By Mustafa Caglayan
Longtime CNN International anchor Jim Clancy left the network after being involved in a Twitter feud with what he called the "Hasbara team," referring to public relations efforts by Israel supporters on social media.
“After nearly 34 years with Cable News Network, the time has come to say Farewell!” Clancy wrote in a memo to staff obtained by media industry news blog TVNewser. “It has been my honor to work alongside all of you for all of these years."
CNN confirmed on Saturday that the veteran correspondent had left the network.
His resignation came more than a week after he was involved in an argument on Twitter which started when he posted a message about the derogatory cartoons the Charlie Hebdo magazine published before the attacks on its Paris offices, in which 12 people were killed.
Clancy's Twitter account has since been deleted, but the tweets he posted in the argument were published on several websites, including Gawker, Twitchy and Mediaite.
“The cartoons NEVER mocked the Prophet,” he tweeted on Jan. 7. “They mocked how the COWARDS tried to distort his word.”
Oren Kessler, a research director at the Washington-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, opposed Clancy's statement, calling it “absolutely untrue” because Charlie Hebdo had been targeted in the past for publishing an issue in which Prophet Muhammad was listed as a “guest editor.”
In response, Clancy tweeted: "Hasbara?" The dictionary meaning of the Hebrew word hasbara is "explanation," but, in discussions about Israel and Palestine, it is used as a term referring to the promotion of positive information about Israel and Zionism.
Other social media users, including some openly pro-Israel bloggers, condemned Clancy's tweets, to which he replied: "These accounts are part of a campaign to do PR for #Israel @JewsMakingNews @elderofziyon Nothing illegal - but PR not HR : Human Rights [sic]."
Clancy, who anchored the global news show “The Brief,” did not specify the reason of his resignation. His biography at the "Anchors and Reporters" section of the CNN website has been removed.
Clancy’s resignation was immediately celebrated by his opponents, with pro-Israel blogger Elder of Ziyon tweeting: "Elder gets results! Jim Clancy fired from CNN."