More Shocking Evidence of CNN’s Faulty Hiring Policy

HonestReporting exposed the political agenda of former CNN employee Nidal Rafa including shocking video footage of her verbally abusing Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, calling him a “fascist” at a media event.

(If you missed it first-time around, click on the image below to view the Nidal Rafa’s unbelievable outburst.)

We demonstrated how Haifa-born Rafa injected her own personal politics into her “professional” life, manipulating foreign journalists dependent upon her role as a Palestinian translator and fixer. The evidence presented was disturbing enough. Now, one sharp reader has brought to our attention an article from the September 2005 edition of The Atlantic Monthly (before Nidal Rafa was hired by CNN).

In a feature examining Yasser Arafat’s destructive legacy, David Samuels writes:

Most of my official meetings are arranged for me by two local translators, without whom I am often as helpless as a child. The going rate for a translator with decent contacts is $150 to $200 a day. N., a hard-core supporter of Fatah, speaks seven languages, including German, Italian, Arabic, and Hebrew. She was born in Haifa and carries an Israeli passport. She was recommended to me by a Palestinian functionary in Ramallah who welcomed the opportunity to monitor my movements and contacts. N.’s loyalty to Fatah means that she has connections that more neutral translators lack; when she hands off unmarked packages to men who dart out of storefronts and alleyways near al-Manara Square, in Ramallah, I decide that it is best to play dumb. Her favorite game is to drive the wrong way through oncoming traffic at checkpoints as the soldiers draw their guns and order us to stop. “Sahafia – journalist!” she will shout, leaving me to plead our case.

A female Palestinian fixer born in Haifa with a politicized background. Sound familiar? We think so. It is becoming even clearer that Nidal Rafa has a long history of Palestinian activism that precludes providing objective and neutral support for the foreign press.

So why did CNN (and other media outlets) hire her as a producer? It’s time that CNN and the rest of the foreign media working in Israel put in place proper safeguards to prevent infiltration by Palestinian activists. Too much reporting from the region is already tainted by politicized agendas without adding the likes of Nidal Rafa into the equation.


The Palestinian narrative has come to dominate the historiography of the Arab-Israeli conflict, particularly concerning the events surrounding Israel’s birth in the period 1947-48. Presenting Israel as born in “original sin” makes it that much easier to delegitimize all of Israel’s actions in the following six decades. That is why it is so important to correct historical inaccuracies such as this in Newsweek’s online photo history of Gaza.

In slide #4 the commentary, referring to the 1947 Partition Plan, states that: “once the British withdraw in 1948, both Arab and Jewish leaders reject the plan and launch military land-grabs.”

In fact, the Jewish leadership accepted partition while the Arabs rejected a plan that would have led to the creation of a Palestinian state as far back as 1947. Instead they chose to launch a war of annihilation against the Jews.

Indeed, there would not be a Palestinian refugee problem had the Arabs accepted the Partition Plan and devoted their energies towards building a state of their own rather than trying to drive the Jews from the region.

Please write to Newsweek’s web edition and ask for a correction –


Over the years, HonestReporting’s critics have attempted to portray us as part of some shadowy pro-Israel lobby intent on stifling freedom of speech. Yet, while some in the media choose to dismiss HonestReporting, it appears that they are happy to demonstrate double standards, cooperating and heaping praise on media watchdogs representing the other side.

According to the UK-based Arab Media Watch, the organization’s annual fundraising dinner was attended by almost three-dozen senior journalists from, amongst others, the BBC, Al Jazeera English, Financial Times, Reuters, Daily Mail and Independent.

The Guardian has been a particular critic of HonestReporting over the years. Yet, it appears that only some media watchdogs are illegitimate in the eyes of its journalists and Arab Media Watch isn’t one of them. A written statement of support from The Guardian’s Middle East editor Ian Black was read out at the AMW dinner:


For anyone in the British media writing about the Middle East or the wider Arab world, AMW … has become a force to be reckoned with. It has served notice that inaccuracy, misrepresentation, half-truths and prejudice are simply not acceptable – and has done much to monitor and combat them….

AMW has played an especially important role on Iraq and Palestine. Its work on the Gaza war was both combative and effective. Its letters to editors, op-ed articles and complaints about biased or misleading coverage have become part of the landscape.

Can you imagine similar sentiments or words of encouragement expressed by the media for any pro-Israel organizations? Neither can we.


The IDF has over 700,000 citizen soldiers and reservists who are expected to live up to the IDF’s ethical standards. In any army, some soldiers
violate the rules of combat. In the IDF, all alleged violations are investigated, and offenders are punished.

Yet, today there is an attempt to defame the IDF through allegations that there were instances of misconduct during Israel’s Gaza operation. The accusations are based on unverified hearsay, and are proving to be false. Many IDF soldiers feel a deep sense of injustice at how some are misrepresenting them and the IDF. They want to tell you about their personal experiences, which you can hear at the Soldiers Speak Out website.

Click on the image above to hear their testimonies.



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