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Media Analyses





Al-Jazeera America (AJAM) Watch for July – September 2014


September 24, 2014 – 4:40 PM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America 4 PM news hour provided coverage and commentary of the U.N. Security Council meeting deliberating coalition bombing attacks against Islamist terror groups, mainly ISIS [Islamic State], in Syria. The commentary included vilification of Israel.

Host: Tony Harris (formerly of CNN) from Al-Jazeera America headquarters in New York City.

Guest: Theodore Kattouf, formerly U.S. ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (1999-2001) and subsequently ambassador to Syria (2002-03); currently president and CEO of Amideast (mainly supports “individuals from the Middle East and North Africa who have come to this country on scholarship and exchange programs to study for long and short periods of time”).

At 4:36 PM, the coverage included a speech by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov:

Lavrov (translated): "…Terrorism is flexing its muscles due to linking up with trans-boundary ... drug trafficking ... using extremist ideas. Terrorism penetrates the fiber of regional conflicts. ISIL and other terrorist units have long come of age in the Middle East. They have quite a capacity for their criminal activities in conditions including assistance from the outside and a weakening state institution, and due to varying outside sponsors having gained in strength from various extremist groups. They jeopardize the future of states like Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Lebanon. Russia has consistently advocated building up international cooperation ... abandoning the double standards in fighting terrorism. We need all states to make a commitment to the implementation of the resolution the Security Council which has called for the ending of extremism ... through sanctions on the Taliban and Al-Qaeda and also prohibiting the dissemination of weapons to Libya.

We support resolution 2170 which is aimed at ratcheting up action against terrorism in Syria and Iraq. We must take agreed-to decisions which rely on the U.N. Charter. After the intervention in Iraq, the bombing of Libya and the support from outside anti-Assad extremists in Syria, the problem of foreign fighters in Syria has worsened for those fighting the ranks of terrorist organizations in Middle East, Africa, and in the Afghan/Pakistan boundary areas. We need a comprehensive approach that includes financial, administrative, social and ideological components. We respect the sovereignty of all states. We support the initiative of the U.S. president for a Security Council resolution aimed at choking off any activities of foreign terrorist fighters. At the same time we would like to caution against temptation to narrow down the problem because the Islamic State [ISIS] with its inhuman ideology and revolting execution of journalists is not at all the only region where there is a need to comprehensively consider the problems of terrorism in all its dimensions in the area of the Middle East and North Africa.

We propose to establish a forum involving countries of the region and the permanent five members of the Security Council and other stake holders. The agenda of this forum should address long-standing conflicts, primarily the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Specifically, the failure to resolve these issues is one of the primary reasons enabling terrorists to receive moral support and to recruit ever new members into their ranks. We call for looking at the cause of the deep-rooted problems. We call for a joint agreement to provide for working our way out of this situation."

Immediately following Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov's address, host Harris latched onto the Russian's dubious, unproven claim that the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is the primary "long-standing conflict" "enabling terrorists to receive moral support and to recruit ever new members into their ranks." Cynically aiming to show that Israel's (defensive) actions constitute the main problem here, Harris passed off to guest Kattouf who enthusiastically took the cue to lambaste Israel:
 
Harris: “Comments there from Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister of Russia. Let's bring in Theodore Kattouf. Theodore, I want to pick up on what the foreign minister said there a moment ago and ask you the question I think he was alluding to: To what extent does the continuing Israeli-Palestinian conflict loom large over the other conflicts that we are seeing in the Middle East, and to what extent does that conflict continue to be a source of recruiting power for these groups in their efforts to destabilize and attempt to gather land in other parts of the Middle East and North Africa?”

Kattouf: “Well, as you well know that is a very controversial issue, and one that probably cannot be answered in a few sound bites easily. But we were listening to some of the speakers talk about how many Muslims, particularly young Muslims, so disenfranchised, humiliated, marginalized and the like. And the ongoing conflict and occupation of the Palestinians is a source of humiliation to many young Arab Muslims who feel that their elders have failed them, that their elders have failed to deal with this issue in a way what brought about justice for the Palestinian people. And they feel they are having their nose rubbed in it. So, I don't want to say that if we settled the Palestinian-Israeli issue tomorrow, that ISIL would go away and these other movements would go away. There have been jihadist movements in Islamic history long before [modern] Israel was created. But this is certainly one factor helping to radicalize youth.”

NOTE: Host Harris' cynical attempt to magnify the impact of Israeli actions upon the ISIS situation – in order to provide an excuse to vilify Israel – is transparent. Harris' manipulation should not be surprising given that his paymaster – the government of Qatar – owner/operator of the Al-Jazeera networks – is the main financial backer of Hamas, a terrorist group which is sworn to the destruction of Israel and genocide of Jews.

It's clear from ISIS and Hamas and other such terrorist group's writings and rantings that what drives their actions, is the desire to establish a worldwide caliphate (or Islamic government) subjecting peoples to Sharia law. A main factor in recruitment to their ranks appears to be the promise, inculcated through brainwashing, of the favoritism of Allah in the afterlife hence the willingness to commit barbaric acts including suicidal attacks. In this milieu, except for Hamas – Israeli defensive actions are more of a minor irritant than a main factor in the terror groups' resurgence.

Kattouf's phrasing “occupation of the Palestinians” is anti-Israel propaganda.The term is repeatedly used almost without meaning. Israel was the legitimate military occupational authority in the Gaza Strip and West Bank as a result of successful self-defense in the 1967 Six-Day War. It took those territories not from any Palestinian Arab state – there was none – but from Egyptian and Jordanian occupation, respectively. Jews, like Arabs, have claims to the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), including the right to live and build there. The Jewish right is asserted in the League of Nations' Palestine Mandate, Article 6 and affirmed by the United Nations Charter, Chapter 12, Article 80. One of the main purposes of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations is to establish sovereignty over the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the last, unallocated portion of Mandate lands (Jordan, with a Palestinian Arab majority, long sovereign over 77 percent of those lands).

