The Israeli consulate in Boston sent hostile messages on Twitter to a Jewish journalist after he tweeted criticism over the way an American news agency was covering last week's escalation in the Gaza Strip.
Dan Cohen, who works for RT America, a television station funded by the Russian government, said the news agency The Associated Press was "whitewashing the crimes of Israel" and claimed this was despite the fact that Israeli weapons fire had been directed at an AP journalist in Gaza.
Cohen's criticism of the AP was shared on social media by pro-Palestinian activists. Following Cohen's tweet and the exposure it received by being shared, Cohen said he began receiving private messages from the official Twitter account of the Israeli consulate in Boston accusing him of being "a disgrace to Americans and Jews everywhere."
Referring to the pro-Palestinian Electronic Intifada website, another message sent from the consulate stated: "Getting retweeted by the founder of ElectronicIntifada must feel like cognitive dissonance, eh?"
Responding to a Haaretz inquiry, the spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, Emmanuel Nahshon, called the messages from the consulate "incorrect and inappropriate conduct" and added: "We have a brought it to the attention of the [consulate] and have ask that discourse of such a nature be avoided."
- Israel closer than ever to controlling part or all of Gaza, strategic affairs minister says
- When the army is the moral compass
- Gaza’s fatal ritual: relentless protests, steady casualties
Later, the consulate tweeted that the "message was sent by a former employee who no longer works with the consulate, and accidentally sent this message from the consulate's account rather than his personal account."
The private messages from the consulate were posted on the Moscow-based RT website, which identified the retweet of Cohen as apparently coming from Ali Abunimah, a co-founder of the Electronic Intifada website, an independent online publication which covers the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Associated Press reported this week that one of its cameramen, Rashed Rashid, was shot in the leg Monday while covering a demonstration in the Gaza Strip near the Israeli border, and said he was far from the protesters at the time and was wearing a protective vest with the world "PRESS" on it.
"Co-workers said the fire appeared to come from the Israeli side of the border. The Israeli military said it was investigating the incident," the AP report stated.