Leaked Texts Reveal ‘Coordinated Campaign’ To Get Antoinette Lattouf Fired From The ABC


The ABC fired award-winning journalist Antoinette Lattouf three days into her five-day radio gig after she shared social media posts that reported on atrocities happening in Gaza. Now, it’s been revealed pro-Israel lobbyists repeatedly sent letters and texts to its executives threatening legal action if she wasn’t sacked, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Leaked WhatsApp messages from a group called “Lawyers for Israel”, seen by the masthead, reportedly show that the group wrote to ABC chair Ita Buttrose and managing director David Anderson demanding Lattouf be dismissed from the company.

A group member reportedly shared an email from Buttrose which said their concerns had been forwarded to ABC’s chief content officer Chris Oliver-Taylor “who is dealing with this matter” on December 20. The same day, another member said Buttrose had replied “to seven of our letters yesterday” and told others they “must continue to document, write, complain and push to the ombudsman.”

Deputy President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry Robert Goot wrote in the chat, also on December 20, that he believed Lattouf would be fired from morning radio by that Friday over her “stance on Israel.”

Lattouf was dismissed by her manager hours later.

Messages sent by Nicky Stein, a Sydney lawyer who SMH reported was one of the 156 members, can be seen in a screenshot shared by the masthead urging others to target Federal Minister of Communication Michelle Rowland about Lattouf’s radio hosting role. Stein then wrote in another message that “it is important ABC hears not just from individuals in the community but specifically lawyers so they feel there is an actual legal threat.”

“I know there is probably no actionable offence against the ABC but I didn’t say I would be taking one — just investigating one,” she wrote.

When another member asked why ABC allowed Lattouf to host the radio show (given her history of being critical of Israel), Stein allegedly responded: “Exactly which is why we need to stamp it out.”

When approached by the SMH, Stein said the group was only “a group of lawyers concerned about Israel and rising antisemitism”, and called suggestions that there was a coordinated campaign against Lattouf “fanciful”. Co-CEO of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry Alex Ryvchin also told the SMH that any allegations of a coordinated campaign that involved its members were “total bullshit.”

In a statement to the SMH, the public broadcaster said it has “a transparent complaints process and responds accordingly, regardless of the source of the complaint.”

Antoinette Lattouf was fired from a radio gig at the ABC after she shared reports of Israel starving Palestinians.

Lattouf alleged in December that the ABC fired her after she shared a Human Rights Watch video which reported Israel was using starvation as a weapon against Palestinians in Gaza.

She said she was told this was a violation of ABC’s strict social media policy, but alleges in her wrongful termination lawsuit that her firing was also racially motivated because of her Lebanese heritage.

She has not commented on the WhatsApp group.

Image: Instagram / Antoinette Lattouf