Employees of Qatar based Al-Jazeera at the Jerusalem office. (Photo by Mahmoud Ibrahem/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Amid Backlash, Al Jazeera Pulls Anti-Semitic Video, Suspends Journalists

The Qatar-owned Al Jazeera news network has pulled an Arabic-language video that questioned the scope of the Holocaust, accused the Jewish people of exploiting the genocide in order to create Israel, and suggested that Zionism derives from Nazism. “The main ideology behind the ‘State of Israel’ is based on religious, national and geographic concepts that suckled from the Nazi spirit,” said journalist Muna Hawwa in the seven-minute clip. The film drew sharp condemnations from Jewish groups, which accused Al Jazeera of promoting anti-Semitism. Amid the backlash, the pan-Arab station tweeted: “Al Jazeera Media Network deleted a video produced by AJ+ Arabic because it violated editorial standards.” The network also suspended two journalists, although their identities were not disclosed. In her piece, Hawwa further contended that “the much-regurgitated narrative of the sorrows of the Holocaust paved the way for Jewish immigration to Palestine. Israel is the biggest winner… and it uses the same Nazi justifications as a launching pad for the racial cleansing and annihilation of the Palestinians.” In response, Israel’s Foreign Ministry described the clip as “the worst kind of pernicious evil… [and] how Al Jazeera brainwashes young people in the Arab world and perpetuates hatred of Israel and the Jews.”

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