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Al-Jazeera Arabic: The Qatari-Owned TV Channel That Promotes Islamist Terrorism Worldwide

By *By Yigal Carmon who is President and Founder of MEMRI.

February 29, 2024 , MEMRI




Introduction


The Al-Jazeera TV network is an arm of the Qatari regime. It is owned by the government and carries out its foreign policy by means of indoctrination of the Arabic-speaking masses worldwide. Al-Jazeera, therefore, should not be discussed as a means of telecommunications, but instead as an unyielding and forceful political tool of Qatari foreign policy under the guise of a mass media network.


This report will present the policies of Qatar and will review how these policies are implemented through Al-Jazeera, discussing the current Israel-Hamas war as a case study of Al-Jazeera's role and activities.


It includes an extensive appendix containing reports, video clips and policy assessments on Qatar and Al-Jazeera. The material included in the 300-page appendix spans a five-year period between 2018 and early 2023, and contains briefs and analyses written by MEMRI Vice-President and former U.S. ambassador Alberto M. Fernandez and MEMRI President and Founder Yigal Carmon. The appendix also includes reports on Qatar, focusing on three topics: Islamism, jihad and terrorism; Al-Jazeera and the Qatar press; and Qatar's relations with Iran and the Afghan Taliban. A 50-page review of Qatar's Islamic Education School Textbooks for the first half of the 2018-2019 school year is also included.

Notable in the appendix is a report in MEMRI’s Inquiry and Analysis series titled "Al-Jazeera Unmasked", written by Amb. Fernandez and MEMRI TV Director Yotam Feldner, which contains an extensive compilation of MEMRI TV video clips.[1]



The Two Faces Of Qatar: A Wahhabi/Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Organization In The Guise Of A Modern State


Qatar is a Wahhabi/Muslim Brotherhood extremist entity in the guise of a supposedly modern nation state. Wahhabism is an 18th-century movement espousing a return to 7th-century Islam, including uniting the Muslim world under the banner of Jihad. Indeed, former Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Aal Thani (father of the current Emir) praised himself as being directly descended from 18th-century cleric Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab, the hardline ideological founder of Wahhabism.[2]


Former Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Aal Thani


Qatar's implementation of its doctrine of Wahhabi/Muslim Brotherhood Islam is three-pronged: it promotes Islamist terrorist organizations worldwide; it strives to topple secular authoritarian regimes in the Arab and Muslim world under the guise of fighting dictatorships; and it uses its wealth for educational, social, religious and political movements in both the East and the West in order to expand its influence and further its aims.


Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (left) welcoming Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani (right) at the presidential palace in Tehran, Iran, May 12, 2022 (Credit Image: ©️Iranian Presidency via ZUMA Press Wire)


In order to disguise its Wahhabi/Muslim Brotherhood goals, Qatar has adopted a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde persona. To improve its reputation in the West it is involved in a variety of whitewashing activities. It provides financial support to a wide range of political individuals and movements in cash-for-influence schemes (see, for example, the European Qatargate scandal[3] and the U.S. Senator Bob Menendez indictment on accusations of bribery[4]). It has developed extensive economic enterprises and many educational initiatives in the West. Qatar provides financing to many American universities and think tanks in D.C.,[5] and some universities have opened branches in Qatar.[6] Thus, for example, the state endowed a Middle East studies chair in Northwestern University, and the institute partnered with Al-Jazeera to open a school of journalism in Doha.[7] Cornell, Georgetown, Carnegie Mellon, Virginia Commonwealth, and Texas A&M all have branches in the Qatari capital.[8] Comprehensive research on Qatari funding of American universities was conducted by the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP).[9]


Qatar engages in sportswashing: since 2011 it has owned the majority shares in the Paris Saint-Germain F.C., and in 2022 it hosted the World Cup.[10]


Through all these efforts Qatar has broadened its influence to the point that it is capable of preventing any government from pushing back against its Islamist policies and terroristic activities out of fear of economic repercussions.


To the Western world Qatar portrays itself as a modern Westernized political player, engaged in conflict mediation (usually in order to legitimize the terrorist organizations it supports, such as Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and Hamas), and as a benevolent force, providing humanitarian aid (for example, bringing 59 plane loads of aid to Gaza).[11] Al-Jazeera English is the main tool serving this Dr. Jekyll persona in the Anglo-American media space. In the Arab and Muslim world, however, every person on the street – unlike the top political, military and intelligence echelons in Israel and the West – is well aware of the Mr. Hyde face of Qatar and knows that the Qatari regime is the mega-promoter of terrorism and Islamism worldwide (giving safe haven to the future mastermind of 9/11, for example, and preventing the FBI from arresting him).[12] Qatar engages in "doublespeak": on the one hand, its leaders stress that they are committed to conflict resolution, while on the other hand, they maintain ties with top terror operatives.[13] The Qatari school curricula glorify Jihad and martyrdom, presenting them as virtues and divine Islamic commandments[14].


