Al Jazeera English under Jewish infiltration
By Freedom Research, January 2012
[Note: underline of quotes in articles below have been added by Radio Islam for emphasis.]
When Al Jazeera English was launched many people had expectations that at last there would be an English language media outlet that wasn´t just a mouthpiece of the Jewish agenda. But lo - were they wrong.
Just a quick check on the opinionmakers employed by this "Arab" TV channel's Internet pages gives an astounding high percentage of people of the Jewish mafia, delivering their analysis and perspectives on how to interpret the world. A world very much affected by the actions of their Jewish co-mafiosi in world Economics, US/French/British/Russian politics, and so forth...
Al Jazeera English main page (screensaved), 11th September 2011, Jewish opinionmakers:
Weisbrot, Chomsky, Sachs, Falk, Miliband, Rogoff, Shabi (Iraqi Jewess)
+ Zionist Gordon Brown
Al Jazeera English main page (screensaved), 6th August 2011, Jewish opinionmakers:
Rosenberg, Rothman, Sachs, Rogoff, Miller, Rosenberg
And as the Arab Spring in 2011 continues this channel has been in the forefront of delivering the "information" But in whose interest? That the Libyan operation was very much supported by the very same Qatari rulers that direct the Al Jazeera channel is well known. But what is the role of the Jewish analysts in their folds?
In the sample below taken as screen savings from the Al Jazeera English´s main page (23 September 2011) we for instance see the Israeli Jew Nir Rosen acting as "Al Jazeera special correspondent" with access to the Syrian opposition, informing the audience on how the Syrian regime will be combated militarily (in September 2011 a possible development which just happens to be in Israel´s interest):
The same page, top right corner:
Even Israeli TV has realised the impact of Jews in Al Jazeera's midst, see Israeli TV clip below:
Note that the Israeli Jewish editor "Roy" at Al Jazeera English's Washington bureau openly wears the Star of David around his neck and himself states very revealingly that:
"I know that if I weren´t here, maybe they wouldn´t feature the Israeli side as much."
We thus also see the Jewess Joanne Levine as the executive producer of programming for the Americas at Al Jazeera.
Levine writes in the article "Al-Jazeera, as American as Apple Pie" in The Washington Post, 25 June 2006:
I'm a New York Jew married to a Jordanian Druze whom I met when I lived in Amman in 2002 on a fellowship. I heard plenty of anti-Semitic comments there from those who didn't suspect that I might be Jewish. Today, some people ask me how a Jew can work for al-Jazeera. It's that kind of thinking that builds up walls, rather than tearing them down. The racism I experienced was unacceptable in Jordan. And it is unacceptable in the United States.
Al-Jazeera has even been labeled "Zionist" by the Arab street and its regimes. It is the only Arabic broadcaster to put Israeli officials on television and to report the Israeli side of stories. Israeli leaders such as Ariel Sharon and Shimon Peres have been invited to appear on the network, although they ultimately did not. But Israel routinely sends Arabic-speaking officials to participate on various programs.
Jewess Joanne Levine, executive producer of programming at Al Jazeera.
Amongst other Jewish actives in Al Jazeera during the years we also see:
Iraqi Jewess Rachel Shabi a contributor to Al Jazeera English, see list of opinion makers above. Rachel Shabi´s book on Israel's Oriental Jews, "Not the Enemy: Israel's Jews from Arab Lands" was published in 2009 and received a National Jewish Book award. She's also a contributing writer to The Guardian, the Times, Jane's Intelligence Digest, Foreign Policy, the New Statesman and the National (UAE).
Avram David (Avi) Lewis is a Canadian-Jewish documentary filmmaker and host of the Al Jazeera English show Fault Lines. According to Wikipedia "Avi Lewis is the great grandson of Moshe Losz (Lewis), an outspoken member of the Jewish Bund". Avi Lewis, married to world famous Jewish journalist and author Naomi Klein, became host of Frontline USA for Al Jazeera television in 2008.
Arthur Neslen Jewish freelance journalist based in Tel Aviv and considered by his Jewish critics to have been "the first Jewish employee of Al Jazeera".
Jewess Rebecca Lipkin, deceased 2009, was a director of Al Jazeera's programs, AJ's executive producer for documentaries, and helped establish the network's English-language programming in London.
