sever ties with the reporter over his tweets.
CNN officials in a statement announced ending its ties with raja. "Adeel Raja has never been a CNN employee. As a freelancer, his reporting contributed to some newsgathering efforts from Islamabad. However, in light of these abhorrent statements, he will not be working with CNN again in any capacity," CNN spokesman Matt Dornic said.
The announcement didn't come much as surprise given that Raja known for his anti-Semitic tweets. It is just the most recent in a series of such tweets in the past few years, Twitter users wrote.
In 2014, while presumably watching the FIFA World Cup, Raja tweeted, "The only reason I am supporting Germany in the finals — Hitler was a German and he did good with those Jews." The next day, he tweeted, "Hail Hitler."
The decision to fire Raja came following severe backlash from Twitter users who also urged Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to ban him from the social media site permanently.
Greg Price, a social media associate for The Daily Caller, wrote: "This guy has 54 articles under his byline at CNN. They should probably fire whoever does their background checks." Craig Strathearn said, "He really likes Hitler. He's written for CNN since 2013, I guess CNN likes to employ Nazis."
Another user tweeted: "Homey's been cashing a CNN check for eight years." Understandably, much of the grudge was also on CNN for maintaining a eight-year-long relationship with Raja despite knowing that he is pro-Hitler.
Who Is Raja?
Raja's account still contains pro-Adolf Hitler messages including comments praising the Nazi leader. Raja has freelanced for CNN since 2013, according to his LinkedIn account, working on several stories for the network during that time, the report said.
He is also an executive producer at Pakistani ARY News.
In 2016, he won the Agahi Award for Investigative Journalist of the Year, according to his Twitter account. The Agahi Awards are an annual series of awards for journalism in Pakistan. His most recent byline for CNN was from September 16, 2020.
That said, Dornic told the Washington Examiner that he personally "never heard" of Raja since he is one of the many freelancers and is "looking into it."
The tweet comes amid increasing tensions between Israel and Palestine, which is being seen by many as the most violent conflict between the two nations since the 2014 Gaza War, as they each fire a barrage of rockets at the other. Over the past week there have been at least 188 Palestinians killed in the conflict, including 55 children and 33 women, according to the Washington Examiner.