Al Jazeera, Amnesty International, media bias and anti-Semitism

The main financers of anti-Semitic propaganda today are Arab oil sheiks and international human rights organisations such as Amnesty International.

Al Jazeera financed by human rights abusers

Few of those who follow Al Jazeera — one of the world’s largest media outlets — are aware that it is financed and controlled by the government of Qatar. Only some 300,000 of Qatar’s 2.6 million residents are citizens and the country’s migrant workers are at times victims of forced labor and other human rights abuses.

Qatar jails people who engage in same-sex relations

Moreover members of the country’s LGBT community are imprisoned and consensual relations between same-sex adults is prohibited. On the one hand Al Jazeera fails to denounce such policies when they occur in the Muslim world, while on the other the media outlet portrays itself as a champion of progressive values. Even more shocking is the fact that many who regard themselves as progressive take Al Jazeera’s propaganda seriously.

Amnesty International finances editorial rants

Al Jazeera is full of reports and editorials from “human rights” organisations such as Amnesty International. An opinion piece by Amnesty International’s research and campaigns assistant Rachel Borrell on Al Jazeera English is a flaming editorial rant. Isn’t Amnesty International supposed to maintain some semblance of objectivity?

Al Jazeera reports one opinion only

Although Al Jazeera claims that it reports both sides of issues and that it is anti-Zionist and not anti-Semitic, the media outlet never portrays either Israel or Jews in any kind of favorable light. Portraying one side as demonic and then advocating that nobody speak to what is portrayed as the evil party (Zionists or Jews) is neither a form of communication nor is it progressive.

Jews are only mentioned in a positive manner if they oppose the Jewish state. Claiming that only one party is in the right and the other is demonic is a form of totalitarian and racist propaganda.

Stabbing people because of their origin is racist

According to the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, every Israeli Jew who supports Israel (the overwhelming majority) is some kind of demon and anyone who indiscriminately stabs Jews is a martyr. This is anti-Semitic and racist. However one looks in vain for opinion pieces which condemn such policies on Al Jazeera or other pro-Palestinian websites. Articles advocating all points of view can be found on many Jewish and Israeli websites.

Do “anti-Zionists” believe that Arabs are inferior and only capable of understanding one side of an issue?

An editorial policy which assumes that Arabs do not have the intellectual capacity to consider both sides of an issue is inherently racist.

Private discussion with a “Zionist Israeli friend”

Al Jazeera uses Jews who support the demonization of Israel as part of a one-sided political campaign. The “anti-racism Jewish Labour activist” Jackie Walker writes how she was “accused of anti-Semitism for criticising Israel.” Ms Walker writes that members of a Jewish advocacy group searched her Facebook account and uncovered a private discussion with “a Zionist Israeli friend and others about the African Holocaust and the fact that Jews — most notably my own Portuguese Jewish ancestors whose history I had researched — had been involved in the sugar and slave trade.”

Ms Walker was suspended from the British Labour Party for a number of controversial statements, including one in which she wrote that the Jewish people were “financiers of the sugar and slave trade.”

This kind of comment betrays an extremely limited sense of history and also makes an argument by taking an unrelated fact out of context.

Slave trade involved millions of people, not hundreds

The Arab slave trade resulted in the sale of many millions of slaves between the 7th century and today. Slavery in Africa has existed from time immemorial. Hundreds of thousands of merchants, sailors and plantation owners played a role in the Atlantic slave trade as did many African kingdoms, Arab traders, the British Empire, Portugal, the Dutch West Indies Company, France and Spain

At the time of the Atlantic slave trade most of the world’s Jews lived in poverty in Eastern Europe or the Muslim world. Pointing to the role played by hundreds of Portuguese Jewish families gives an extremely distorted impression. It also overlooks the fact that Judaism was the first religion to give slaves rights (it is forbidden for slaves and animals to work on the Sabbath).

Next: Jewish tradition, rebelling slaves and progressive policies in the three Guianas (French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana).

About the Author
Asaf Shimoni is an author, journalist and translator who returned to Israel in 2016 after spending 40 years abroad, most of them in the Netherlands. He grew up near Boston, made aliyah while living on a kibbutz (from 1973 to 1976), and graduated from Syracuse University in 1978. He also lived some 5 years in Sicily. He is currently in Amsterdam to sort our affairs. He believes that the media should be as critical and truthful as possible.
Related Topics
Related Posts