According to the Washington Post, July 24, 2009:
In 2005, Ms. Lipkin joined al-Jazeera in London as director of programs and helped establish the network's English-language programming in London. She was credited with bringing former ABC newsman Dave Marash to al-Jazeera as a news anchor in 2006.Lipkin has also been hailed in the Jewish Women's Archive (a site honouring influential Jewish women activists) after her death "as a proud Jew".
Lipkin thus introduced fellow Jew Dave Marash. The article below will also tell how Jew Dave Marash´s equally Jewish wife, Amy Marash, also was hired as Al Jazeera´s Washington bureau's deputy news editor.
From The Jewish Exponent,
Veteran ABC Newsman to Anchor Al Jazeera in English
New Jersey Jewish News
Veteran TV-news correspondent Dave Marash's recent assignments for ABC's Nightline have included stints in Iraq, Pakistan, areas affected by the Asian tsunami, Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Good training, perhaps, for the flak he's about to take for his latest career move: The former New Jersey resident will become an anchor for Al Jazeera International, an English-language news network based in Washington, D.C.
The 63-year-old veteran journalist - a familiar presence on New York local news before his years at the ABC network - insists the Arab-owned news satellite channel's agenda is one of "open discussion and information exchange and not … ideological triumphalism."
He pointed out that he is "not the only Jewish person they have hired, and they've made it quite clear that they regard my religious background as incidental to my professional credentials."
Preceding him on the AJI payroll was New Yorker Rebecca Lipkin, a colleague of his at Nightline, who's based in London as AJI's executive producer for documentaries.
In addition, his Jewish wife, Amy Marash, a former photographer and field producer at American networks, has been hired as the Washington bureau's deputy news editor.
"I don't believe Al Jazeera is anti-Semitic," said Marash. "I don't believe we are anti-Israeli. I don't believe we are anti-American. I don't believe we are anti-Western."
"I am very, very comfortable that I am not betraying my Jewish heritage or my American citizenship. But in this job, I think I am going to be able to express the best sides of my religious, cultural, social and political background. It is what makes this such an attractive job."
Marash draws a distinction between the new English-language service and the one now broadcasting in Arabic, which emanates from Doha, Qatar, and reaches an estimated 30 million viewers in the Arabic-speaking world.
"Let me make one point extremely clear," he said. "Al Jazeera in English is an entirely different channel."
Even as he stressed that difference, Marash said that "the philosophy of Al Jazeera's Arabic network is very much like our philosophy."
The broadcaster also argued that among Arab-language news-gatherers, Al Jazeera was the first to use Israeli sources: "If you believe in the possibility of peace and reconciliation between Israel and the Palestinians, between Jews and Arabs, between the West and the Islamic worlds - any way you draw the line in the clash of civilizations and cultures - Al Jazeera is the bridge."
Marash, who first began reporting for Nightline in 1989, is leaving the show as it undergoes major changes, including the departure of anchor Ted Koppel, who reportedly turned down an offer from Al Jazeera and has since joined the Discovery Network. Before Nightline, Marash was as an investigative reporter for WNBC-TV and the news anchor for WCBS-TV, both New York City-area stations.
Here we see Marash reiterating that Al Jazeera English is a different thing from Al Jazeera Arabic. Here we also see that the Jew Ted Koppel also was intended to be part of the Jewish cabal.
More on Marash, Al Jazeera's Jew, is read in the Jewish magazine Moment:
Moment, February 2007
A Jew in Al Jazeera's House
In the Studio with Dave Marash
Dave Marash is on the air, seated at the news anchor desk in a television studio on K Street in downtown Washington, DC. He’s reading his script from a teleprompter as he introduces a clip from a speech by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.
“Yikes,” he mutters into his microphone when the film clip fails to appear. This is live TV—glitches happen—and the 64-year-old veteran reporter is unfazed by the mishap, even slightly amused, eyes narrowing in his avuncular, cherubic face. Marash, his gray beard matching what little hair remains on his head, ad-libs for a moment and promises to return as the network switches back to an anchor at its headquarters in Doha, Qatar.
I’m spending the afternoon with Marash, who joined Al Jazeera English in January 2006 in preparation for its November launch. Marash might seem an unlikely candidate to lend his expertise, mellifluous voice and prestige to an Arab network that hopes to compete with CNN, BBC and the new France 24. The highly respected veteran of radio and TV news spent the past 16 years parachuting into hot spots around the world as global correspondent for Ted Koppel’s Nightline on ABC. Oh, and by the way, this key figure for an Arab-owned and operated TV news network is Jewish.
