How Al Jazeera Dresses Up Its Anti-Americanism and Anti-Semitism for an English-Speaking Audience

How Al Jazeera Dresses Up Its Anti-Americanism and Anti-Semitism for an English-Speaking Audience

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January 25, 2019

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Sponsored by the government of Qatar, and sharing the emirate’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Jazeera has succeeded in gaining not only immense popularity among Arabic speakers but also respectability for its somewhat newer English-language television channel and website. To these, it has more recently added AJ+, a web-only news platform directed at younger audiences. Samantha Rose Mandeles explains how the naked anti-Semitism of the network’s Arabic-language channel is put into polite form for Anglophone audiences:

[Since] Qatar and Al Jazeera have long portrayed themselves as defenders of the Palestinian cause, much of Al Jazeera English’s anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism is disguised as anti-Zionism or anti-imperialism. . . . For example, Al Jazeera English mostly avoids its Arabic counterpart’s fascination with “Jewish power,” preferring to discuss “Zionist influence” instead. One recent Al Jazeera English article argues that “every American administration over the past three or four decades was subject to major Zionist influence.” . . .

AJ+, [by contrast], takes the most care of all Al Jazeera sectors to spread anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism with an “anti-racist” slant; one AJ+ video in this vein is called “Why White Feminism Is Racist.” In the clip, a pink-haired journalist named Zab Mustefa claims that the racism of “white feminism” is exemplified by [the] Israeli actress Gal Gadot. Mustefa contends that Gadot’s feminism—and indeed, Gadot herself—is racist because she “supports the Israeli army, which oppresses Palestinian women on a daily basis.” . . . [T]he clip then launches into an interview with the Women’s March coordinator Tamika Mallory, whose association with the notoriously bigoted Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has recently made headlines.

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