Specifically as to the Gaza Strip, Israel has not had any occupation personnel in the Strip since September, 2005 when shortly thereafter it came under frequent and continuous attack from it. More than 10,000 mortars and rockets threatened more than one million Israelis before Operation Protective Edge. But Israel has continued to allow large quantities of food, medicine and other humanitarian aid into Gaza despite Hamas' aggression. The Palestinian leadership of the Strip, however, has refused to abide by the first requirement of international law – non-aggression against neighbors.

Kattouf's phrasing “justice for the Palestinian people” frequently used by Palestinian Arabs and their apologists has always meant the destruction of the state of Israel. The dominant Arab culture is quite open (in Arabic) about the ambition to destroy Israel and to kill every Jew.

Kattouf's use of the term “humiliation” is misleading as it applies to Palestinian Arabs. It's most commonly used in connection with barriers and checkpoints which are not set up to humiliate Palestinians, but to ensure the safety of Israeli citizens. Frequently, when Israel has relaxed its policy and eliminated checkpoints, Palestinian terrorists have taken advantage to launch new attacks on Israelis. Still, Israel has eliminated many checkpoints in recent years.

September 19, 2014 – 6:25 AM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America 6 AM news hour provides a fishy story at about the halfway point in the news hour.

Host: Darren Jordan from Al-Jazeera English headquarters in Doha, Qatar. Jordan left BBC in 2006 after several years to join Al-Jazeera English.

Correspondent: Charles Stratford.

Jordan: "For years Gaza fisherman have struggled to work under Israel's naval blockade. It strictly controls how far Palestinian boats can sail and since the cease-fire began last month dangers have increased. Our Charles Stratford now reports that fishermen are being shot, arrested and often bribed to spy."

Note: An online search shows that no mainstream sources have reported anything even remotely similar to the assertion, "Gaza fishermen are being shot, arrested and often bribed to spy [for Israel]." Only the usual cast of unreliable or propagandistic anti-Israel sources make such uncorroborated claims. Why would a legitimate correspondent accept at face value, Gaza Palestinian inflammatory claims about Israel, their government's adversary, when these people are controlled by fanatical Islamist rulers – Hamas – sworn to the destruction of Israel and genocide of the Jewish people? This is likely explainable by the fact that the owner/operator of Al-Jazeera America, Al-Jazeera English and the original Al-Jazeera Arabic networks is the government of Qatar, a major financial backer of the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip. Hamas is designated as a terrorist entity by the United States, Israel, Canada, Japan, other countries and the European Union.

Moreover, Jordan and Stratford leave viewers with the impression that Israel is just being spiteful in enforcing the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. So, what's the purpose of the blockade? In supporting the need for the blockade, a 2010 United Nations report stated:

"The stated primary objective of the naval blockade was for security. It was to prevent weapons, ammunition, military supplies and people from entering Gaza and to stop Hamas operatives sailing away from Gaza with vessels filled with explosives. ... These factors alone indicate it was not imposed to punish its citizens for the election of Hamas."

Stratford: "Muhammad and his crew of five sets off from the Gaza port. They say Israeli gun boats could appear at any time. The Israeli government bans Gaza's fishing boats from sailing more than six nautical miles from the coast."

Muhammad (translated): "The area is not big enough. We are about 5,000 fishermen. I need $2000 everyday to operate the boat and I can't cover my costs."

Stratford: "Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip means fishing these waters was dangerous long before the war. Muhammad shows me what he describes as bullet holes."

Muhammad (translated): "This happened before the war. Three Israeli Navy boats cut our nets. They shot at us and confiscated my other boat."

Stratford: "With so many fishermen trolling off the coast of Gaza in such a restricted area, the fish stocks here are seriously depleted. The fishermen tell us that especially since the war ended they suffer threats and intimidation by the Israeli Navy boats everyday and one fisherman who was arrested and released said that he was even offered money to spy."

Stratford: "Mustafa says he was fishing within the area that Israel allows when the Israeli Navy arrested him and confiscated his boat."

Mustafa (translated): "They handcuffed us and left us blindfolded in a room for three or four hours. They asked me for names of people in Hamas. They offered me $1300 a month if I would work for them."

Stratford: "Further up the coast, an Israeli Navy vessel circles a Palestinian fishing boat. The fishing boat is around a hundred meters within the permitted area. Soon after the Israeli disappears, three fishing boats dare cross the boundary marked by a buoy and they venture a few hundred meters in and then back."

Stratford: "Hussein lives on the coast inside the fishing exclusion zone. He is recovering in hospital after the Israeli military shot him in the leg."

Hussein ( translated): "I have been living and fishing here since 1956. I was in my boat one hundred meters from the beach. The [Israeli] Army shot at me from a jeep on the shore."

Stratford: "Back on the boat, Muhammad and his crew are happy with what they say is their largest catch in a week They will each get around ten dollars for this haul and they will risk staying out at sea all night. Charles Stratford, Al- Jazeera, Gaza."

September 15, 2014 – 6:36 AM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America network 6:00 AM news hour featured two separate juxtaposed reports that resulted in a biased, anti-Israel message. Though network reporters and anchors do interview Israeli and pro-Israeli sources at times, it must be kept in mind that the owner/operator of Al-Jazeera America, Al-Jazeera English and the original Al-Jazeera Arabic is the government of Qatar, a major financial backer of the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip. Hamas is designated as a terrorist entity by the United States, Israel, Canada, Japan, other countries and the European Union. Hamas is sworn to the destruction of Israel and genocide of the Jewish people.
 
The first report is a human interest story involving a Palestinian Arab father in the Gaza Strip who has refused to take his son, who suffers from brain damage, to Israel for medical treatment after his other son was killed allegedly by an Israeli tank shell. The context-free report omits mention of Hamas aggression against Israel that precipitated the Hamas-Israel conflict, in which the other son was (allegedly) killed. This omission of a fundamental fact of the report renders it one-sided, to the point of being propaganda. Furthermore, an online search for details of the death turns up reports only from either unreliable or anti-Israel Web sites. No mainstream sites report on the event. Elements of this report are carried online by Al-Jazeera America.