“I am not a particularly observant Jew in the sense of going to temple, but Judaism, Jewish culture, Jewish ideas and Jewish debates have been at the heart of my life from the day I was born,” Marash tells me. “I look Jewish; I sound Jewish; I act Jewish. It’s obvious that I am Jewish. I have affirmed my Judaism in places like Iraq or Kosovo or the occupied territories, where there is some risk in doing this.”
At Al Jazeera English, Marash hosts two nightly newscasts and also provides news cut-ins in the afternoon, such as the one with the missing Annan clip. When I arrive, the network is airing Annan’s speech live. Marash is working on a script when the speech ends, so I turn my attention to a monitor next to his desk, on which a Georgetown University professor criticizes Annan for tolerating Saddam Hussein’s “flagrant violations” of UN resolutions and failing to halt Iran’s nuclear program.
The 2 p.m. news roundup, anchored from Doha, leads with the deaths of three children in Gaza, presumably at the hands of Hamas, whose father had ties to Fatah. Reports on Lebanese politics, North Korean nuclear talks, fighting in Sri Lanka and Iraqi violence follow. Particularly notable is a piece on Iran’s Holocaust-denial conference, which includes haunting footage of concentration camp survivors just after their rescue—footage that appeared on few American network TV newscasts later in the day. The report also features scenes of an Iranian protest rally, showing a student tearing up a photograph of Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
When Marash goes on the air a second time, the Annan clip runs without a hitch. His afternoon stint over, he rises from the anchor desk. Seated, Marash looks almost round, so it is a surprise to discover that he is nearly six feet tall. We walk to a nearby carryout shop, where he picks up a bowl of soup, and return to the office. As he eats at his cluttered desk, we schmooze—Marash’s word—and I ask what a nice Jewish boy like him is doing working for Al Jazeera.
Marash isn’t perturbed by my question. He’s used to this. “I did my due diligence,” he replies calmly. “I had my ‘mole’ inside the network. I read into the policies and history of the channel, and I found little to trouble me.”
Al Jazeera English, says Marash, shares this same commitment to top-notch international reporting. “The stories are all international. They’re all serious and significant. We have four news bases—London, Washington, Doha and Kuala Lumpur—with autonomy in setting our own priorities and creating our own assignments. The responsibility here is to cover not just Washington and the U.S. but the whole western hemisphere, so my global itch got scratched. And this is most critical to me: our qualitative standard is the highest, most nuanced of all the cable news channels. I find this job every bit as intellectually interesting and stimulating as Nightline.”
The son of a Jewish Community Center director in Richmond, Virginia, Marash believes it is crucial to distinguish between Al Jazeera in Arabic and Al Jazeera English. The first claims to reach 50 million Arabic speakers in 137 countries and focuses primarily on news and culture in the Middle East. The latter wants to be the first non-western international news source for a billion-plus English speakers worldwide, including millions of Muslims who don’t speak Arabic.
Supporters call the Arabic Al Jazeera an independent voice that gives Middle Eastern viewers a rare opportunity to hear all sides of the region’s many conflicts. Its breadth and unprecedented willingness to criticize Arab powers-that-be have led some to call it one of the most positive and significant cultural phenomena in centuries. Itamar Rabinovich, president of Tel Aviv University and former Israeli ambassador to the United States, remarked recently that, for all its problems, Al Jazeera is a force of “democratization” in the Middle East. But the network’s detractors—including a number of American media watchdog organizations, both Jewish and not—see it as a propaganda tool for opponents of the Jewish state, foes of America and western values and even terrorists.
Marash contends that the English-language Al Jazeera audience is more sophisticated by nature than viewers of the Arabic version. For most of its market, English is a second language, which suggests a certain level of education and appreciation of nuance. The Arabic-language network is, he says, more of a classic tabloid, the voice of the Arab street.[...]