Qatari school textbook teaches about Jihad


Indeed, the main reason for the confusion in the West regarding Qatar's role is the fact that the U.S. Air Force operates in Qatar with its CENTCOM base in Al-Udaid. This base, hosting thousands of American troops, however, was offered to the U.S. in order to serve the ruling Qatari family as a protective shield, at a critical time when the former emir, Hamad bin Khalifa Aal Thani, carried out a coup against his father and Qatar's neighbors was threatening to reverse the coup. Qatar built the base for the Americans at almost exactly the same time that it first launched Al-Jazeera Television. It is today the largest American military base in the Middle East, a very valuable property. Indeed, in 2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt declared a boycott on Qatar in an effort to stem its pro-terrorist policies – and the U.S. once again came to Qatar's rescue. To this day, the Qatari regime is protected by this base, without which the ruling Qatari family would have been pushed out by the country's neighbors. The Qatari rulers, therefore, owe their survival to the presence of this base, which the U.S. could have used to demand that Qatar cease its sponsorship of terrorism. Unfortunately, the U.S. is acting as if it is held hostage by Qatar.


Qatar's Support For Islamist Terrorist Organizations Over The Years


Among the Islamist terrorist organizations that Qatar and Al-Jazeera have supported over the years are the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda, the Taliban,[15] Hizbullah, the Al-Nusrah Front/ Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham, ISIS, Hamas, and even the Shiite Iranian proxies in Yemen, Ansar Allah (the Houthis), which are currently engaged in direct conflict with the U.S. and other Western countries.[16] The International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), a key element of Muslim Brotherhood thought in the Muslim world, is located in Doha. For many years Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and Chairman of the IUMS, was granted safe haven in Doha when he fled Egypt, and he was given a weekly hour-long religious program on Al-Jazeera to promote the Muslim Brotherhood version of Islam. He used this program to espouse antisemitic, homophobic and anti-Western views and to praise the Holocaust and promise another one – this time "at the hand of the believers".[17]


Qatari Emir Aal Thani embraces Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi


The IUMS has a long history of Jihad and martyrdom-seeking justification, as well as homophobic and anti-Semitic rhetoric. Al-Qaradhawi's successor Ali Al-Qaradaghi shared his mentor's hardline views on Jihad and actively promoted Muslim Brotherhood ideology.[18] For example, following a shooting in Jerusalem in January 2023, in which seven Israelis were killed, IUMS member 'Atiyya 'Allan praised the perpetrator and said that the Quran explicitly calls to wage Jihad.[19]


In 2017, an Indian cleric, Salman Al-Nadwi, a member of the IUMS Board of Trustees, was deported from Oman to Qatar after lambasting the Saudi monarch and the U.S. and then U.S. President Trump.[20]


Indian cleric Salman Al-Nadwi calls to "raid the European countries, raid America, raid all the countries

of the world, raid all the continents, by means of the holy Quran"[21]


Al-Jazeera was the prime power for toppling the secular authoritarian regime in Egypt, when Qatar, by means of Al-Jazeera, supported the Muslim Brotherhood in ousting then Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. Al-Jazeera, the single most significant platform for mainstreaming jihadi and Muslim Brotherhood ideology, was the power that accorded Mohamed Morsi his victory.[22]


Qatar Is Responsible For The Growth Of Hamas From A Small Organization To A Military And Political Power


Qatar has established itself as an indispensable ally to Hamas, and has built up the organization's capabilities, transforming it over the past 15 years into a global organization with an army in Gaza and significant political status worldwide. It has achieved this by funneling billions of dollars into the Gaza Strip, enabling Hamas to build its military force into a significant power of 30,000–40,000 fighters, with a huge arsenal of missiles, drones and multicopters, vehicles including a fleet of ambulances to be used for military, rather than medical purposes, motorcycles for combat, and other combat equipment and a tremendous amount of munitions. It also enabled the construction of the Gaza "underground" – hundreds of kilometers of fortified tunnels, according to Hamas. All this has been carried out with the endorsement and support of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, for a myriad of reasons.[23]


Qatar provides a safe haven for the terrorist organization's operations and leadership. It is home to the Political Bureau of Hamas, including Hamas leader Isma'il Haniyeh, who relocated there in January 2020, as well as its former leader Khalid Mash'al, and Hamas's spokesman Ezzat al-Rishq.[24] The close connection between Haniyeh and the Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Aal Thani can be seen in their beaming faces in the photo below:[25]


Hamas political bureau head Isma'il Haniyeh with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Aal Thani

(source: qudspress.com)


Thus, in a very real and profound way, Qatar is Hamas, and Hamas is Qatar.


Hamas political bureau head Isma'il Haniyeh with former Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa

Aal Thani during a 2018 visit to Gaza (source: Agence France Presse Arabic)



Qatar: A Hotbed Of Homophobia


Anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment is pervasive in Qatar and is reflected in statements by official sources, in the press, and among Qataris on social media. When the World Cup was held in Doha in November 2022, the state was awash with expressions of homophobia. A former national football team member called homosexuality "damage in the mind," the Qatari parliament called to oppose "foreign ideas," hinting at the influx of LGBTQ+ visitors to the country, and Qataris weighed in on their social media accounts.[26] Homophobic rhetoric, already prevalent in the Qatari media, increased toward the event, with gays described as "perverts" who might "infect Arab and Islamic societies" and cause "moral degeneration".[27]


The World Cup as a Trojan horse bearing "cultures opposed to (Qatari) societal values"

(source: Al-Watan, Qatar, October 29, 2022)


When a Qatari diplomat was rejected as chair of a U.N. human rights forum after her racist, antisemitic, and homophobic views were exposed, a campaign of support for her was launched on Twitter and immediately became the top-trending hashtag in the country.[28]



