Al Jazeera suspends journalists over Holocaust video
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Al Jazeera suspends journalists over Holocaust video

Network says clip alleging that Israel uses Nazi ‘racial cleansing’ against Palestinians was produced ‘without due oversight’

Screenshot of Al Jazeera video alleging Israel exploited the Holocaust that the network pulled off the internet May 18, 2019, citing violations of its editorial policy. (Middle East Media Research Institute, Screenshot)
Screenshot of Al Jazeera video alleging Israel exploited the Holocaust that the network pulled off the internet May 18, 2019, citing violations of its editorial policy. (Middle East Media Research Institute, Screenshot)

The Al Jazeera media network on Sunday suspended two journalists responsible for a video claiming the extent of the Holocaust was being misrepresented by Jews.

The clip, posted by Al Jazeera’s online AJ+ Arabic service, claimed “the narrative” that the Nazis killed six million Jews was “adopted by the Zionist movement.

In a statement, Dr. Yaser Bishr, executive director of the broadcaster’s digital division, said the Arabic-language video, since removed from the website, “contravened the Network’s editorial standards.”

“Al Jazeera completely disowns the offensive content in question,” Bishr said, adding the network “would not tolerate such material on any of the Network’s platforms.”

Posted on its website and social media, the Al Jazeera video questioned Holocaust history, accused Jews of exploiting the massacres of their European communities in order to establish the State of Israel, and suggested that Zionism itself is derived from Nazi ideology.

“Israel is the biggest winner from the Holocaust and it uses the same Nazi justifications as a launching pad for the racial cleansing and annihilation of the Palestinians,” journalist Muna Hawwa said in the video.

Although Bishr did not name the two suspended journalists, Hawwa narrated the video, some of which was translated by the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a non-government organization that translates foreign language material. MEMRI tweeted a version of the video with English language translation.

In the company statement, Al Jazeera’s managing director of its digital content, Dima Khatibsaid, said the video had been produced “without due oversight” and that “workflows are being reviewed to make sure all production goes through the proper editorial channels at all times.”

On Saturday, the Foreign Ministry in Israel said the video aimed to “brainwash” young Arabs to hate Israel.

“This AJ+ ‘explanation’ of the Holocaust is the worst kind of pernicious evil,” the Foreign Ministry tweeted. “That’s how Al Jazeera brainwashes young people in the Arab world and perpetuates hatred of Israel and the Jews.”

In 2017, Israel threatened to close the local offices of Al Jazeera, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accusing the broadcaster of incitement driving deadly terror attacks. Some regional Arab states have shuttered the broadcaster’s offices, accusing it of inciting violence.

AFP contributed to this report.

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