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January 31, 2014

Newseum & Smithsonian Select Anti-Semitic Paper For Upcoming Media Exhibit

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Cartoon published in Arab American News in March 2010

The Newseum and the Smithsonian Institute have chosen the Arab American News¸ an Arabic-English language weekly newspaper based in Dearborn, Michigan, with a long history of publishing anti-Semitic articles, for an exhibit showcasing media from various ethnic communities the U.S.

The May 2014 exhibit,One Nation With News for All,“will tell the story of how immigrants and minorities used the power of the press to fight for their rights and change American history,” according the Newseum website. 

The stated purpose of the exhibit to celebrate the rich cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds of hundreds of communities that have made the U.S. their home, is laudable. The selection of the Arab American News to represent the Arabic-speaking community is a particularly poor choice to represent the positive message of the exhibit.

The newspaper has a long history of publishing articles that propagate theories of Jewish control over the U.S. government and foreign policy. The English-language section of the newspaper has provided a platform for known anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers and 9/11 conspiracy theorists, such as Jeff Gates, Paul Craig Roberts and Alan Sabrosky. Its Editor-in-Chief Osama Siblani has expressed public support for terrorist organizations. 

Examples of the anti-Semitic and conspiratorial articles in the Arab American News can be found in ADL’s Profile: Osama Siblani & The Arab American News

The Newseum stirred controversy in May 2013 when it included the names of two journalists from Hamas’s Al Aqsa TV as part of its ongoing memorial to journalists who lost their lives in the line of duty. Although the Newseum had indicated that it would “reevaluate” the inclusion of the journalists, the museum ultimately decided to include the names in the memorial.

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May 13, 2013

Spotlight On Al Aqsa Television

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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 governmentrun 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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