Antisemitism Permeates Qatar's Media And Education


As mentioned above, IUMS Chairman Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi promoted anti-Semitic and homophobic views on his weekly Al-Jazeera TV program "Shari'a And Life", praising the Holocaust and promising another one, "at the hands of the believers".[29]


Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi promises another Holocaust "at the hand of the believers"


Antisemitism and Holocaust denial is also rife in the Qatari press, with antisemitic messages and tropes drawn from Islamic and Western sources. Jews are often described as the enemies of Islam, as cunning and treacherous violators of treaties and as the slayers of prophets. Antisemitic texts mentioned in the Qatari press including The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which are presented as authentic, and the Jews are portrayed as seeking to take over the world, as controlling the global economy, and as responsible for all wars and catastrophes, such as 9/11.[30]


Cartoon in London-based Qatari daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi after May 2021 round of fighting,

showing stereotypical Jew against background of an Israeli flag slashed by a sword


The Qatari school curricula, in addition to glorifying Jihad and martyrdom-seeking, promote antisemitism, along with anti-Christian and anti-Western sentiment.[31]



Al-Jazeera: A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing, Completely Free Of Charge


Al-Jazeera Media is a multifaceted media network encompassing various platforms such as online, specialized TV channels in numerous languages. Launched in 1996, the Al-Jazeera network not only revolutionized Arab broadcast media in the Middle East but became a household name across the world in the aftermath of 9/11, when it was the only channel to air all of Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden's addresses and statements to the Arab world.[32] Since then, the Qatari TV network has grown into a multi-channel, multi-language international operation. According to its website, Al-Jazeera has "over 70 bureaus around the globe" and is "one of the largest and most influential international news networks in the world".[33]


As discussed above, Qatar has two faces – its authentic identity as a Wahhabi and Muslim Brotherhood state, which it presents to the Arab and Muslim world, and a façade, which it presents to the Western world, to cover up its true identity. The Al-Jazeera network embodies the same dichotomy: its Arabic channel presents its authentic nature to the Arab and Muslim world, but it presents a different façade to the English-speaking world.[34]


In the U.S., Al-Jazeera has three outlets, geared towards the Western viewer: Al-Jazeera English, launched in 2006, which provides HD streaming and on-demand video content, completely free of charge;[35] Al-Jazeera Arabic, which is also freely accessible; and AJ+, a left-leaning digital brand tailored to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram and aimed at influencing “progressive” youth and millennial audiences. Al-Jazeera's practice of making its content free of charge makes it widely accessible and is largely responsible for its tremendous reach across the Western world. Between 2004 and 2020, AJ+ Facebook videos had been viewed over 10 billion times, and it had amassed over 11 million followers on Facebook.[36] Evidence of its unprecedented success can be seen in the fact that its reporting is widely assumed to be credible by the average Western viewer and is taken at face value. This is further evident in the partnership between Northwestern University and Al-Jazeera in Doha, mentioned above.[37]


Despite its façade of an uninvolved news operation, Al-Jazeera is Qatar's main indoctrination tool. Owned by the regime and with its budget controlled by the Qatari Ministry of Finance, Al-Jazeera serves as Qatar's tool of political influence, its content serving the state's policies and interests, particularly when it comes to Hamas and other extremist Sunni groups.[38] This is reflected, among other things, on the social media accounts of its employees[39] and is noted in a report prepared by former U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, former chairperson of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.[40]


This was, in fact, stated even more bluntly by former Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Aal Thani, who acknowledged, in a conversation with then Libyan Leader Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi, that presumably took place in 2010, that as Emir, he was in complete control of Al-Jazeera's content. "Give us the names of the people you don't want to appear on Al-Jazeera TV", he told Al-Qadhafi, who reminded the Emir that "the agreement (between them) is that anyone attacking Libya is not allowed to appear (on Al-Jazeera)".[41]



Former Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Aal Thani in conversation with then Libyan Leader Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi


MEMRI Vice-President and former U.S. ambassador Alberto M. Fernandez, formerly head of the U.S. Middle East Broadcasting Network (MBN), and MEMRI TV Director Yotam Feldner prepared a comprehensive analysis of Al-Jazeera as a media arm of the Qatari state promoting political Islam, including an extensive catalogue of translations, analyses and videos by MEMRI.


While the heads of Al-Jazeera reject these claims, purporting to abide by globally recognized criteria of objective reporting, there have been a few acknowledgements that the channel is almost completely financed and directed by the Qatari government. In 2017, for example, Al-Jazeera's Acting Director-General Dr. Mustafa Souag admitted on BBC TV that "The state of Qatar does finance Al-Jazeera."[42] In another statement, in 2018, Dr. Souag compared Al-Jazeera to the BBC, France 24, and DW, which are funded by Britain, France, and Germany respectively. "But it's exactly like them… We have complete editorial independence," he insisted[43] – a statement belied by the fact that unlike the BBC and other outlets in the Western world, which often criticize the political leaders and policies of their own country, Al-Jazeera never utters any criticism of the Qatari regime or its policies, and indeed, Qatar's media laws explicitly prohibit criticism of the Emir.[44]


