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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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January 31, 2013 1

App Developer Supplies Iranian Broadcasts Despite International Efforts

A UK-based mobile appli­ca­tion devel­oper named Shab­bir Has­sanally has cre­ated a series of apps allow­ing users to access news from a num­ber of Iran­ian tele­vi­sion sta­tions whose trans­mis­sions have been blocked since late last year.

Has­sanally is the co-founder Code of Zero, a firm respon­si­ble for the devel­op­ment of offi­cial apps for sev­eral of Iran­ian news sta­tions, includ­ing Iran’s English-language pro­pa­ganda sta­tion Press TV, and its sis­ter sta­tion, Spanish-language His­pan TV, both of which pro­mote vir­u­lent anti-Semitic and anti-West propaganda.

The apps are avail­able for down­load in the Apple App Store and Google Mar­ket­place for free and allow Iran­ian pro­pa­ganda to reach an even wider audience.

In Octo­ber 2012, the France-based satel­lite car­rier Eutel­sat banned the broad­cast of 19 tele­vi­sion and radio sta­tions from Iran’s state broad­caster, Islamic Repub­lic of Iran Broad­cast­ing (IRIB). A cou­ple months later, His­panSat, a Spain-based satel­lite provider that broad­cast His­pan TV, fol­lowed suit and ended its trans­mis­sion of IRIB sta­tions. Both satel­lite car­ri­ers have cited EU sanc­tions against Iran as part of the basis to dis­con­tinue the trans­mis­sion of IRIB sta­tions in the West.

Has­sanally has a his­tory of involve­ment with Iranian-backed pro­grams and orga­ni­za­tions. Has­sanally was respon­si­ble for the man­age­ment of the offi­cial web­site for the 2012 Global March To Jerusalem (GMJ), a cam­paign that coor­di­nated efforts by activists to cross Israel’s bor­ders and enter Jerusalem. Addi­tion­ally, Has­sanally hosts the offi­cial site for the Ahlul­Bayt Islamic Mis­sion (AIM), a UK-based Shi’a orga­ni­za­tion that pro­motes the Iran­ian regime’s ideology.

In Decem­ber 2012, the Anti-Defamation League released its report, Iran’s Press TV: Broad­cast­ing Anti-Semitism To The Eng­lish Speak­ing World.

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December 21, 2012 1

Violent Resistance” Makes Comeback in Wake of Pillar of Defense

Through­out Oper­a­tion Pil­lar of Defense, the recent clash between Israel and Hamas oper­a­tives in Gaza that came to an end almost a month ago, anti-Israel activists expressed sup­port for Hamas and vio­lent resis­tance against Israel. Ral­lies across the U.S. included chants of “intifada, intifada” and hos­tile mes­sages posted on Face­book and other social media plat­forms also sided with Hamas and joy­fully announced that the “resis­tance has reached Tel Aviv!”

Inter­est­ingly, this sort of extreme rhetoric has not fully ebbed since the lat­est oper­a­tion came to a close. At an event on Wednes­day called “Resis­tance and Rev­o­lu­tion: Gaza, the Arab Spring, and the new Mid­dle East,” which was held in down­town Brook­lyn, sev­eral pan­elists acknowl­edged that vio­lence is a nec­es­sary part of the “rev­o­lu­tion” against Israel.

Lamis Deek, a founder of Al-Awda, even crit­i­cized the Mus­lim Brotherhood’s lead­er­ship in Egypt for seiz­ing and con­fis­cat­ing an arms ship­ment en route to Gaza from Libya, using it as an exam­ple of Egypt’s exces­sive “pro-Israel” posi­tion. She also included in her remarks, which were titled “Pales­tine and the Right of Resis­tance,” praise for the lan­guage of the cease­fire agree­ment between Israel and Hamas pre­cisely because the text did not include a call for the recog­ni­tion of the state of Israel.

Sherry Wolf, an activist with the Inter­na­tional Social­ist Orga­ni­za­tion and the event’s spon­sor, sim­i­larly claimed that out­siders “can’t dic­tate the type of resis­tance” used by Pales­tini­ans and that there should be no expec­ta­tion of a “resis­tance ‘Dream Team.’” Wolf has pre­vi­ously advo­cated an explic­itly pro-terrorist posi­tion. On Novem­ber 20, a day before the cease­fire was declared, Wolf pub­lished an arti­cle on the Social­ist Worker’s web­site titled, “Gaza’s Right to Resist Israeli Ter­ror.” In the arti­cle, she called “Hamas’ mil­i­tary resis­tance” a “source of tremen­dous pride” and said that those who stand with the oppressed ought to defend the “right of Pales­tini­ans to resist the ter­ror of the Israeli mil­i­tary machine.”

Wolf has been invited to speak on sev­eral col­lege cam­puses in recent weeks, includ­ing at New York Uni­ver­sity and Williams Col­lege in Mass­a­chu­setts. Her appear­ances are gen­er­ally spon­sored by social­ist stu­dent groups and Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine.

There is also evi­dence of increased sup­port for Pales­tin­ian resis­tance beyond the U.S. At the Uni­ver­sity of Lon­don tomor­row, an event called “Gaza: Refo­cus­ing Resis­tance, How the resis­tance in Gaza has refo­cused the Arab Spring” will take place. Speak­ers sched­uled to appear at the event include Roshan Muhammed Salih, a cor­re­spon­dent for Iran’s government-run Eng­lish lan­guage news net­work PressTV, and Sukant Chan­dan, a London-based activist who sup­ports Hezbol­lah and praised the sec­ond intifada dur­ing his speech at an Al Quds Day rally in Lon­don last August.

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