The second report, from Germany, seemingly aimed at balancing any anti-Jewish sentiment conveyed by the first, concerns the increasingly anti-Jewish atmosphere in Europe which involves violence as well as hate speech. Violence ranges from swastikas scrawled on Jewish gravestones to Molotov cocktails thrown at synagogues to beating of Jews. The report pointed to the "immigrant community" inflamed by the Israeli-Hamas war this summer, including Israel's campaign against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, as a major factor. But the "immigrant community" in this case is a euphemism for Arabs and Muslim residents of European countries. The segment fails to mention that perpetrators of anti-Jewish, anti-Israeli violence are disproportionally from Germany's large Muslim community. Both reports were supplied by Al-Jazeera English, which primarily serves non-U.S. English-speaking markets.

The first report at 6:36 AM:

Host: Nick Clark from Al-Jazeera English headquarters in Doha, Qatar.

Correspondent: Charles Stratford.

Clark: "A Palestinian delegation has begun holding talks with members of the U.N. Security council as part of its latest efforts to seek statehood. Meanwhile in Gaza, where people are struggling to recover from the resent bombardment on the strip, Charles Stratford [correspondent] met a father who lost a son during that conflict which has forced him to make a very difficult choice."

Stratford: "Ahmad Shaheen helps his son out of bed. Eight-year-old Othman suffered brain damage when he was a baby after he was inoculated by a Palestinian doctor in Gaza against tuberculosis. Ahmad has the necessary permit from Israel allowing him to take Othman to a hospital in Tel Aviv for treatment and tests. Before the war they would travel across the border every few months but on July 30 an Israeli tank shell hit the family home, killing Othman's 16-year-old brother, Ali."

Shaheen (translated): "Ali and I used to take care of Othman together and Ali used to take him outside for fresh air and carry him to the bathroom. When Othman got tired or sick, Ali would take him to the hospital and got his medicine. Whenever I look at Othman now, I think of Ali."

Straford: "So, the tank shell came from the ceiling into this room where the family were huddled together and killed Ali who was lying in the corner immediately and his brother Othman was lying next to him. The attack has pushed his father to make one of the most important decisions of his life."

Stratford (video clip of a protest): "Family and friends organized this protest. Ahmad has decided that he can no longer take Othman to Israel for treatment."

[It is likely that Hamas operatives made the decision for Shaheen.]

Shaheen (translated speaking to protesters): "Israel has offered to treat my son but in a month, a year or two years time they will fire rockets to kill him. This is your invitation Israel and doesn't mean anything for me, for this reason I rip it up [shown ripping up sheets of paper].

[Crowd chanting in Arabic]

Stratford: "Ahmad says that Israel's medical establishment should have done more to protest the killing of so many children in Gaza. More than 500 children were killed during the war that Israel targeted what it describes as Hamas terrorists."

Note: Bias by repeated omission of salient information, unintentional if not intentional is evident here. Unasked is why Gazan medical professionals and other Gazan professionals don't protest Hamas' incessant mortar and rocket fire against Israeli civilians or Hamas' use of Gazans as human shields. These are all war crimes, as Al-Jazeera America if not Ahmad Shaheen could be expected to know. Also unmentioned: Of the more than 4,500 mortars and rockets fired by Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups from the Gaza Strip toward Israel from July 8 through September 2, as many as 800 fell short, according to Israel Defense Forces tracking data. These landed in the Strip, no doubt sometimes wounding or killing Palestinian Arabs. Unreported too is Hamas sacrifice of the lives of Gazan children such as those killed (reportedly 160) in the construction of terror tunnels infiltrating Israel]. Unasked as well is how many of the "500 children" (under 18, according to the U.N. definition) were males between 15 and 18, apparently often used as combatants by Palestinian terrorist groups, in violation of international conventions against child soldiers.

Khalil Abu Shamalah ("human rights activist" translated): "While Israeli hospitals receive some Palestinian children patients for treatment, their military has killed Palestinian kids. The Israeli doctors will not reject the military action but its confusing that at the same time the Israeli army is killing Palestinian children, Israeli doctors are treating some of them."

Stratford: "Ahmad Shaheen continues to fight for justice in court for Othman. He wants those responsible for supplying the drug that damaged his son to be held accountable. But despite the difficulties he and Othman face, he doesn't want any help from Israel. Charles Stratford, Al-Jazeera, Gaza."

NOTE: Al-Jazeera rarely if ever informs viewers that Israel goes to extraordinary lengths to protect non-combatants as Colonel Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, pointed out in September 2014 about Operation Protective Edge just as he had said about a previous such operation in his testimony before the UN Human Rights Council in October 2009, "During Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli Defense Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of war."

September 15, 2014 – 6:39 AM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America News Hour at 6:00 AM.

Host: Nick Clark from Al-Jazeera English headquarters in Doha, Qatar.

Correspondent: Nick Spicer (a Canadian national) who has reported from European capitals for 20 years.

Clark: "The Jewish Museum in Belgium has opened its doors four months after a gunman killed four people there. Security had been tightened at the building in Brussels for the reopening ceremony. The suspected shooter is a French national who was arrested in July and it fueled fears of rising anti-Jewish sentiment in Europe. While in Germany, there is a share of support for the Jewish community and thousands of people gathered in Berlin to rally against antisemitism. Nick Spicer was there and sent this report."

[Host Clark fails to mention that the suspected shooter is Mehdi Nemmouche, a 29-year-old French national of Algerian Arab Muslim origin.]

Spicer: "A turn out in the low thousands but the mood unified, resolute and defiant. German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke at the request of Germany's Jewish community. It's alarming that a number of attacks on people and property over the summer including Molotov cocktails thrown at a synagogue."

Merkel (translated) : "That today much more than 100,000 Jews live again in Germany is near to a miracle. It is a gift. It serves me with great (indistinct) that people today are being insulted, threatened and attacked in Germany as they somehow reveal themselves to be Jewish or side with Israel, is a terrible scandal. I won't accept it."
 
[According to Suzanne Fields in a Sept. 18, 2014 Washington Times Op-Ed, "The Israelization of anti-Semitism," "The blunt and forthright Angela Merkel tells it like it is" reads in part: ‘That far more than 100,000 Jews are now living in Germany is something of a miracle. It's a gift, and it fills me with a deepest gratitude. Jewish life is part of our identity and culture. It hurts me when I hear that young Jewish parents are asking if it's safe to raise their children here, or when the elderly ask if it was right to stay here." Merkel also said at the rally: ‘The legitimate criticism of the political actions of a government – be it ours or of the state of Israel – is fine. But if it is only used as a cloak for one's hatred against other people, hatred for Jewish people, then it is a misuse of our basic rights of freedom of opinion and assembly.'"]