Al-Jazeera maintains a polarizing editorial policy, denigrating Qatar's political and ideological rivals while ignoring or justifying the transgressions of the state's regional allies.[45] Those authoritarian Arab and Islamic regimes that strive for modernization and progress, struggling against hardline Islamism – including Saudi Arabia, the UAE,[46] Egypt, Bahrain, Morocco, Tunisia, and Jordan – are aware of this problem and are struggling by various measures and with varying degrees of success to ban Al-Jazeera from operating in their territories.[47]


In 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice established that Al-Jazeera was owned by the Qatari regime, and therefore ordered the media network to register as a foreign agent in accordance with Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) laws[48] – registration that is intended to ensure transparency with respect to their activities. According to the report prepared by Congressperson Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Qatar "repeatedly undermines U.S. interests in the region by supporting extremist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Al-Qaeda, and the Al-Nusrah [Front]. […] Moreover, Qatar uses its state-owned, state-funded, state-directed and state-controlled Al Jazeera Media Network to project this vision to the U.S. public."[49] Indeed, since early 2018, there have been many Congressional letters warning about Qatar’s propaganda arm.[50] Yet Al-Jazeera has been violating the U.S. Department of Justice order for years, and to this day, has not registered in accordance with FARA.[51]


An indication of the success with which Al-Jazeera has peddled its façade as a regular media network is its large presence on Capitol Hill: its various subsidiaries—Al-Jazeera International, Al-Jazeera English and AJ+—have 136 employees who have been credentialed by the U.S. Congress.[52] Credentialed members of the House and Senate galleries enjoy free access to the U.S. Capitol, as well as to Senators, Members of Congress and staffers. While this access is necessary for the media to provide accurate reporting to the American public, it is also the kind of access coveted by foreign powers seeking sensitive information from inside Congress.


Al-Jazeera's role in providing a platform for promoting extremist Islamist ideologies goes back decades. The case of promoting Al-Qaeda is of particular interest. Two months before 9/11, Al-Jazeera gave an Al-Qaeda spokesman, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, free rein to speak uninterrupted for ten minutes, and to call for 12,000 mujahideen to join Al-Qaeda.[53]



Osama Bin Laden with Sulaiman Abu Ghaith


Al-Jazeera employed a correspondent, Tayseer Allouni, who was sentenced in Spain to seven years in prison for transferring funds to Al-Qaeda – and Al-Qaeda even issued a public statement in his support.[54] Al-Jazeera broadcast live the killing of a U.S. soldier by an Iraqi sniper – which could only have happened if the media network had coordinated with the perpetrators of the killing.[55]


As for ISIS – Al-Jazeera allowed a pledge of allegiance to its leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi live on air. In the middle of a TV debate on Al-Jazeera's flagship Arabic-language program, an Islamic scholar pledged allegiance to the leader of ISIS, the Emir of the Believers, while moderator Faysal Al-Qassem did nothing to stop him.[56]


Al-Jazeera allowed terrorist Anis Al-Naqqash to call for terror attacks against American oil installations, also in a live broadcast.[57]


And as for the Jabhat Al-Nusra organization, which split off from Al-Qaeda in Syria, the channel gave hours-long interviews with its leader, Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani, twice – first in 2013 and then again in 2015.[58] Both the questions and the setting sought to portray Al-Joulani in the most positive light possible.


A notorious event that encapsulates Al-Jazeera's incendiary role is its on-air 2008 celebration of the birthday of notorious Lebanese terrorist Samir Quntar, who had recently been released in a prisoner swap by Israel after his incarceration for killing a family. Kuntar had taken the family's four-year-old girl down to the beach of Nahariya, where he killed her by smashing her head against the rocks. The live television celebration party that Al-Jazeera put on for Quntar, amid much pomp and circumstance, included a huge cake, a musical band, and fireworks.[59]


Released terrorist Samir Quntar (right) with cake at party held by Al-Jazeera


As can be seen from all these examples, Al-Jazeera has been working systematically and relentlessly to drive the Muslim world back to 7th century Islam, in accordance with Qatar's Wahhabi goals.



Al-Jazeera Journalists' Support For Terrorist Attacks In Israel


When terrorist attacks are carried out in Israel, Al-Jazeera journalists often extol the perpetrators in their social media accounts. This was the case following a March 29, 2022 shooting in Bnei Brak, in which five Israelis were killed by a Palestinian who infiltrated from the West Bank. Al-Jazeera host Ahmed Mansour tweeted footage of the shooting and of the funeral of one of the victims, writing of the attacker: "He moved from one point to the next with determination and courage, hitting his targets – namely the settlers – with precision and sowing feat and terror among them before being martyred."[60]


Al-Jazeera host Ahmad Mansour celebrating terror attack against Israelis on Twitter


Less than two weeks later, following an April 7, 2022 attack in Tel Aviv in which three Israelis were killed, Mansour, as well as another Al-Jazeera presenter, Tamer Al-Mishal, praised the perpetrator, calling him a "resistance fighter" and a "martyr."[61]


On January 27, 2023, a Palestinian terrorist shot and killed six Israelis and a Ukrainian national near a synagogue in Jerusalem's Neve Ya'akov neighborhood. Ahmad Mansour praised the attack, Al-Jazeera presenter Haitham Abu Saleh called it "legitimate resistance" and said that it was "neither a terrorist attack nor or a criminal act," and Al-Jazeera host Jamal Rayyan tweeted: "It is a clear message to the regimes of normalization [with Israel] that there is occupation, there is resistance, and there is a struggle in Palestine that is not yet over."[62]