Marash is firm in his defense of Al Jazeera’s overall coverage. “In their role of covering the news of the Arabic-speaking world, they have no choice but to carry hate speech, because it’s an active part of the ‘multilogue’ of politics and society in the Middle East,” he argues. “But there is a real attempt to balance hate speech with more moderate and informed voices. In fact, Al Jazeera has a unique record in the Middle East of allowing Israeli and other Jewish speakers unlimited opportunity to say whatever they want. Al Jazeera in Arabic doesn’t limit itself to friendly Israeli voices but regularly books some of the most hostile, anti-Islamic voices in the world Jewish community.”
In truth, Marash asserts, Al Jazeera and the Qatar royal family favor democratization and reconciliation in the Middle East. The network has criticized many Arab governments, he notes, and irked both Hamas and Fatah by its coverage. “Honesty is very important,” he says. “I am a Jew. I’m proud to be a Jew, but I am a Jew who still believes in the possibility of reconciliation with Judaism’s adversaries.
“I believe that Al Jazeera, probably more than any other point in the Arabic-speaking universe, has done more for reconciliation than any other institution I can name.”
Marash admits that Al Jazeera made a savvy public relations move by hiring a Jew as a key on-air figure for the English-language outlet. But, he adds, he’s not alone. “Al Jazeera English has at least a minyan here,” he quips. “You’d have to waive the gender part but, if we allow women in, we’ve certainly got a minyan.”
Marash’s Jewish identity and his obvious pride in it, has made some in the Arab world uneasy. There’s also concern that he and other western-trained journalists will somehow dilute the network’s Arab authenticity.
Marash bristles at the accusation on some Internet sites that he took the job because he is “a self-hating Jew.” “To me, that’s one of the most inherently illegitimate and insulting charges that can be made,” he says heatedly. He also points out that most reaction to Al Jazeera English in its early months has been positive. The “pre-action” anxiety, he says, that it would be anti-Jewish, anti-American, “maybe even pro-terrorist” has faded “like fog burned away by the morning sun because, if you watch us for even a few minutes, you’ll see that there’s nothing to any of those charges.”
Boris Weintraub (“A Jew in Al Jazeera’s House”) is a contributing editor at Moment who most
recently wrote about the revival of the Ladino language and culture in the April 2006 issue. He was a senior writer for National Geographic Magazine for 16 years.
Note: A "minyan" is a Jewish congregation consisting of minimum of 10 Jews.
The Jewish Daily Forward
Al Jazeera Gathering Draws a Full Minyan To Heart of Arab World
By Orly HalpernApril 27, 2007
Doha, Qatar - Some participants at the third-annual forum of the Arab satellite network Al Jazeera were sorry they didn’t bring matzo with them — had they known how many fellow Jews were attending the media conference, they would have made a Passover Seder.
“We could have used the hotel wine to fill our cups,” Mark LeVine said only half-jokingly. A professor of Middle East studies at University of California in Irvine, LeVine was one of several Jewish participants who attended the invitation-only conference in Doha, organized by Al Jazeera.
Ethan Zuckerman, whose wife is a Reform rabbi, said that he had originally planned to hold a Seder in Doha. “I told my wife, and she wrote me a two-page Haggadah,” he said, shortly after speaking on a panel on Internet and the media. “But I didn’t bring the matzo.”
The Jewish participants were by no means relegated to the sidelines.
New Yorker correspondent Seymour Hersh gave the keynote address; LeVine and International Herald Tribune executive editor Michael Oreskes were panelists, and David Marash, the Washington bureau anchor of Al Jazeera English, logged a stint as a moderator.
The relatively high number of Jewish academics, journalists and media experts who attended the event stood in stark contrast to the view in some circles that the network is anti-Jewish and anti-Western. Some critics have gone so far to brand it “Osama Bin-Laden’s TV Network,” a name which Al Jazeera executives say comes from the Bush administration and conservative American television commentators.
The general atmosphere at the event was open and friendly among Arab and Western participants. “If there is any antisemitism lurking around here, it hasn’t been directed at me,” said Danny Schechter in a heavy New York accent. “They make a distinction between U.S. or Israeli policy and religion.”
Schechter, vice president of Globalvision, a documentary film production company, said that he attended the event because “in the post-9/11 world it is imperative to understand what people think and this forum provides the opportunity to mingle, discuss and even to get into arguments.”
Like many other participants, his main criticisms were that few women participated and panel discussions were not engaging enough. Indeed, whether dressed in sharp suits and ties or starched white floor-length dishdashas and white head coverings, the well-heeled forum panelists mostly agreed with each other. If anything, it appeared that some of the Al Jazeera moderators were avoiding conflict.