Spicer: "Antisemitism is a painful subject in Germany because of the painful legacy of the Holocaust, successive posts where governments fought hard against it through hate speech laws – for instance, it's illegal to show Nazi symbols – as well as through education – but of late the focus has shifted from far right neo-Nazi groups to the immigrant community ["immigrant community" in this case is a euphemism for Arab Muslims]. In the margins of recent demonstrations like this one against the war in Gaza and for an independent Palestine, some were heard chanting "Jews to the gas chamber." Nothing near a rallying cry for the overall Gaza protest movement but the words shocked and hurt even among non-Jewish Germans."

German woman (unidentified, speaking in English): "I came today because it's really important to show solidarity with the Jewish people especially considering the German history."

Spicer: "There were Israeli flags in the crowd and carried proudly. Many German Jews saying being pro-Israel shouldn't mean you get beaten up."

German Jewish man (unidentified, translated): "The situation in Germany is tense and many of us are afraid because the antisemitism and hatred against Jews is spreading. In fact, hatred against Jews never disappeared. But now it has become more mainstream."

Spicer: "The reality of daily life for the slowly growing Jewish community in Germany is this, 24/7 police protection for synagogues, Jewish book stores and kindergartens even when things are generally calm in the nation. Chancellor Merkel wants a new Germany where that protection is no longer necessary. Nick Spicer, Al Jazeera, Berlin."

September 11, 2014 – 10:39 PM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America network 10-11 PM program “Consider This.”

Host: Antonio Mora from Al-Jazeera America headquarters in New York City. Mora's distinguished career  includes a long stint with the ABC television network.

Guest: Palestinian Arab Mosab Hasan Yousef, son of a Hamas (terrorist group that rules Gaza Strip) founder and leader Sheikh Hassan Yousef. Mosab, now living in the United States, is estranged from his family and Palestinian society. From 1997 to 2007, Mosab worked undercover for Israel's internal security service Shin Bet.

Guest: Gonen Ben Yitzhak, Shin Bet operative, “handler” of Mosab during most of 1997 to 2007.

The nine-minute segment at 10:39 consisted of Mora's interview of the two guests in the New York studio, promoting their film, "The Green Prince," about Mosab's experience as an under cover operative for Israel. The interview also dealt with the threat from ISIS, Islamic State terrorist entity. The interview was quite straightforward and objective unlike the general pattern of seriously unbalanced, propagandized Al-Jazeera America Arab-Israeli discussions. However, the broadcast, understandably loathe to criticize normative Islam due to the connection to the network's owner/operator (Qatar), avoided touching on Mosab's severe criticism of Islam on Fox News Channel on Sept. 6, 2014 at 12:12 PM in a six-minute interview conducted by Uma Pemmaraju (see below).

Qatar has been coming under increasing international criticism for its Middle East activities, “Only 278,000 of its 1.5 million residents are Qatari citizens. Thanks to oil and natural gas revenues, Qatar has the highest per capita income in the world. It is using its money shrewdly to buy influence throughout the Middle East, playing host to Khaled Meshaal, the political leader of Hamas, and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood with money and political assistance.” (Halifax Chronicle Herald-Canada)

In the Mora interview, both guests strongly condemned Hamas from a moral point of view. Gonen offered no apologies for Israeli anti-terrorist actions. Mosab described his reaction to the brutality of Hamas, “leading to me working with Israel to stop Hamas madness.”

Excerpt:

MORA “I want to get to the apparent part of the friendship [with Gonen] in a minute. I do want to ask you - you talked about the shame of collaborating with Israel. You saw the pictures of Hamas operatives killing people in the streets of Gaza. Did you think as you saw that, that could have been me?”

MOSAB: “I did not think this way. I felt sorry for the people who were killed, because it reminded me of what was happening in the present. Back in 1996, during my imprisonment, this is what Hamas was doing to people to intimidate everyone. I think that they still use the same strategy to intimidate an entire society, that anyone that goes against the will of the movement will be executed. The execution took place outside of a mosque in a public. Children witnessed that, women witnessed that. That is their strategy, it does not scare me or anyone that lives in freedom.”

MORA: Your bravery is incredible. You have been disarmed by your dad and must live under some level of threat. He [Mosab] comes to the United States, and because of his connection to Hamas, they don't want to give him asylum.”

MORA (addressing Gonen): “At this point you decide, "I don't care, I'm coming to the United States and speaking out in his favor."

GONEN: “We [Israel] don't leave a soldier behind, a soldier of humanity, a soldiers fighting to stop the killing. I couldn't let him meet his destiny with out meeting him. I didn't have a choice. I needed to do it. It was something my heart told me to do. This is why I came to the United States to testify for him.

MORA: “You guys called each other brothers, it's a pleasure to see you. One can only hope more Palestinians and Israelis can call each other brothers in the future.”

NOTE: Given the Qatar connection, it's understandable that the Mora interview would not touch on Mosab's controversial criticism of normative Islam on Fox News Channel on Sept. 6, 2014 at 12:12 PM in a six-minute interview conducted by Uma Pemmaraju in which Mosab condemned Islam's founder, Mohammed, and Islam's holy book, the Koran.

Excerpt from the Fox broadcast:

MOSAB: “Well, again, this is their [the terrorists'] devotion. It's not for ISIS, it's not for a political party. Their devotion is for Mohammed, for Allah. Those are the actual terrorists. Nobody is talking about this. It exists in the Koran, it exists in the behavior of Mohammed, the founder of the Islamic faith. Now when we see the beheadings, the brutality of these radical movements, it takes us back 1400 years for what Mohammed did to the Jews, to the Christians, to the people who did not believe in the Islamic faith and they are just following the footsteps of their prophet.”

To help shed light on this matter, perhaps, Al-Jazeera America in a “Consider This” segment conducted by Antonio Mora, might provide a service to the public discourse with a debate between expert proponents and expert opponents of normative Islam.

