by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Los Angeles Times’s owner’s daughter, who has been an influential force on the paper’s news coverage, denounced Israel as an “apartheid state” and said journalists should be allowed to describe it that way in their reporting.
Nika Soon-Shiong, the daughter of Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, also accused Israel of committing “genocide” and claimed media figures and politicians who support the Jewish state have been “paid.”
“It’s not journalistic malpractice to describe the state of Israel as an Apartheid state,” wrote Nika Soon-Shiong in a Twitter post on Tuesday. “This is well-established in international law.”
Soon-Shiong’s comments come as the Los Angeles Times has faced criticism over its Israel coverage. The paper recently scrubbed a column that noted that Hamas raped women, saying the claim wasn’t substantiated. And one of the paper’s reporters, Adam Elmahrek, spent days dismissing reports that Hamas beheaded babies as “unverified” and “sensational” and said journalists who cited the claims “will have blood on [their] hands.”
The Los Angeles Times did not respond to a request for comment.
Soon-Shiong has become “actively involved at the newspaper” since her father purchased the Los Angeles Times in 2018, according to a Politico article last year. She reportedly participated in staff meetings and helped shape the paper’s coverage of race, leading some Los Angeles Times insiders to accuse her of “meddling in news coverage.” The Los Angeles Times reported that Soon-Shiong has also “been involved in high-level management issues” at the paper.
Soon-Shiong said it is accurate for journalists to call Israel an “apartheid state” and criticized news outlets for failing to do so. She claimed there is “incontrovertible evidence that Israel aims to ‘maintain a system of domination.’”
Media figures and politicians who support Israel have been paid off, she added.