During breaks between panels, however, there was plenty of chatter in the elegantly appointed lobby outside the conference hall, where participants shmoozed over hors d’oeuvres, and journalists and academics feverishly networked.
“To be here with the media makers and icons of the Western world as they converge with those of the Arab world is really inspiring,” said Nora Friedman, as she sat around a round table where she shared a buffet lunch with a number of American and Arab journalists. A 28-year-old producer at Pacifica Radio in Berkeley, Calif., a left-wing radio network that tends to be fiercely critical of American foreign policy, Friedman said that the forum was “building a bridge between the Western and Arab media and confronting the prejudices in the so-called ‘War on Terror.’”
“There is no problem with Jews here,” said Abdel Bari Atwan, editor-in-chief of the London-based Arabic-daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, a regular commentator on Middle East affairs who opposes American support for Israel as long as it occupies Palestinian territory.
In general, Al Jazeera officials took the same line, insisting that the network does not make distinctions based on race, religion or gender. When asked by e-mail to provide contact details for Jewish employees to be interviewed for this story, Lana Khachan, the senior spokesperson at Al Jazeera English refused. “We are not interested in pursuing a story based on our staff’s religion,” Khachan wrote back. “We have over 900 highly experienced staff based [around the world]. We have qualified people on board of all nationalities and religions each employed for their merit. The staff comprises of more than 30 different nationalities 45 ethnicities, enabling Al Jazeera English to provide a unique grassroots perspective on important world events and report on the untold stories from the under-reported regions of the world.”
Several of the top employees at the network’s English operation are Jewish: Marash and his wife Amy work in the Washington bureau with an Israeli-American producer, and former BBC journalist Tim Sebastian moderates the televised monthly Doha Debates.
Al Jazeera has been harshly criticized in the West for providing airtime to terrorists like Osama bin Laden, but it notes that American networks borrowed that material. It was also the first Arabic network to give Israelis air time. “Al Jazeera was seriously attacked by Arabs — Islamist, nationalist, and even governments like Saudi Arabia — for inviting Israeli journalists and government officials to present their point of view,” Atwan said.
Despite the network’s declared dedication to openness, not one member of the Israeli media was present at the forum, even though the Israeli YES satellite carrier pushed BBC Prime off air to make room for Al Jazeera English, which already boasts of having 500,000 homes viewing in Israel. The absence of Israelis was particularly noticeable given the theme of this year’s event: “Media and the Middle East, Beyond the Headlines.”
“I don’t know the reasons no Israeli journalists attended, but I think there is a general attitude of talking about peace with Israel but not talking to Israel,” said Yoav Stern, the Arab Affairs correspondent of the Israeli daily Ha’aretz.
“I think it’s a pity,” said Stern, who is frequently interviewed in Arabic on Al Jazeera. “I know that Al Jazeera specifically can make pioneering decisions in this regard, because it has credibility and trust from its viewers.
Apart from this policy of infiltration we also see outright plans of Jewish overtake of the ownership of the channel. The 2004 article Israeli millionaire to purchase 50% of Al-Jazeera shares was the first on this theme, but it has since been repeated.
Israeli paper Ha'aretz, online edition:
Egypt-born Jew looks to buy 50% of Al-Jazeera
Haim Saban first showed a reported interest in the Doha -based network after a visit in 2004.By Nimrod Halpern
Egyptian-born Jewish businessman Haim Saban is negotiating with Qatar's emir the purchase of 50 percent of the Al Jazeera television network, the independent Egyptian newspaper Al-Mesryoon reported earlier this week.
Saban was first reported to be negotiating the purchase of half the Doha -based network in 2004, after visiting the emirate with former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
The media mogul, estimated to be worth more than $3 billion, brought the Power Rangers franchise to the Arab world and made a fortune out of developing and selling the Fox Family cable network together with News Corp. In Israel, Saban owns a controlling stake in Bezeq.
Last month Saban blasted calls to boycott Israel for the occupation of the West Bank. He called those who support boycotting the Toronto film festival's decision to showcase Tel Aviv "anti-Semites" and "Jew haters."
"The world always had anti-Semites," the Hollywood financier told the Los Angeles Times in an e-mail exchange last month. "It has now and always will, but the people of Israel always have, and always will live and prosper. Sorry Jew haters. You lose."