August 28, 2014 – 10:25 AM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America program “Consider This” (10:00-11:00 AM) featured an eleven minute interview at 10:25 AM with a Palestinian (PLO) spokesman providing a thoroughly propagandistic viewpoint of the Gaza conflict. Immediately following this lengthy interview, Al-Jazeera America cynically “balanced” it with a 20-second segment for an official Israeli viewpoint. This is another of numerous Al-Jazeera propaganda platform segments masquerading as journalism concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Propaganda myths used in this segment to bash Israel, including “occupation” and “war crimes,” are refuted below in the NOTE section.

Host: Ali Velshi (formerly of CNN) from Al-Jazeera America headquarters in New York City. Kenyan born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Velshi is a member of the Ismaili branch of Islam.

Guest: Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian West Bank (PLO) “peace” negotiator. Erekat has serious credibility problems as demonstrated by his Jenin "massacre" fabrications in 2002. Erekat is repeatedly referred to as “doctor” by host Velshi having been awarded a doctorate in “peace studies” in 1983 by University of Bradford in the UK after earning undergraduate degrees in “international relations” at University of San Francisco (California).

Transcript of the Velshi/Erekat collaboration:

Velshi: “Turning now to the second day of the latest ceasefire in Gaza that seems to be holding. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the nation in a speech and included a warning for Hamas.”

Netanyahu (speaking in Hebrew translated): “I take this opportunity to say that if it resumes fire we will not tolerate a sprinkle of shooting at any part of Israel. What we did in response now we will respond even more vigorously.”

Velshi: “Meanwhile, at a meeting of Palestinian Authority leaders, President Mahmoud Abbas plan was announced which would call for a U.N. resolution and international conference demanding a deadline to end Israel's occupation [Sic.] of Palestinian territory.”

[The propagandistic myth of “occupation” is repeatedly used by both host and guest.]

Velshi: “Joining us from Jericho in the West Bank is Dr. Saeb Erekat, the prime negotiator for the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Doctor glad to have you back. The costs were huge, 2100 Palestinians dead, 1.7 Million citizens displaced, the question is how is what was agreed to yesterday any different than what was offered in the first week of the conflict? Why all the bloodshed for something we could have had in the first week?”

Erekat: “I think the question is wrong, Ali. War? If you recall, we didn't start this war, the war began on June the 12th in Hebron [West Bank], when Israel decided to begin the bombardment in Gaza. And the war from day one had a political objective. This was Israel's response to the formation of the national consensus government. This was Israeli response to the fact that we began a reconciliation process to get back Gaza on track, to get back the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The position of the Israeli government from day one is to destroy the national consensus government, to destroy the Palestinian government, because Israel knows there will be no Palestinian state without Gaza. From day one we began urging the international community to stop this war, to end this conflict, to stop Palestinian blood being shed and every time around -- Israel was finding pretext and excuses to continue the bombardment.

And as a matter of fact, we today, we call upon the international community to make sure that Israel respects and sustains the ceasefire. We need to sustain it. We need to begin putting back 450,000 people who are without homes, without roofs. We need hundreds of thousands of our boys and girls to begin their school year this year. Gaza is with no electricity, no running water, no sewage system. We urge the international community to begin immediately helping us in transferring the needs, the food needs, the medical needs, the fuel needs, the electricity needs for 1.7 Million people in Gaza that has been totally devastated in a war.”

Velshi: “Let me ask you this Dr. Erekat, yesterday in announcing the ceasefire Mahmoud Abbas asked ‘what's next?' Gaza has witnessed three wars in the last six years and asked how long this can last. I want to get specifics if I can. There's been talk in the last 24 hours about a new initiative that you guys are posing that would bypass the American brokered negotiations, that would call for a U.N. Resolution demanding a deadline to the Israeli occupation. What detail can you give me about that?”

Erekat: “Ali, yes, last night there was a very important crucial meeting for Palestinian leadership, the joint leaders of the Palestine (indistinct) committee and Fatah, and President Abbas and his excellency the Emir of Qatar, and the political bureau on the situation the day after. All I can tell you at this stage, Ali, is that a decision was voted upon last night, passed unanimously that business as usual no more. A status quo no more. We don't want to busy ourselves what with all the important needs that we have in Gaza. We will call upon all the international community.

I met with the U.N. people today, I spoke with them -- to the Europeans, to the Japanese, today to the Arabs, to begin immediately to relieve the suffering of our people in Gaza but at the same time the day after concerning our situation in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza. We will not allow the status quo to continue. We will not allow business as usual to continue. So in the next few weeks, actually, I cannot elaborate on what was taken what was decided but, we need to see this occupation end. This occupation is almost 46 years old. This occupation must end 47 years old, this occupation must end and we want to see that the international community does what it takes to end this occupation.”

Velshi: “Doctor Erekat, can you give insurances that you're in charge, that when Mahmoud Abbas says something that it is actually the word of the Palestinians? As you said there are many factions and there are you speaking for Palestinian people and for Gaza. There seems to have been some confusion in the last several weeks during this conflict as to whether Hamas is acting on its own and other factions acting on their own. Are you able to control your side of things?”

Erekat: “Ali, yes we are controlling our side of things. On 24th of April of this year, there is no more Hamas government in Gaza there is no more split in Gaza. We are with the consultation of Hamas and Fatah. This is our address for Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem. President Abbas is the president of all Palestinians. This is the address for Gaza, West Bank and Jerusalem and now all the reconstruction for building Gaza. We speak about the day after politically everyone is on board. President Abbas when he announced the ceasefire, in changing the status quo. Yes, he speaks on behalf of all Palestinians.”

Velshi: “Let me ask you this because you said you can't give me much more detail about the meeting that took place last night but that there was a meeting and there is some plan that says there's no status quo and no more business as usual. Some say that Mahmoud Abbas may go to the international criminal court and pursue war crimes against Israel. Your name may be more well-known to the world than Mahmoud Abbas's name is. We have seen you for two decades negotiating. United States will never back the idea that Israel gets tried for war crimes. What are you aiming to get out of that?”

