A journalist for the Guardian, Al Jazeera and The Independent caused a Twitter storm after a bizarre tweet that seemed to imply a conspiracy theory linking Oxfam funding with Israeli aid.

Liam O’Hare’s tweet read:

On Oxfam funding, let us not forget that the last DFID minister Priti Patel wanted to divert aid from developing countries towards the Israeli army. There is undoubtedly wider politics at play here.

One twitter user replied, “Your point about diverting aid to ‘the Israeli army’ has no basis in fact. Admit that and start anew”.

Another tweeted, “No she did not want to divert aid to the Israeli army. She wanted to divert aid for the treatment of sick and injured Syrians who are getting help from Israel. it would have enabled more to get help.”

Another said, “O’Hare has tried to smear Israel with crimes of Oxfam. Do you honestly believe Israel has anything to do with this Haiti scandal? No, but people who hate the Jewish state will throw mud to deflect from their own crimes.”

O’Hare responded to critics in a clarifying tweet, “I see this has been invaded by trolls. For those wilfully misinterpreting the tweet: the point is that UK govt has been looking at ways to change aid policy for some time. This presents a opportunity to do so.”

So, O’Hare’s intent was seemingly to suggest that the government wants to use the Oxfam scandal as a way of changing international aid policy as it also did, he alleges, with the Priti Patel issue.  Other than being inaccurate in his description of Priti Patel’s actions, he fails to point out that Patel lost her job as a result.

It was not necessary for O’Hare to make comparisons between the Oxfam scandal and Israeli funding. Based on his track record of anti-Israel reporting, even if he was not blaming Israel, diverting the subject to Israel was a deliberate attempt to tar Israel with the same brush: