Amid the fallout over a video that denied the Holocaust, the anti-Semitism watchdog group Canary Mission has revealed that several members of Al Jazeera’s staff have held longstanding “disdain for Jews and Israel” that predate the video release.
The seven-minute video, which was published last week on the network’s online channel, AJ+, stated that Israel was the “greatest beneficiary” of the Holocaust and that it happened, but “it’s different from how the Jews tell it.”
After international outrage, Al Jazeera retracted the video, said the makers of the video were to be suspended, and that staff were to undergo sensitivity and bias training.
Before being pulled, however, the video reportedly gained 1.1 million Facebook and Twitter views.
“Al Jazeera and Qatar have proven once again that their hate for Israel and the Jewish people supersedes logic, and the network took action only after the video gained many views and received public condemnation,” Avi Benlolo, president and CEO of Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center told Jewish News Syndicate.
“The damage done to the Jewish people and Israel here through the incitement of anti-Semitism is incalculable. All nations should evaluate Al Jazeera’s presence online and television.”
According to the Canary Mission, several staff members of Al Jazeera and its online channel AJ+ who appeared in the video have expressed “repeated disdain for Jews and Israel” on their social media profiles.
Among those profiled by the Canary Mission include a “filmmaker for Aj+” who has called for violence, glorified the terrorist organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad, shown support for Hamas and expressed support for terrorists.
A “video editor and sometimes producer at AJ+” has spread anti-Semitism, defended the terrorist organization Hezbollah and expressed support for terrorists, the report says.
A senior producer at Al Jazeera+ has according to the report expressed support for Hamas, promoted terrorists, spread anti-Israel conspiracy theories and defended violent anti-Israel agitators. She has also demonized Zionism and undermined Muslim interfaith dialogue with Jews.
Another journalist in the station has, according to the report, spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, defended Hamas and Hezbollah, glorified terrorists and demonized Israel. In December 2010 she tweeted: “Behind US support for Israel there is a huge Zionist lobby with economic and media power.”
A “social content producer” at AJ+ has spread hatred of Israel, equated Zionism with Nazism and expressed support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement on social media. On March 8, 2013, she tweeted: “Zionism is hate. Zionism is evil. Zionism is the modern-day Nazism. don’t be fooled. the tide is turning [sic].”
A producer at AJ+ has glorified a terrorist, demonized Israel and spread a conspiracy theory on social media. On Sept. 8, 2013, he tweeted: “REPORT: Hitler may not have authorized systemic murder of Jews during Holocaust.”
Alex Safian, associate director for CAMERA, said that the Al Jazeera situation shows their long-standing anti-Semitism and bias against Israel to Western audiences.
“To a Western audience, Al Jazeera tries to appear more moderate, while in Arabic they show their true face and their actual motivations. In this case, they got caught and embarrassed, so they put on a show of being apologetic,” Safian told JNS.
“Does this mark a change in the tenor of their journalism, including in Arabic? Will they end or even restrain their anti-Israel propaganda and incitement to violence? Not likely on all counts because doing so would betray their reason for being,” Safian added.