Erekat: “Ali, those who worry about courts and those who worry specifically about criminal courts, should stop committing crimes. We're not fond of going to courts. But when you look at Gaza today, when you look at 12,000 people killed and wounded, mostly women and children, when you look at the targeting of our water system, our electricity system, putting back Gaza, the war crimes committed against citizens, the safety of people of the West Bank and Jerusalem is Israel's responsibility as the occupying power. When this power violates all this, it is our full right to defend our honor in the international community and we will defend our people on every human level at every human level possible in accordance with international law and international court of justice.”

Velshi: “Is your goal to get back to the negotiating table?... You must start with a map, you must discuss territories not just hearing these words that we support a two state solution, you want to see what that map looks like. Is your goal to get Israel back to the table and once again go back to negotiation? (indistinct) we have seen for more than two decades, for more than four decades this hasn't worked.”

Erekat: “Ali, our goal is to make sure that our people are not being slaughtered anymore. That we don't lose 12,000 [Sic.] of our boys and girls every two years. That we don't see the devastation we have seen in Gaza. That we don't see our infants being put in ice cream refrigerators for lack of (indistinct). These are horrible situations, these are human beings being in the year 2014 treated in this fashion. You have seen an army with 3,000 tanks, 2,000 F-16s, facing Gaza, 1.7 million people, no army, no navy, no air force. You have seen this devastation and the day after will not be done in accordance with the old broken record. Come back to the negotiations and tell. Help us help you so we will get (indistinct). No this time we have a plan, and this plan is, it's yes or no, does Israel recognize the state of Palestine on the 1967 borders? They haven't done it so far. They haven't done it so far. They continue the settlement activities in the supposed to be Palestinian state.

Our legal status in the United Nations was stated in 2012 in accordance to resolution 6719, that we are a state under occupation. We are exactly like Korea, Philippines, Belgium, Holland and France under occupation in the Second World War. So Israel has a choice now. The choice is settlements or peace. They can't have both – occupation or peace – they cannot have both. Either they will become the full responsible authority for Palestinians as the occupying power, or they allow the Palestinian Authority to take responsibility for all Palestinians within a very specified time frame agreed to by the international community.”

Velshi: “You say settlements or peace, not both. But Benjamin Netanyahu has said in the last few weeks, we are not leaving the settlements, we will not do that.”

Erekat: “Okay then he is the occupying power and he will shoulder his responsibilities as an occupying power and I can really not elaborate any further. I can tell you, Ali, I'm not in a position to threaten anyone. All we want to do as Palestinians today as a Palestinian leadership, that we want to make sure that our people are not slaughtered every two years. Our boys and girls deserve to go to school every year at the end of August. Our boys and girls deserve to sleep without waking themselves, deserve not to be orphans. This is what we have full right to do as people and once again those who worry about international criminal courts should not commit crimes.”

Velshi: “Saeb Erekat, Chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority. Doctor Erekat, thanks for joining us.”

Velshi: “On Wednesday, Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev addressed his country's position on avoiding further conflict.”

Regev (pre-recorded): “There is a concern, I think, in Israel and in the international community, that we are going to have to revisit this in six months. The way to avoid that from happening in the future is to work seriously on preventing Hamas from rearming and ultimately to do what the Palestinians have committed to do which is to have Gaza disarmed. That is a Palestinian commitment, a signed commitment, and it's time that commitment was implemented. That's the sure way to prevent another war.”

[Velshi has no comment.]

NOTE: Host Velshi and Guest Erekat team up to propagandize against Israel including the myth of “occupation.” This is a main component of the narrative of the Palestinian propaganda machine. The phrase "occupied West Bank" is typically used by the machine's adherents, such as Al-Jazeera, to mendaciously imply that Israel is occupying the land of another country. The facts are these: How can Israel be occupying the Gaza Strip when it is tightly controlled by the dictatorial, fanatical government of Hamas? In the West Bank, Israel is the legal military occupational authority, pending a negotiated settlement. That's because it gained the territories in the 1967 Six-Day War, a war of self-defense. Further, it has not forcibly transferred Arabs out or Jews in, and the land itself is not an occupied part of a sovereign country but an unallocated, disputed remnant of the League of Nations' Palestine Mandate, Article 6, which calls for "close Jewish settlement" on the land west of the Jordan River. Article 6 is incorporated by Article 80 of the U.N. Charter, sometimes referred to as "the Palestine article." The United States endorsed the mandate, including Article 6, in the 1924 Anglo-American Convention.

As Eugene Rostow, a co-author of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 (1967), the keystone of all subsequent successful Arab-Israeli negotiations pointed out, 242 does not require complete Israeli withdrawal. Rather, the status of the territory, to which Jews as well as Arabs have legitimate claims, is to be resolved in negotiations as called for in the resolution and by U.N. Security Council Resolution 338 (1973). Meanwhile, Jewish villages and towns built in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria, the ancient homeland of the Jewish people) since 1967 are no more illegal than areas built since then in previously existing Arab villages and towns.

As to the false accusation against Israel of war crimes: Israel's efforts to destroy missiles before they can be fired at Israeli civilians, even if that places Palestinian civilians at risk, seems to conform to the laws of war, especially when care is taken to minimize that risk, including text messages, cell phone calls and other unprecedented warnings. It is mistaken to contend also that Hamas has no choice but to place rocket launchers among Gaza civilians since there is considerable open space in the Strip. That might well increase the risk to Hamas missile launchers, but that is both part of its obligation not to unduly endanger the residents of the Gaza Strip and its vulnerability since it chooses to operate as a terrorist organization and not a lawful military.

Beyond this, placing one's own civilians around or near a military target to act as "human shields" is prohibited by the Fourth Geneva Convention – and the presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations. Furthermore, Article 58 of Protocol 1 Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1977 (which the Palestinian Authority has accepted) goes even further in this regard, requiring that Hamas remove Palestinian civilians from the vicinity of its military facilities, which would include any place where weapons, mortars, bombs and the like are produced, stored, or fired, and any place where its fighters train, congregate or hide.