Among the artists who signed the petition calling for a boycott of the festival's Tel Aviv Week in August were Ken Loach, Julie Christie, Danny Glover, David Byrne and Jane Fonda ¬ though Fonda later retracted her decision.
Meanwhile, a number of Hollywood Jews, including Jerry Seinfeld, Sacha Baron Cohen and Natalie Portman, issued a counter-statement in defense of the festival's decision.
More on Zionist Jew Haim Saban can be read in our list of powerful media Jews in the section on The Jewish Hollywood.
As if this wasn´t enough Wikileaks documents have also appeared that shed light on the Al Jazeera channel bowing for U.S. dictats.
FP - Foreign Policy
What Wikileaks Tells Us About Al Jazeera
Is the rapidly expanding Middle East satellite television network and voice of the Arab Spring as independent as it claims?
BY OMAR CHATRIWALA | SEPTEMBER 19, 2011
Al Jazeera has been making waves in the Middle East ever since it aired its first broadcast on Nov. 1, 1996. In its news dispatches and talk shows, the pan-Arab satellite channel, which is funded by the state of Qatar, has been a strident critic of U.S. foreign policies in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Palestinian Territories, even while it has been a thorn in the side of many an Arab autocrat. But after the last dump of leaked U.S. diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks, on Aug. 30, articles have begun to circulate -- especially in Iranian and Syrian media outlets -- about Al Jazeera's close relationship with a surprising interlocutor: the U.S. government.
In particular, a newly released cable issued by the U.S. Embassy in Doha and signed by then ambassador Chase Untermeyer, details a meeting between an embassy public affairs official and Wadah Khanfar, Al Jazeera's director general, in which the latter is said to agree to tone down and remove what the United States terms "disturbing Al Jazeera website content."
There have been longstanding accusations that Al Jazeera serves as an arm of its host nation's foreign policy, and earlier leaked documents referred to the news organization as "one of Qatar's most valuable political and diplomatic tools," which could be used as "a bargaining tool to repair relationships with other countries." Another document urges Sen. John Kerry to engage the Qatari government on Al Jazeera during a visit to the Gulf country, saying, "there are ample precedents for a bilateral dialogue on Al Jazeera as part of improving bilateral relations."
Despite those assertions by U.S. diplomatic sources, both the network and the Qatari government fiercely insist that it is editorially independent and free from interference.
Skeptics take the latest leak as proof, though, that Al Jazeera is susceptible to external pressures, not least in part due to the document's summary:
PAO [Public affairs officer] met 10/19 with Al Jazeera Managing Director Wadah Khanfar to discuss the latest DIA [U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency] report on Al Jazeera and disturbing Al Jazeera website content.... Khanfar said the most recent website piece of concern to the USG [U.S. government] has been toned down and that he would have it removed over the subsequent two or three days. End summary.
In what some are seizing upon as evidence of an American-Qatari conspiracy, the cable, dated October 2005, continues with a quote from Khanfar saying, "We need to fix the method of how we receive these reports," mentioning that he had found one of them "on the fax machine."
Later, there is a reference in the memo to a sort of understanding that's been reached between Al Jazeera and the U.S. government:
On a semantic level, [Khanfar] objected to the use of the word "agreement" as used in the August report on the first page, under the heading "Violence in Iraq", where a sentence reads: "In violation of the station's agreement several months ago with US officials etc". "The agreement was that it was a non-paper," said Khanfar. [A non-paper is diplomatic jargon for a proposal that is unofficial and has not been committed to.] "As a news organization, we cannot sign agreements of this nature, and to have it here like this in writing is of concern to us."
Leaving it at that, the cable appears to be a smoking gun showing Al Jazeera at the U.S. government's beck and call. Iran-owned Press TV uses this to conclude that "the US government has previously had a say in what content to appear on the al-Jazeera website." The website ArabCrunch similarly denounced Al Jazeera for responding to U.S. pressure, and says the cable "might have revealed the reason behind the AJ one sided coverage of Iraq in the recent years." Read in their full context, though, this and other leaked cables tell a very different story.
Khanfar could not be reached for comment, and Al Jazeera has made no official response to the latest claims, but a source at the channel told Foreign Policy that these sorts of meeting between high-level Al Jazeera management and U.S. officials are standard practice, and continue today. Elaborating, he said that representatives of numerous diplomatic missions regularly bring lists of complaints to Al Jazeera, but that doesn't mean they are heeded or given undue weight.
The controversial cable actually backs up this comment to a certain extent, detailing Khanfar arguing with some points made in the U.S. government report presented to him by the embassy representative. "Some are simple mistakes which we accept and address," he said. Other points, such as airing views not favorable to the United States, are taken out of context, given that the contrasting opinion would have its due in a later report, he said. Khanfar also tells the representative that some grievances can't be addressed, including the use of "terrorist tapes" on air, which he insists is the network's policy so long as they are edited for newsworthiness. And obviously, he states, he can't very well prevent guests or interviewees from using language deemed by the U.S. government as "inflammatory."
Reviewing the "troublesome website material" Khanfar agreed to tone down, the U.S. public affairs officer cites a sensationalistic report carried by Al Jazeera's Arabic website:
The site opens to an image of bloody sheets of paper riddled with bullet holes. Viewers click on the bullet holes to access testimony from ten alleged "eye witnesses"...
The unnamed U.S. officer tells Khanfar that the report "came across as inflammatory and journalistically questionable." It then says, "Khanfar appeared to repress a sigh but said he would have the piece removed."
Al Jazeera -- while lauded internationally for the quality of its broadcasts -- has more than once had to backpeddle on content carried by the Aljazeera.net website, which operates somewhat autonomously from the Arabic channel in an office across town. In 2007, for example, the site carried a poll asking readers if they "support Al Qaeda's attacks in Algeria." A majority of the poll's 30,000 respondents answered yes, sparking a furor from the Algerian media, accusing the channel of legitimizing al Qaeda. The website's manager later said posting the poll was a grave error and had been done without his permission.
Beyond this specific memo, WikiLeaks has published more than 30 cables from the U.S. Embassy in Doha with the label Al Jazeera, and many more making mention of the news organization, ranging in date from September 2005 to February 2010. But the portrait the leaked cables paint is not evidence of any sort of conspiracy so much as an organization struggling to maintain professional standards.
he next available cable documents an earlier meeting between Khanfar and the embassy's public affairs officer, in which the Al Jazeera director likens the "War on Terror" to Osama bin Laden's tactic of saying, "You're either with us, or against us." Khanfar insists Al Jazeera belongs in neither camp.
Another document from 2005 describes steps Al Jazeera has taken to shore up shifting standards in quality:
Khanfar noted that he holds a daily 1pm meeting with an AJ quality assurance team entrusted with implementing AJ's code of ethics and conduct, which views and anlayzes all Al Jazeera programming, looking for lapses in professionalism, balance and objectivity. "That meeting is very tight, tighter even than your list," said Khanfar.
The author of that cable concludes that Khanfar "is clearly committed to bringing Al Jazeera up to professional international standards of journalism and ... seems to be not only open to criticism but to welcome it."
Following up, U.S. Embassy officials later met with Jaafar Abbas Ahmed, the head of Al Jazeera's Quality Assurance (QA) unit, who, they said was frank about "resistance and hostility" from the channel's older generation of journalists. Abbas told them some Al Jazeera staff treat the quality assurance team with suspicion, referring to them at times as the KGB and CIA.
Then in another push to counter the impact of information, the Jews have finally organized themselves into creating something they call the "Jewish Al Jazeera".
From the Israeli site YNet News:
Coming soon: Jewish 'al-Jazeera'
Dr. Alexander Mashkevich announces plan to form pro-Israel international news network. 'It won't be a propaganda channel, but will simply tell the truth,' he tells Ynet during Jewish leaders conference
WASHINGTON - Dr. Alexander Mashkevich, president of the United Israel Appeal's annual conference of Jewish leaders in Washington, has announced his plan to form a pro-Israel international news network, similar to al-Jazeera and the BBC.
This year's conference focused on attempts to deal with the de-legitimization campaign against Israel, and was attended by some 200 Jewish community leaders and key philanthropists.
Al-Jazeera studio in Washington (Photo: MCT)
An announcement on the creation of the international news network was made at the end of the conference, with the aim of dealing with anti-Israel defamation in the media and influence public opinion.
Mashkevich, who also serves as president of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, said that the network would offer programs in English, French, Arabic and Spanish, focusing on news only.
