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Citibank fires banker for Instagram message saying ‘no wonder Hitler wanted to get rid’ of Jewish people

Finance specialist wrote the post in response to a deadly explosion at a hospital in the embattled Gaza Strip

Martha McHardy
Friday 20 October 2023 15:53 BST
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Harvard Students' Pro-Palestinian Statement Spark Outrage From Alum

A Citibank employee has been fired after she reportedly posted anti-semitic remarks on Instagram that appeared to endorse the mass murder of Jews during the Holocaust.

“No wonder why Hitler wanted to get rid of all of them,” personal banker Nozima Husainova wrote alongside a smiley face emoji in the since-deleted post.

A screenshot of the message was shared to X, formerly known as Twitter, by non-profit watchdog StopAntisemitism on Wednesday.

Ms Husainova went on Instagram in response to an explosion at the al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza, which killed hundreds.

Gaza officials have blamed an Israeli airstrike for the blast, while the Israeli military said the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group is responsible, blaming a faulty launch of a rocket intended to hit Israel, something the PIJ has denied.

Ms Husainova has now deleted her Instagram profile, which had over 4,500 followers, as well as her other social media accounts.

Citibank confirmed the 25-year-old had been fired from her role, calling her remarks “revolting”.

“We terminated the employment of the person who made the revolting antisemitic comment on social media. We condemn antisemitism and all hate speech and do not tolerate it in our bank,” a Citi spokesperson said.

Ms Husainova could not be reached for comment.

Following news of her firing, StopAntisemitism posted to X: “Thank you Citi for saying NO! to antisemitism.”

Ms Husainova worked as a personal banker at Citibank for two years before her dismissal, according to her now-deleted LinkedIn profile.

Citibank’s move came after a number of CEOs threatened to refuse employment opportunities to Harvard students who signed a now-deleted statement arguing that Israel’s “apartheid regime” had created the impetus for the war with Hamas.

The letter prompted furious backlash, with professors and alumni calling on the university’s leadership to condemn the letter as well as Hamas.

Nozima Husainova, 25, was fired from Citibank (LinkedIn/Nozima Husainova)

Billionaire Bill Ackman called for the names of all Harvard students who signed the letter to be made public. Mr Ackman, CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, said he did not want to “inadvertently hire” students who were part of the organisations.

Other executives, such as the CEOs of Sweetgreen and MeUndies, voiced their support for the effort, with Jonathan Shokrian of MeUndies comparing the ideas in the original letter to a “cancer”.

But Mr Ackman’s call later came under fire after a truck appeared near the Harvard campus that displayed photos of Harvard students and the names of organisations allegedly linked to the original statement.

Meanwhile, top US law firm Davis Polk revealed that the company withdrew employment offers to the three law students at Harvard and Columbia universities after they allegedly signed letters about the Israel-Hamas war.

At least 3,000 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis have been killed since fighting broke out on 7 October when Hamas terrorists stormed across the Gaza border into Israel, killing hundreds of people and taking scores captive.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately declared a state of war and promised “mighty vengeance” before launching retaliatory airstrikes on Gaza.

Two days later, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant ordered the “complete siege” of Gaza as authorities cut off electricity and blocked the entry of food and fuel.

The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) then ordered all Gaza civilians to leave the area and head southward, a command that the United Nations said was “impossible” to carry out.

On Tuesday, hundreds are believed to have been killed in an explosion at the al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza.

The complete siege on Gaza, combined with the continued strikes on the 42km-long enclave, has triggered “critical shortages” of basic resources including water, fuel and surgical supplies.

There is also concern over how the wounded will be moved from hospitals after the evacuation order, with the World Health Organisation documenting 57 attacks on healthcare facilities.

Meanwhile, the UN has warned that clean water has run out across the strip, which is home to more than 2 million people, about half of them children.

Fuel for generators powering hospitals is also set to run out in days, and food stocks are diminishing, prompting fears that civilians will die from thirst, water-borne diseases and hunger as well as the ongoing strikes.

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