False claims are made that Israel has targeted civilian structures with no military justification thus violating Geneva conventions. But it's well documented that Hamas hijacks UN facilities in Gaza for terrorism. UN forces discovered Hamas rockets hidden in three UN schools. Even Al-Jazeera itself, posted a (short-lived) video report showing Hamas' placement and firing of missile launchers next to a civilian structure. Al-Jazeera, however, quickly removed the video from online. Presumably, the reason for this was the realization of the negative implications for Hamas. Moreover, approximately half the number of Palestinian Arabs killed have been males of combat age, not civilians, according to analyses of Palestinian statistics by CAMERA and others, and Israel Defense Forces assertions that up to 900 of the approximately 2,000 Gazan deaths have been members of Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups.

Al-Jazeera's anti-Israel propaganda leaves no room to inform viewers that Israel provides extensive humanitarian support for civilians in the Gaza Strip. Even as Hamas fires thousands of mortars and rockets into Israel and digs infiltration tunnels to facilitate terrorist attacks, Israel sends thousands of trucks carrying hundreds of thousands of tons of food, medicine and other humanitarian assistance into Gaza and supplies electricity and water.

August 16, 2014 – 12:31 PM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America program “Talk to Al-Jazeera” 12:30-1:00 PM. (there have been several recent repeats of this particular broadcast).

Host: Tony Harris (formerly of CNN) from Al-Jazeera America headquarters in New York City.

Guest: Ken Roth, Human Rights Watch (HRW) executive director. Roth is a long-time severe critic of Israel thus he meshes perfectly with Al-Jazeera America.

The first four-minutes of the thirty-minute program deal with the Israeli-Hamas conflict.
 
Harris: “I spoke to Ken Roth in our studios in New York. Thanks for being here with us on “Talk to Al-Jazeera.” Let's start with Gaza and the latest flare ups. And we have hundreds of Gazans who have been killed and we've got Israeli soldiers that have been killed. Israeli civilians have been killed. Can you get a sense of what's really happening on the ground?”

Roth: “Yes. We do have an investigator in Gaza who is based there permanently. Israel has not let our additional people in that we'd like to go in. But nonetheless we able to conduct an investigation. I think there is a tendency when you look at a conflict like in Gaza, people tend to throw up their hands and say things like ‘war is hell and people got killed' but that's not the way to look at it. The Geneva conventions impose rules that are designed to spare civilians as much as possible in such a conflict. With respect to Hamas, they completely prohibit the indiscriminate rocket attacks aimed broadly at Israel – basically targeting the Israeli population. With respect to Israel, they've been violating the Geneva convention by targeting a series of civilian structures where there's no military justification for doing that. Whether that's hospitals, homes where you're seeing (indistinct) civilians. In one case, two dozen civilians were killed because maybe there was one militant there. No one would ever justify an attack like that. Israel killing young boys on the beach because they were running away from a structure that was being shelled as if anybody would stand next to the stricture as it was being shelled. Time after time, we have seen Israel violating the rules that say you have to make sure that what you are targeting is a legitimate military target and only aim at that and only do it in circumstances designed to minimize civilian casualties. Israel is violating that left and right.”

Harris: “Which leads me to the question: does Israel care? Do any of the governments that are involved in these conflicts in these conflict zones – do they really care about human rights violations.”

Roth: “The truth is everybody cares about their reputation in respecting rights. We don't have to argue these days about respecting human rights and the laws of war and legitimate standards that apply to them. What they argue about is the facts. We try to bring the facts as best we can. The role of Human Rights Watch is to state objectively what actually happened. Governments go to enormous length to avoid critical reports of condemnation. They care about their reputation. They care about critical political consequences from other governments penalizing them. They care about avoiding (indistinct) because war crimes can be prosecuted by the international criminal court or other international tribunals.”

Harris: “What are your thoughts about the blockade? And whether that ultimately --- any work that's going on right now would provide a framework where there could be a discussion of the blockade and what that is doing economically, for example, to Gazans?”

Roth: “I think that, you know, Hamas's main demand is that the siege be lifted and Israel has legitimate and illegitimate reasons for wanting that siege. The legitimate one is to try to stop the import of rockets that are being used to indiscriminately shell Israeli citizens. The illegitimate reason is -- they are trying to punish the people of Gaza for having chosen Hamas. So, where Hamas is legitimately objecting to the siege is because Israel is basically trying to, you know, destroy the Gazan economy, preventing import or export of the most basic goods to try to just, you know, harm the Gazan people enough so that ultimately, they may choose to get rid of Hamas. That's wholly inappropriate.”

Harris: “Let's tackle another couple of hot spots.”

[…]

Harris: “I want you to talk about your father. I want you to talk about how you came to do this work”

Roth: “Well, you know, there is never a single reason but a big part as you mentioned a is my father, who grew up in Nazi Germany as a young Jewish boy, and I then, in turn, grew up with stories of what it was like, you know, worrying about would he be arrested if he rode his bicycle down the sidewalk? How was the family going to get out of Germany which was extremely difficult. He finally, in July, 1938, as a 12-year-old boy was able to escape to New York. By my growing up and hearing these stories, I was very aware of the ultimate evil which governments are capable of. It was a big part of what drove me to want to try to prevent atrocities of that sort. When you start talking to victims, you can't help but feel empathy. My father's story got my launched in it. Once you are in the human rights effort and you talk to people over and over again and hear what they have had to suffer, you can't help but feel empathy, first of all, and what really drives me is, I want to do something about it. And what keeps me going day-in and day-out -- and I have been doing this for 25 years -- is knowing that I can do something about it, that we can take their stories, deploy that information and generate pressure to make life better for them.”

Harris: “That's a huge motivating force.”

Roth: “Keeps me very much energized and motivated in this work.”

Harris: “Thanks Ken, it's been a pleasure.”

Roth: “Thank you.”