These are just a few examples of the writings of Al-Jazeera journalists on their social media accounts following terrorist attacks carried out against Israelis over the past few years. It can be seen, therefore, that this is the norm, rather than the exception to the rule.[63]



Al-Jazeera's Role In The Israel-Hamas War


Muhammad Deif's Declaration Of War On Al-Jazeera On The Morning Of October 7

Al-Jazeera's "official" role in the Hamas-Israel War is nowhere more evident than in its exclusive broadcast of Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif on the morning of Saturday, October 7, at the very time that Hamas terrorists were carrying out their mega-terror attack in Israel, killing over 1,300 and taking more than 250 Israelis and foreign nationals hostage into Gaza. In the recording Deif declared the launch of "Operation Al-Aqsa Flood" and warned that this was just the "first strike" of the operation. He incited all Palestinians – in the West Bank, in Jerusalem, and within Israel itself – to join the war, using all means in their possession – guns, knives, Molotov cocktails, and vehicles.[64]


Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif declaration of war on Al-Jazeera


Thus, it was, in fact, a Qatari declaration of war in the very first hours of the conflict – given the fact that it was Qatar who developed Hamas's capabilities over a decade. Later, Qatar offered its services as a mediator between Israel and Hamas. This is the common Qatari playbook. It proved effective in Afghanistan in 2021: Qatar supported the Taliban for years, all the way until the day of the removal of the secular regime of President Ashraf Ghani, with 13 U.S. soldiers killed. It then offered its services as mediator between the U.S and the Taliban to evacuate the remaining Americans to Qatar, and since then it has been operating on the political level to provide legitimacy in the West to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.


Past Praise By Sinwar And Nakhalah For Al-Jazeera

The channel's historical close relations with the terror organization are evident in open praise uttered by Hamas leaders in past rounds of fighting, with Hamas Leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar singling it out, in 2021, as "the best pulpit to give the accurate voice to our position".[65] Al-Jazeera also supports other terror militias in Gaza: in 2022, following three days of conflict between Israel and the Iranian-aligned Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), its leader Ziyad Nakhalah singled out Al-Jazeera for its positive coverage of the conflict.[66]


Al-Jazeera's Activities In The War

Since the October 7 attack, Hamas's leaders have been managing the war from Doha and conveying their messages mostly via Al-Jazeera. The network has been operating as a propaganda outlet in the service of Hamas 24/7, with hardly any coverage of other topics. The channel expresses unreserved support for Hamas, justifying the deadly attack, showing footage of it obtained from the body-cams of the terrorists, and celebrating it as a victory that brought pride and honor to the Islamic nation.[67]


Al-Jazeera Journalists By Day, Hamas Commanders By Night

Some Al-Jazeera journalists have recently been "outed" as Hamas and PIJ fighters. A Palestinian journalist working for Al-Jazeera, Muhammad Wishah, appears to have also been a commander in the military wing of Hamas, according to documents on a laptop found by the Israeli army in a Hamas base in northern Gaza. Wishah, from Al-Buriej in the central Gaza Strip, has featured in Al-Jazeera broadcasts in recent months, with the station calling him one of their journalists. According to the Israeli military sources, however, Wishah is a prominent commander in Hamas's anti-tank missile unit, who began, in late 2022, to work in R&D for the terror group's air unit.[68] A photo that emerged of Wishah together with Yahya Sinwar suggests warm relations between the two.


Muhammad Wishah with Yahya Sinwar


Another Al-Jazeera correspondent, Ismail Abu Omar, who participated in the October 7 attack, documenting it from within the Gaza Envelope, was airlifted to Doha for medical treatment on February 19 after having been wounded in an Israeli airstrike in Rafah a week earlier. He has been identified as a Hamas platoon deputy commander.[69]


Mustafa Thuraya, an independent journalist who worked with Al-Jazeera TV and Agence France-Press, was, according to documents found by the Israeli army in Gaza, an operative in the Al-Qassam Brigades' Gaza City Brigade, and he specialized in developing drones. Hamza Al-Dahdouh, another Al-Jazeera journalist and photojournalist, was a member of the electronic engineering unit of the PIJ's Northern Gaza Brigade.


A document seized by the IDF in the Gaza Strip reveals that Hamza al-Dahdouh was a

PIJ military operative and a member of its electronic engineering unit


Since the recent Israel-Hamas war began, Al-Jazeera has been providing the following services to Hamas:

• Broadcasting threats by Hamas leaders and leaders of other terror organizaions

• Celebrating and praising the terror attack and missile attacks on Israel

• Airing hostage videos to exert pressure on the Israeli government

• Broadcasting military announcements on an almost daily basis

• Airing footage on military encounters and the killing of IDF soldiers

• Broadcasting near IDF troops and airing analysis by military experts to advise Hamas fighters on recommended tactics and maneuvers

• Pinpointing potential Israeli quality targets

• Fabricating anti-Israel propaganda

• Fabricating information designed to thwart Israel's instructions to the Gaza population

