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May 31, 2019

After Broadcasting Holocaust Denial, AJ+ Feigns Innocence

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After Al Jazeera created and posted a video questioning "the truth of the Holocaust," officials at the Qatari media giant took a page from the New York Times' book, blaming employees who were working "without due oversight." (The Times had blamed its recent anti-Semitic cartoon on "a single editor acting without adequate oversight.")

The video, by Al Jazeera's pseudo-progressive AJ+, dismissed the Nazi murder of six million Jews as dubious "Zionist claims." According to a translation by MEMRI, the video claimed that

the number of victims of the Holocaust remains one of the most prominent historical debates to this day. People are divided between those who deny the annihilation, others who think that the outcome was exaggerated, and others yet who accuse the Zionist movement of blowing it out of proportion in the service of the plan to establish what would later be known as the 'State of Israel.'

According to an article on Al Jazeera's website, "Dr. Yaser Bishr, Executive Director of Digital Division, stated that Al Jazeera completely disowns the offensive content in question and reiterated that Al Jazeera would not tolerate such material on any of the Network’s platforms."

But that's not true. It has long tolerated Holocaust denial, and has played an important role in spreading it. In 2009, for example, Al Jazeera broadcast Yousef Al-Qaradawi's speech about Hilter's "punishment" of the Jews: "By means of all the things he did to them—even though they exaggerated this issue—he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them."

"Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers," Qaradawi continued.

Al Jazeera viewers were also treated to Qaradawi calling for a new genocide: "Oh Allah, Take This Oppressive, Jewish, Zionist Band Of People; Oh Allah, Do Not Spare A Single One Of Them; Oh Allah, Count Their Numbers, And Kill Them, Down To The Very Last One."

In 2007, Al Jazeera aired broadcast a speech by Hamas leader Khaled Mashal in which he delivered a similar message to the AJ+ Holocaust-revisionism video: "I want to make it clear to the West and to the German people, which is still being blackmailed because of what Nazism did to the Zionists, or to the Jews. I say that what Israel did to the Palestinian people is many times worse than what Nazism did to the Jews, and there is exaggeration, which has become obsolete, regarding the issue of the Holocaust. We do not deny the facts, but we will not give in to extortion by exaggeration."

So much for Yaser Bishr's claim that Al Jazeera "would not tolerate" Holocaust denial. See more at MEMRI.

Posted by gi at 10:35 AM |  Comments (0)

May 29, 2019

In Robert Bernstein Obit, AFP Inappropriately References His Judaism

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Robert Bernstein (Courtesy the New Press)

In its obituary yesterday for American publisher Robert Bernstein, Agence France Presse inserted an inappropriate reference to the Human Rights Watch founder who later turned on the organization due to its disproportionate fixation on Israel at the expense of closed societies around the world.

The AFP reported:

In 2009, Bernstein -- who is Jewish -- turned against Human Rights Watch, accusing the organization he helped found in 1978 of being biased against Israel.

How is Bernstein's Judaism relevant to his objections to what he saw as HRW's completely disproportionate and unfounded obsession with Israel, at the expense of focus on closed societies elsewhere?

In the UK, the Editors' Code of Practice states:

Details of an individual's race, colour, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical or mental illness or disability must be avoided unless genuinely relevant to the story.

The only way mentioning Bernstein's religion is relevant in this context is to imply his Jewishness helps explain his turning against HRW - which would be an inherently antisemitic allegation.

Update, 9:10 am EST: Times of Israel Removes Inappropriate Reference to Robert Bernstein's Judaism

Posted by TS at 01:48 AM |  Comments (0)

May 14, 2019

Rashida Tlaib Says Palestinians "Provided" Jewish Haven

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As is often the case in politics, much of the back and forth over Rashida Tlaib's latest inflammatory comments — this time about the Palestinians and the Holocaust — seemed to be about partisan point-scoring more than the basic accuracy of her claims.

No, Tlaib didn't say that the Holocaust per se makes her feel good.

And no, criticism of Tlaib's comments isn't driven by a smear campaign motivated by her religion, skin color, or party affiliation.

In her appearance on the Skullduggery podcast, Tlaib promoted the argument that her Palestinian ancestors suffered "in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews" after the Holocaust. She also said she got a "calming feeling" when thinking about the Holocaust because, in her words, "I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that [safe haven] — right? — in many ways."

But as many critics pointed out, Tlaib's revisionist account of history conceals and upends what actually happened. In the Atlantic, Benny Morris reminds readers that, far from "providing" shelter, the Palestinian leadership violently opposed a safe haven for Jews, and even collaborated with Hitler:

The Palestinians indirectly, and in some ways directly, aided in the destruction of European Jewry.

After Hitler’s accession to power in Germany in 1933, German and then Eastern European Jews sought escape and safe havens. But all the Western countries, including the United States and Britain and its dominions, closed their doors to significant Jewish immigration. Palestine emerged as the only potential safe haven. In 1932, the British allowed 9,500 Jews to immigrate to Palestine. In 1933, the number shot up to 30,000, and in 1935, it peaked at 62,000.

But from 1933 onward, Palestine’s Arabs—led by the cleric Muhammad Haj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem—mounted a strident campaign to pressure the British, who governed Palestine, to bar all Jews from entering the country. To press home their demand, in 1936 they launched an anti-British and anti-Zionist rebellion that lasted three years. Apart from throwing out the British, the rebellion’s aim was to coerce London into halting all Jewish entry into Palestine.

Moreover, the anti-Jewish violence, which claimed the lives of hundreds of Jews and wounded many more, itself served to deter would-be emigrants from seeking to move to Palestine. British entry certificates for Jews to Palestine declined to 30,000 in 1936, 10,000 in 1937, and 15,000 in 1938. Those who couldn’t get in were left stranded in Germany, Poland, Hungary, and elsewhere. Almost all died in the Holocaust, which the Germans unleashed in 1941.

But the Palestinians’ contribution to the Holocaust was also more direct. Husseini, having fled Palestine during the revolt, helped pro-Nazi generals launch an anti-British rebellion in Iraq in 1941 (which itself engendered a large-scale pogrom against Baghdad’s Jews, the Farhoud). When that rebellion failed, he fled to Berlin, where he was given a villa and a generous monthly salary, and lived in comfort until the end of the world war. During the war, he helped recruit Muslims from the Balkans for the German army and the SS, and in radio broadcasts exhorted Middle Eastern and North African Arabs to launch jihad against the British and “kill the Jews.”

Posted by gi at 03:50 PM |  Comments (0)