Update: State Department Under Secretary Richard Stengel Sunday morning posted a new message saying his #UnitedForGaza hashtag had been a mistake, adding “My bad.” He also removed the original message from his timeline.
Earlier tweet with wrong hashtag was a mistake. My bad.
— Rick Stengel (@stengel) July 20, 2014
The State Department’s top public affairs strategist took to Twitter Saturday night where he hashtagged a message #UnitedForGaza.
Richard Stengel, the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs and former Time magazine managing editor, was addressing the shooting down of the Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine, writing, “.@StateDept. Critical for a full, credible and unimpeded intl investigation of crash. Urge Russia to honor it’s commitment. #UnitedForGaza”
Here is a screenshot of the tweet:
@stengel Rick I think you may have used the wrong hashtag on that Ukraine tweet
— Guy Golan (@GuyGolan) July 20, 2014
— Scott Good (@SkidWillie) July 20, 2014
— Get Whiggy With It (@RachelRyansDad) July 20, 2014
— Sandy (@RightGlockMom) July 20, 2014
TheBlaze was not able to reach the State Department at the time of this writing to inquire what was behind Stengel’s wording; however, it is possible that it was an unintentional mistake considering the subject of the tweet was the Malaysia Airlines crash and that at least three of his tweets below the Gaza one were hashtagged #UnitedForUkraine.
But PJ Media referred its readers to a 2010 Time cover story published under Stengel’s leadership as managing editor titled “Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace” and accused Stengel of having “a history of anti-Israel statements and sympathy for Hamas and the Palestinians.”
The cover story – which featured a large Star of David – sparked outcry from the Jewish community, some members of which viewed it as bordering on anti-Semitism.
The Anti-Defamation League wrote in 2010:
In a letter to Managing Editor Richard Stengel, ADL called on the magazine’s editors to issue an apology to readers, both for the timing of the article and its calling up age-old anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews and money.
“The insidious subtext of Israeli Jews being obsessed with money echoes the age-old anti-Semitic falsehood that Jews care about money above any other interest, in this case achieving peace with the Palestinians,” wrote [ADL executive director] Mr. [Abe] Foxman. “At the same time, Time ignores the very real sacrifices made by Israel and its people in the pursuit of peace and the efforts by successive Israeli governments of reconciliation.”
(H/T: PJ Media)