• Silencing any criticism of Hamas


Al-Jazeera Broadcasts Threats By Leaders Of Hamas And Other Terror Organizations

On October 7, following the attack, Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh issued a statement on Al-Jazeera, in which called the attack a "great triumph" and called to expand the operation to the West Bank and to within the pre-1967 borders of Israel.[70] On the same day, Al-Jazeera broadcast an address by Saleh Al-Arouri, Deputy-Chairman of the Political Bureau of Hamas, who was later killed in an Israeli airstrike in Lebanon. In it he threatened that "the storming of the Zionist settlements and bases in the Gaza Envelope will pale compared to what may happen to them" in the event of a ground attack and he denied that any Israeli civilians had been killed.[71] In another interview, on October 12, Al-Arouri repeated his denial that Hamas had targeted civilians, and even denied that atrocities such as rape and the killing of children had taken place.[72]


Hamas Leader Haniyeh issues statement on Al-Jazeera: "a great triumph"


Al-Jazeera has also aired addresses and threats by leaders of terror organizations beyond Gaza, such as Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah[73] and threats by Houthi Spokesman Yahya Sare'e.[74]


Al-Jazeera Celebrates And Praises The October 7 Attack

On the day of the attack, a video of various Hamas leaders, including Ismail Haniyeh, watching the coverage of Hamas's invasion of southern Israel on Al-Jazeera was posted on various social media outlets. According to online reports, the video was taken in Qatar. In honor of the Hamas attack, Haniyeh and the other leaders performed the Islamic "Prostration of Gratitude."[75]


Haniyeh and other Hamas leaders performing the Islamic

"Prostration of Gratitude" following the October 7 attack


On the same day, Al-Jazeera shared on its X (formerly Twitter) account exclusive footage showing members of the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, breaching the Israel-Gaza border and beginning their assault on Israeli military posts and civilian communities. This footage could only have been obtained from Hamas itself. The Al-Jazeera reporter abandoned any pretense of neutrality, proclaiming gleefully that "the settler walls… collapsed… along with the iron image of the arrogant occupation army."[76]


The next day, Al-Jazeera aired – and later shared on social media – exclusive footage of the October 7 attack, showing the Hamas terrorists breaching the border, taking over Israeli military vehicles and taking hostages, as well as their widespread celebrations. According to the studio anchor, the footage was obtained from the bodycams worn by dozens of 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigade members.[77] Again, this could only have been obtained directly from Hamas itself, clear proof of close coordination between the network and the terror group.


Exclusive Al-Jazeera report of the October 7 attack


And just hours after the attack, Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank celebrated in the streets. Al-Jazeera was one of the TV networks that broadcast footage of the celebrations, in Gaza, Nablus, Jenin, and Bethlehem under the title: "Palestinians overjoyed with the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation".[78]


Al-Jazeera presenters and journalists have also posted praise for the attack on their social media accounts. Presenters Rawaa Augé and Tamer Almisshal justified the attack, with Almisshal writing: "Gaza manufactures victory and honor for its homeland and nation." Presenter Ahmad Mansour shared a video showing Hamas breaching the border fence with a bulldozer in preparation for its invasion of Israel, as well as a video showing Hamas operatives dragging two Israeli soldiers on the ground, which he called an "historic picture". The same video was also shared by Ahmad Khalifa, an Al-Jazeera correspondent in Libya. And former Al-Jazeera director Yasser Abu Hilalah shared a video issued by the military information office of the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, documenting the infiltration of an Israeli military outpost and featuring graphic images of dead Israeli soldiers.[79]


Al-Jazeera Airs Hostage Videos To Exert Pressure On The Israeli Government

The Qatari TV channel has broadcast several videos showing some of the hostages pleading with the Israeli government to accept Hamas's conditions for hostage deals, thereby amplifying the scope of Hamas psychological warfare waged within the region and beyond.[80]


Al-Jazeera Broadcasts Military Announcements On An Almost Daily Basis

Since October 7, Al-Jazeera has been airing official military announcements and threats by Hamas spokesmen – as well as by other terror organizations – on an almost daily basis, serving as a semi-official amplifier of Hamas messaging, often featuring outlandish claims of military successes by the group.


On October 9, for example, an audio recording by Abu Ubaida, spokesman for the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, aired on the Qatari channel. Abu Ubaida threatened that Hamas would execute a civilian hostage every time Israel strikes Gaza and would air the footage of the execution.[81]


Al-Qassam Brigades Spokesman Abu Ubaida in audio recording on Al-Jazeera


The network has broadcast threats and addresses by military commanders of other terror organizations in Gaza, such as Abu Hamza, spokesman for the Al-Quds Brigade, the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.[82]


Al-Jazeera Repeatedly Broadcasts Israeli TV Announcements Of Fallen Soldiers And Airs Footage Of Military Encounters In Order To Raise Morale

Al-Jazeera reports on the close-range killing of IDF soldiers in real-time,[83] showing armed Hamas fighters moving toward Israeli troops and tanks and shooting at them.[84] Such footage is shown time and again, often for days after the event, celebrating the killing of Israeli soldiers. It also airs footage of the launching of rockets toward Israel.[85] This material is given exclusively to Al-Jazeera, and clearly shows that the media network is in cahoots with the terror organization. This, along with Al-Jazeera's repeated broadcasts of Israeli TV announcements on the fallen Israeli soldiers is intended to raise the morale of Hamas fighters. The praising of the launching of missiles toward Tel Aviv and other civilian populations in Israel also achieves that goal.


