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August 21, 2013 2

Al Jazeera America Debut Featuring Stephen Walt Casts Doubt Over Network’s Objectivity

stephen-walt-al-jazeera-english-israel

Stephen Walt (right) appears on Al Jazeera America

August 20 marked the much antic­i­pated pre­miere of Al Jazeera Amer­ica, the Qatari government-backed 24-hour news broad­caster that has sought to make greater inroads in the Amer­i­can mar­ket in recent years. Although the net­work has striven to assure the pub­lic that it will present the news in an objec­tive man­ner, Al Jazeera America’s debut news seg­ment cast imme­di­ate doubt over its impartiality.

Their pro­gram on Tues­day fea­tured an inter­view with anti-Israel pro­fes­sor and author Stephen Walt dis­cussing the tur­moil in Egypt. Al Jazeera’s choice of Walt as its first guest raises early ques­tions regard­ing the network’s claimed inten­tion to pro­vide the Amer­i­can pub­lic sto­ries that are “impar­tial, accu­rate and comprehensive.” 

Stephen Walt, an Inter­na­tional Affairs Pro­fes­sor at the Kennedy School of Gov­ern­ment, is best known for his anti-Israel posi­tion as described in his 2007 book, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. For­eign Pol­icy,” co-authored with John Mearsheimer. Walt is a pro­po­nent of a one-state solu­tion to the Israeli-Palestinian con­flict, and has sev­eral times accused the pro-Israel lobby in the U.S. of exer­cis­ing exces­sive power to sti­fle crit­i­cism of Israel.

Prior to the launch of Al Jazeera Amer­ica, the net­work received con­sid­er­able praise from jour­nal­ists, such as Soledad O’Brien and John Seigen­thaler, who were assured that the new sta­tion would focus more on Amer­i­can issues and less on opin­ions and inter­na­tional news. Accord­ing to Ehab Al Shi­habi, Al Jazeera America’s act­ing chief exec­u­tive, “Al Jazeera Amer­ica will air fact-based, unbi­ased and in-depth news.” 

Since the Qatar-based net­work announced the cre­ation of Al Jazeera Amer­ica in early 2013, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed its ongo­ing con­cerns about the pan-Arab satel­lite network’s “trou­bling record” of pro­vid­ing a plat­form to all man­ner of vir­u­lent anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic extrem­ists. Al Jazeera America’s deci­sion to fea­ture Walt on its inau­gural broad­cast was not an aus­pi­cious beginning.

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February 22, 2013 2

Coming Soon: “Khaiber” The Genocide Of Jews In Arabia

Image of “Khaiber” Movie Poster

Update: “Khaiber” writer, Yusri Al-Jindy, says now is the time to expose Jews.

A pro­duc­tion com­pany in Qatar will report­edly start film­ing a multi-million dol­lar tele­vi­sion series next month com­mem­o­rat­ing the geno­cide of Jews in Ara­bia in the 7th century.

The series, called “Khaiber,” is based on a script writ­ten by Yusri Al-Jindy, an Egypt­ian writer who has pre­vi­ously depicted Israelis and Jews as blood­thirsty sav­ages in his work. One of his plays about the 1967 war, titled “The Wan­der­ing Jew,” was banned in Egypt. 

The series, pro­duced by the Doha-based Echo Media Qatar, is sup­pos­edly sched­uled to be filmed in sev­eral Arab coun­tries, includ­ing Morocco, Egypt and Jor­dan, and will appar­ently fea­ture sev­eral well-known Arab actors. Echo Media Qatar has report­edly started build­ing sets with struc­tures sim­i­lar to the ones inhab­ited by Jews 1,400 years ago.

A report on Al Jazeera in Ara­bic yes­ter­day described “Khaiber” as “the most impor­tant fea­ture of the Islamic-Jewish fight. Mus­lims always raise its name in their ral­lies against Israel because it con­sti­tutes a mem­ory of a harsh defeat for the Jews who lived in the Ara­bian Penin­sula dur­ing the time of prophet.”

The story of “Khaiber,” accord­ing to most Islamic sources, ends with the exe­cu­tion of thou­sands of Jews, includ­ing women and chil­dren. Pro­test­ers at anti-Israel ral­lies around the world, includ­ing the U.S., often evoke this bat­tle in their chants to gal­va­nize supporters.

Accord­ing to Al Jazeera, Al-Jindy said he wrote the script because “the Zion­ist move­ment is cur­rently pass­ing through a turn­ing point as a result of the changes in the Arab world.”

Accord­ing to another report in the Qatari news­pa­per Al-Raya, the series will focus “on the social, eco­nomic and reli­gious char­ac­ter­is­tics of the Jews includ­ing pol­i­tics and con­spir­a­cies and how they dom­i­nate and con­trol tribes.”

Past Echo Media Qatar pro­duc­tions have pro­moted con­spir­a­cies about Jews. In 2010, Echo Media Qatar pro­duced a series called “The Col­lapse of the Caliphate” for Ramadan that blamed Jews for con­spir­ing with the ene­mies of the Sul­tan to end the Islamic Caliphate.

When com­pleted, the series will likely rein­force the dehu­man­iza­tion of Jews in the Arab world in the same way that pre­vi­ous pro­grams have done, such as the 2003 Egypt­ian tele­vi­sion series “Knight With­out a Horse” which was based on the noto­ri­ous forgery, “The Pro­to­cols of the Learned Elders of Zion.” Series such as this, often aired dur­ing Ramadan, are gen­er­ally very pop­u­lar and receive broader view­er­ship than pro­grams aired through­out the rest of the year.

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April 26, 2012 0

Does Jimmy Carter Endorse BDS?

It is no secret that for­mer U.S. Pres­i­dent Jimmy Carter is harshly crit­i­cal of Israeli poli­cies in the West Bank. There are now, how­ever, indi­ca­tions that Carter may have entered a new realm of anti-Israel advo­cacy with an implied endorse­ment of the cam­paign to boy­cott, divest and sanc­tion (BDS) Israel.

As quoted by Al-Jazeera in an April 25 piece, Carter states that he thinks the BDS move­ment has “been effec­tive on a wide-ranging basis, oth­er­wise the Israelis would not be so upset about it” and that it is “gain­ing in strength.”

Just as Carter’s 2007 book, “Pales­tine Peace Not Apartheid,” attempted to main­stream the apartheid anal­ogy com­monly used within the anti-Israel move­ment, his appar­ent val­i­da­tion of BDS could lead oth­ers to believe that this extreme and divi­sive tac­tic is legitimate.

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