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May 13, 2013 0

Spotlight On Al Aqsa Television

al-aqsa-newseum

Al Aqsa TV describes Salama and Al-Kumi as “Martyrs”

Hamas’s Al Aqsa TV, a Trea­sury Depart­ment Spe­cially Des­ig­nated Global Ter­ror­ist entity, has been the focus of media scrutiny after a deci­sion by the New­seum to honor two Al Aqsa TV mem­bers as part of its ongo­ing memo­r­ial to jour­nal­ists who lost their lives in the line of duty in 2012.

On Sun­day, the Anti-Defamation League described the inclu­sion of Hus­sam Salama and Mah­moud Al-Kumi in the New­seum Jour­nal­ists Memo­r­ial as “a dark day for an Amer­i­can insti­tu­tion devoted to free speech and the First Amendment.”

Today, the New­seum issued a state­ment on its web­site indi­cat­ing that it has “decided to re-evaluate their inclu­sion as jour­nal­ists on our memo­r­ial wall pend­ing fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tion.” ADL wel­comed the museum’s decision.

Al Aqsa TV was estab­lished by Pales­tin­ian Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil mem­ber and cur­rent Hamas Inte­rior Min­is­ter Fathi Ahmad Ham­mad. It began broad­cast­ing in the Gaza Strip in Jan­u­ary 2006.

Mod­eled after Al Manar, which is owned and oper­ated by the Lebanese-based ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion Hezbol­lah, much of Al-Aqsa TV pro­gram­ming reg­u­larly glo­ri­fies vio­lence and incites hatred of Jews and Israelis focuses on chil­dren or is geared towards children.

For exam­ple, at the begin­ning of Oper­a­tion Pil­lar of Defense in Novem­ber 2012, Al Aqsa TV inter­viewed the chil­dren of Hamas mem­bers who were killed in Israeli airstrikes. One of the boys inter­viewed said that he wants to fol­low in his father’s path, “I want to fol­low the path of Jihad like daddy and I want to be mar­tyred like daddy.”

Over the years, Al Aqsa TV has fea­tured music video aimed at rad­i­cal­iz­ing chil­dren. For exam­ple, a few years ago a music video aired by the net­work depicted a 4-year-old girl singing to her “mother,” iden­ti­fied as “mother Reem,” (an appar­ent ref­er­ence to Hamas’s first female sui­cide bomber Reem Riyashi).  Later in the video, the woman det­o­nates her­self and kills four Israeli sol­diers. After her mother car­ries out the attack, the lit­tle girl holds an explo­sive and sings to the cam­era, “I am fol­low­ing Mommy in her steps.”

In April 2007, the show “Tomorrow’s Pio­neers” fea­tured a Mickey Mouse-like char­ac­ter called “Far­four” pro­mot­ing a mes­sage of rad­i­cal Islam, anti-Semitism and hatred for the West. The “Far­four” char­ac­ter and child actors on the pro­gram taunt West­ern lead­ers and urge chil­dren to take up AK-47 assault rifles to defeat Israel and the United States.al-aqsa-tv

The Newseum’s Jour­nal­ists Memo­r­ial pre­vi­ously included Ahmed Haidar, a cam­era­man for Al Manar who was killed in 1993. Al Manar was des­ig­nated a Spe­cially Des­ig­nated Global Ter­ror­ist entity in 2006.

This year’s memo­r­ial also plans to honor Maya Naser, a cor­re­spon­dent for Iran’s Press TV, Iran’s gov­ern­ment-run Eng­lish lan­guage satel­lite news net­work. Press TV has emerged as the Iran­ian government’s pri­mary pro­pa­ganda tool to pro­mote a wide range of per­ni­cious anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries in Eng­lish to a world­wide audience.

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