Al-Jazeera Broadcasts Near IDF Troops, Providing Intel And Military Advice

Al-Jazeera's reporters continuously provide information of military value and advice from military experts. Its correspondents, operating with Israeli journalist credentials, report freely from within Israel, both in the north and the south, about Israeli military concentrations and movements of troops. In one report, filmed on October 9, 2023 near the Gaza Envelope and broadcast since then repeatedly, Al-Jazeera reporter Najwan Samari can be seen standing near an Israeli police checkpoint and pointing to one of the posts where the IDF sends tanks and heavy artillery.[86] The channel interviews experts who analyze the military situation on the ground to support Hamas and provide it with satellite intel, as well as advising it on recommended tactics and maneuvers.[87]


Al-Jazeera Pinpoints Possible Israeli Quality Targets

It pinpoints high-quality potential targets for missile strikes. On October 18, for example, Al-Jazeera aired a report on Hamas threats to Israel's natural gas field Tamar, off the Gaza shore, stating that the October 7 war has negatively impacted the Israeli energy sector. "Last year, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad attempted to launch a UAV at the direction of the Tamar platform. Apparently, the Palestinian resistance was able to develop its offensive capabilities during the last two years, bringing the Israeli gas rigs in the eastern Mediterranean Sea within the range of the Palestinian rockets – and possibly the Lebanese ones, in the future," the Al-Jazeera reporter said.[88]


Al-Jazeera Fabricates Anti-Israel Propaganda

Al-Jazeera has been known to fabricate false reports in order to portray Israel in a negative light. The best known case is its report on the October 17 explosion at the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, which was fabricated in order to incite people in Gaza and the world against Israel, in a way that jeopardizes Israeli diplomatic missions and Jewish communities around the globe. The report on the Al-Jazeera website – which first appeared on October 18 and was updated on November 15 – continues to open with the statement: "Nearly 500 people have been killed in an Israeli air attack on the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in the besieged Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials have said."[89] This is despite the fact that this account has long been debunked, with independent media outlets and intelligence sources determining that the incident was the result of the misfiring of a rocket by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad – which hit the hospital's parking lot and not the building itself – and that the number of casualties had been greatly inflated.[90]


Al-Jazeera Fabricates Information Designed To Thwart Israel's Instructions To The Gaza Population

Al-Jazeera broadcast footage of bodies of civilians strewn over a road, presenting them as victims of an Israeli attack against people who had abided by the IDF instructions to evacuate to southern Gaza.[91] Israel in fact had secured safe passage to the south for those civilians who wished to go there, while Hamas exerted pressure on them to remain put in order to use civilians as human shields.[92]


Al-Jazeera Silences Criticism of Hamas

Al-Jazeera does not permit the expression of any dissenting view on air. Thus, when interviewees express criticism of Hamas, they are quickly shut down. On rare occasions during live interviews, criticism of Hamas is uttered by Palestinians and the reporter or anchor can be seen trying to cover up or whitewash the exchange.


One such case can be seen in a November 5, 2023 live broadcast from Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah. An elderly wounded man, interviewed by Al-Jazeera reporter Ashraf Abu Amr, criticized Hamas for hiding among the civilian population, saying "They can go to Hell and hide there..." At that point, Abu Amr cut him off, and the man, in turn, kicked Abu Amr.[93]


Several Arab journalists and activists pointed to this video as evidence of Al-Jazeera's bias. Saudi businessman and online activist Monther Aal Sheikh Mubarak shared the video on his X account and commented: "The Al-Jazeera reporter cut the interview short and walked away, because that is not what the man was supposed [to say]…". Saudi journalist Faisal Ibrahim Alshammeri also commented on the video, saying: "Al-Jazeera trades in the blood of the people of Gaza."[94]


On another occasion, an elderly Palestinian woman, standing outside Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, said, in response to an Al-Jazeera reporter's assertion that no aid was entering Gaza, that Hamas takes all the aid that is coming into the Gaza Strip for themselves.


Elderly woman complaining on Al-Jazeera that no aid was entering Gaza


In the live December 6 interview, the woman complained: "All the aid goes to [the tunnels] underground. It does not reach all the people." The reporter quickly summed up the interaction by saying: "It seems that the situation is unclear."[95]


During a live Al-Jazeera broadcast from Gaza City on December 2, 2023, the reporter abruptly cut short an interview with a man on the street when the latter began to criticize Qatar and Turkey. When the man said: "May Allah settle the score with Qatar and Turkey…" the reporter reacted by taking the microphone away and pushing him away. The man can still be seen asking to continue the interview, while the reporter turns away from him.[96]


Al-Jazeera reporter abruptly cuts short interview


A further example of Al-Jazeera's efforts to control the narrative can be seen in a November 24 program, in a tense exchange between TV show host Mostafa Ashoor and a caller from Egypt, which ended with Ashoor cutting off the uncompliant caller because he was criticizing Hamas. The caller said that the Gaza Strip was completely destroyed in a worse "Nakba" than that of 1948 or 1967. He accused both Hamas and Israel as being responsible for the destruction, saying that Hamas had started the war by invading Israel on October 7 and causing destruction and killing.