"My intention is not to create a propaganda channel," he told Ynet, "but simply a channel telling the truth.
"Unfortunately, in the current situation most channels simply don't tell the truth about Israel," he explained. "Every day that passes we lose the battle for Israel's image. I am sure that Goldstone is a decent person, who didn't want to damage Israel consciously and intentionally, but if everything he gets from the media every day is anti-Israel propaganda, I assume it's hard to make the right decisions."
Presentation within 3-4 months
Mashkevich, whose fortune is estimated at some $3.7 billion, plans to recruit other philanthropists and senior businesspeople for the mission. "The international de-legitimization has become a huge risk for Israel," he adds.
Anchor Anderson Cooper. 'We'll get talents from everywhere'
"It's unthinkable that Israel has no television network like the channels operated by countries such as the United States, Britain and Russia. The creation of such a channel is necessary, and does not require something out of nothing, as there are existing models we can work according to."
The channel is in the thinking stages, without a target date for the launching or even a revelation of the other names behind it. All Mashkevich agreed to say was that it would be a private, independent channel.
"We are preparing a work program, and in about three-four months we'll hold a presentation in Israel. We'll purchase talents from all other channels," he promised. "From BBC, CNN – everyone."
'If we don't fight back, we'll be in trouble'
The conference was also attended by outgoing Israeli Ambassador to Britain and newly appointed Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor, and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, who analyzed the anti-Israeli incitement on international media.
Student protest in UK (Photo: Leon Ferri)
"We deal with creating awareness," said Prosor. "Today there isn't one university campus in Britain which I, as an Israeli ambassador, can enter without facing horrible protests. If we don't fight back – we'll be in trouble.
"The current situation is that Jewish students in Britain feel uncomfortable in their own campuses. What I saw in Britain could definitely be seen here, in the United States, in the coming years," he warned the Jewish community leaders.
Prosor told Ynet that the organizations behind the de-legitimization must be exposed, denounced and suffer a counter attack. "We have no choice but to strike back at them, to give a 'price tag' to those who demonize Israel. Too much is at stake here. We are all at the front, but if we coordinate, we'll be able to win the battle."
'Situation like in 1947'
"It's time for us to stop complaining about how bad Israel's PR is," added Hoenlein. "It's not just Israel that's in danger – but all of us. The entire Jewish people are under attack, and this is about the future of all the Jewish people.
Hoenlein with Peres. 'World recognizes Jewish power, Jews don't'
(Photo: Avi Hayun)
"Those who undermine Israel's right to self-defense – hurt the entire Jewish people's right to self-defense. We are not talking about a situation like in 1967, but like in 1947 – about the entire Jewish people's right to exist.
"If we unite, others will join us too. So we must launch a well-coordinated campaign. It's unthinkable that according to research we've conducted, the European governments are more committed to Israel than the public opinion in those countries. These are the enemies rising to destroy us – from the inside and the outside.
"Jews today have power, and the entire world recognizes it – apart from the Jews. We can make a difference, if only we remember that it's a battlefield. We must educate our children from an early age – know what to answer."
Hoenlein believes the establishment of a news network like al-Jazeera is vital. "People are influenced by it," he says, revealing that he has already held several meetings in a bid to strike a collaboration with media organizations and Israeli governmental bodies.
Mashkevich recently bought an apartment in Israel and lives in the country. He is considered one of the most influential Jewish oligarchs in the world, and a "warm Jew" who donates in many fields close to his heart. He built seven synagogues in different countries, named "Beit Rachel" after his mother, and donated 17 Torah scrolls. He also participates in the bringing in of each new Torah scroll.
"I still remember as a child, how difficult it was for me to get to the synagogue, which was far away and crowded," he said.
His parents fled the Nazis and gave him "a proud Jewish education". His childhood in Kyrgyzstan contributed to shaping his Jewish awareness as well. "In Soviet Russia people would never let me forget I was a Jew, not for one day," he said.
"I feel the persecution of Jews on my skin. We can't just be indifferent. Every year the situation gets worse, and we monitor it. People tend to think that the American Congress members know the truth about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but it's not true. All their information comes from the media.
"Seventy percent of what the international media reports in terms of the conflict is of anti-Israel nature. We check the 'anti-Semitism index' in 27 countries, and there is definitely a rise in anti-Semitism, which I believe is a direct result of what the media reports."