After trying to lead the caller to express more pro-Hamas views, Ashoor cut short the exchange, telling the caller that what he was saying was "unacceptable". "Shame on you," he added.[97]


Arab Journalists And Intellectuals Criticize Al-Jazeera: A Mouthpiece Of The Terrorist Organizations And A Tool Of Iran


While in the West Al-Jazeera is treated as a regular news channel, in the Arab world it is well known that it is a propaganda tool of Qatar and openly serves the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood. Al-Jazeera has been described by Arab journalists and intellectuals as a tool for brainwashing the public in Gaza and the Arab world.


On December 6, 2023, Palestinian journalist Hamid Karman wrote an article in the London-based Emirati daily Al-Arab, in which he wrote that Al-Jazeera "brainwashes the collective Arab mind" with exaggerated claims about Hamas's capabilities and popularity. Karman wrote that Qatar "cultivates this channel and its programs as a tool of soft power in the service of its agendas, which are based on thwarting the Arabs' awareness and understanding. This conforms to the interest of this country, which is to create a power vacuum that it can then fill by means of its political and economic influence over the branches of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Middle East."[98]


Al-Jazeera has been described by Saudi researcher Awwad Al-Qarni as "a mouthpiece of Iran's ayatollahs and of its criminal militias". Al-Qarni asked rhetorically: "What can we expect it to do except spew poison and drive a wedge between Arab states in the service of the Persian plan[?]"[99]


When, in September 2022, widespread protests gained momentum on the streets of Iran after the death of an Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, who was beaten by Iran's morality police for not wearing a head covering correctly, Iranian intellectuals expressed their disappointment in the coverage – or more precisely, the lack of coverage – in Al-Jazeera. Writing on their social media accounts, they accused the channel of ignoring the protests, abandoning the protesters, and focusing on promoting the Iranian government's official narrative.


Tweet against Al-Jazeera following death of Iranian woman Mahsa Amini


Thus, Nawwaf Al-Sulaiman, the programs manager at Safa TV, tweeted: "I reviewed Al-Jazeera's breaking news account for an entire day and I did not find a single news item about the protests in Iran. What if these protests were in an Arabic country? Al-Jazeera would have published multiple breaking news [bulletins]." Syrian opposition writer Dr. Mahmoud Al-Shami wrote on his Twitter account: "Al-Jazeera reports on everything regarding Iran except the protests and the crackdown by the mullahs' regime in Iran… You used to be highly credible but now your credibility has been lowered." And Kuwaiti writer Ghazi Al-Nazel tweeted: "Where is Al-Jazeera, which has always claimed to be the voice of nations, on what is taking place in Iran? Where is it today on the uprising in Iran? I think Iran is a red line for this channel if the issue is related to the mullahs' regime."[100]


Saudi online activist Mesh'al Al-Khalidi wrote: "The Al-Jazeera channel burnishes [the image] of the militias and terrorist organizations that have waded in Arab blood, describing them as 'Islamic resistance.' We seem to be facing a planned and organized project to burnish the image of Iran's agents and use the Palestinian issue as an excuse to direct accusations of heresy at anyone who exposes the proxies and agents loyal [to Iran].[101]

And Iraqi journalist Sufian Al-Samarrai, the director of the Baghdad Post website, called Al-Jazeera "[the channel of Yousuf] Al-Qaradawi, of [Iranian Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei, [a channel] that purports to be Islamic." Sharing a picture of Al-Jazeera airing a speech by Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, he wrote: "Al-Jazeera is the platform of all the terrorists who do not have a platform."[102]



Conclusion


As shown in this report, the Al-Jazeera media network is used by the Qatari regime – alongside its vast financial resources – as a tool and a weapon to promote its Wahhabi Islamist ideology and the political and military agenda of Qatar’s Islamist allies. The distribution of its media content, free of charge in the Arab and Muslim world as well as throughout the West, ensures that its toxic message will reach the broadest audience possible and that its undeserved image is one of a legitimate mass media outlet.

This report has demonstrated how Qatar's policies are implemented through Al-Jazeera, with the Israel-Hamas war as a case in point. In October 2023, the Israeli government passed emergency wartime regulations to revoke the license of any broadcaster that jeopardizes Israel's national security, and indeed, the Hizbullah-affiliated Al-Mayadeen TV was shuttered following this ban. With regard to Al-Jazeera, however, PM Benjamin Netanyahu blocked the move to close the channel down,[103] and thus, it continues to operate freely within Israel in times of war.


Why is this? It has been suggested that PM Netanyahu allows Al-Jazeera to continue its operation in order to avoid a clash with the Qatari regime, due to the latter's role in the hostage negotiations. This is patently false. For one thing, the previous deals in which Qatar was involved, supposedly as a mediator, while successful in securing the release of only some of the hostages, also tangibly benefited Hamas by securing its demands – a temporary pause in the fighting and the release of convicted terrorists.


For another, among those killed in the October 7 terror attack are 32 American citizens, and eight Americans still remain hostage in Gaza. Given the fact that Qatar owes its very existence to the U.S., due to the location of the CENTCOM base there, one would expect Qatar to exert pressure on Hamas to release, at the very least, the Americans. This has not happened: Qatar insists that its role is not to pressure any party.[104]


Therefore, the claim that Israel should avoid a clash with Qatar in order to obtain a hostage deal is false. The opposite is true: exerting pressure on Qatar is what will help. A temporary ban on Al-Jazeera's operations in Israel is thus vital in order to secure a new hostage deal and save lives. Unfortunately, PM Netanyahu refrains from doing this, for reasons known only to him.





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