NOTE: Human Rights Watch (HRW) benefits from what NGO Monitor Executive Director Gerald Steinberg has termed "the halo effect" implied by its self-description as a human rights organization. But like others of its ilk, especially Oxafam and Amnesty International, it subjects the Jewish state to an inordinate degree of scrutiny and consistently casts it as a villain while being far less critical of terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas or countries with records of human rights violations, including Saudi Arabia and Libya under the late Muammar Qaddafi. HRW not only acknowledges its anti-Israel bias, it tried to leverage it to fund-raise in Saudi Arabia in May, 2009, as NGO Monitor noted at the time ("Focus: HRW raises funds in Saudi Arabia by demonizing Israel," May, 2009 Digest). As a result, Roth's accusations defaming Israel fit well with Al-Jazeera America, a sort of Trojan horse in American news media, whose owner/operator, the wealthy Middle East nation of Qatar, is a prime financer of Hamas whose reason for existence is to destroy Israel and kill Jews.

HRW's anti-Israel activities have been exposed by CAMERA. HRW's extreme bias against Israel compelled its founder, Robert Bernstein, to break with it and found a new group, Advancing Human Rights. Bernstein wrote several commentaries admonishing Human Rights Watch for its unfair treatment of Israel. In an article published in The New York Times on Oct. 19, 2009, Bernstein wrote, “Leaders of Human Rights Watch know that Hamas and Hezbollah chose to wage war from densely populated areas, deliberately transforming neighborhoods into battlefields. They know that more and better arms are flowing into both Gaza and Lebanon and are poised to strike again. And they know that this militancy continues to deprive Palestinians of any chance for the peaceful and productive life they deserve. Yet Israel, the repeated victim of aggression, faces the brunt of Human Rights Watch's criticism.”

Roth falsely accused Israel of violations of rules of war on Talk to Al-Jazeera. Roth condemns both Hamas and Israel as violators of the Geneva Conventions and rules of war but typically saves most of his arrows for Israel, The Geneva Conventions impose rules that are designed to spare civilians as much as possible in such a conflict. With respect to Hamas, they completely prohibit the indiscriminate rocket attacks aimed broadly at Israel – basically targeting the Israeli population. With respect to Israel, they've been violating the Geneva Conventions by targeting a series of civilian structures where there's no military justification for doing that. Whether that's hospitals, homes where you're seeing (indistinct) civilians. In one case, two dozen civilians were killed because maybe there was one militant there. No one would ever justify an attack like that. Israel killing young boys on the beach because they were running away from a structure that was being shelled as if anybody would stand next to the stricture as it was being shelled. Time after time, we have seen Israel violating the rules that say you have to make sure that what you are targeting is a legitimate military target and only aim at that and only do it in circumstances designed to minimize civilian casualties. Israel is violating that left and right."

The Roth anti-Israel monologue is typically misleading and inflammatory. Israel's efforts to destroy missiles before they can be fired at Israeli civilians, even if that places Palestinian civilians at risk, seems to conform to the laws of war, especially when care is taken to minimize that risk, including text messages, cell phone calls and other unprecedented warnings. It is mistaken to contend also that Hamas has no choice but to place rocket launchers among Gaza civilians since there is considerable open space in the Strip. That might well increase the risk to Hamas missile launchers, but that is both part of its obligation not to unduly endanger the residents of the Gaza Strip and its vulnerability since it chooses to operate as a terrorist organization and not a lawful military.

Beyond this, placing your own civilians around or near a military target to act as "human shields" is prohibited by the Fourth Geneva Convention – and the presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations. Furthermore, Article 58 of Protocol 1 Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1977 (which the Palestinian Authority has accepted) goes even further in this regard, requiring that Hamas remove Palestinian civilians from the vicinity of its military facilities, which would include any place where weapons, mortars, bombs and the like are produced, stored, or fired, and any place where its fighters train, congregate or hide.

Roth claims that Israel has targeted civilian structures with no military justification thus violating Geneva conventions. But it's well documented that Hamas hijacks UN facilities in Gaza for terrorism. UN forces discovered Hamas rockets hidden in three UN schools. Even Al-Jazeera itself, posted a (short-lived) video report showing Hamas' placement and firing of missile launchers next to a civilian structure. Al-Jazeera, however, quickly removed the video from online. Presumably, the reason for this was the realization of the negative implications for Hamas. Moreover, approximately half the number of Palestinian Arabs killed have been males of combat age, not civilians, according to analyses of Palestinian statistics by CAMERA and others, and Israel Defense Forces assertions that up to 900 of the approximately 2,000 Gazan deaths have been members of Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups.

Roth and Al-Jazeera's Harris maintain their slant by not mentioning that Israel provides extensive humanitarian support for civilians in the Gaza Strip. Even as Hamas fires thousands of mortars and rockets into Israel and digs infiltration tunnels to facilitate terrorist attacks, Israel sends thousands of trucks carrying hundreds of thousands of tons of food, medicine and other humanitarian assistance into Gaza and supplies electricity and water.

Roth leaves no doubt that he believes Israel to be in the same category as Syria, the Islamic State in Iraq, and Russia. Roth, replying to host Harris' questions, links Syria to atrocities, Russia to inhuman actions, ISIS to human rights violations. Nowhere in the program does Roth makes any accusations of massacres – but he accuses only Israel (and Hamas to a lesser degree) of war crimes violating Geneva Conventions.

Roth promoted the phony issue of “blockade” when dutifully prompted by AJAM's Harris ("What are your thoughts about the blockade?”), Roth pontificates, “I think that, you know, Hamas's main demand is that the siege be lifted and Israel has legitimate and illegitimate reasons for wanting that siege. The legitimate one is to try to stop the import of rockets that are being used to indiscriminately shell Israeli citizens. The illegitimate reason is – they are trying to punish the people of Gaza for having chosen Hamas. So, where Hamas is legitimately objecting to the siege is because Israel is basically trying to, you know, destroy the Gazan economy, preventing import or export of the most basic goods to try to just, you know, harm the Gazan people enough so that ultimately, they may choose to get rid of Hamas. That's wholly inappropriate.”

Neither Roth nor Harris deal with the reality that Hamas is an international terrorist organization, so designated by Israel, the United States, Canada, Japan, European Union and other countries. Unmentioned also is its constant demand for "resistance" – anti-Israel terrorism – or its genocidal charter calling for the replacement of Israel by an Islamic theocracy and a war against all Jews. That the Israeli-Egyptian partial blockade, not "siege," of Gaza was imposed only after thousands of rocket attacks on Israel and Hamas' ouster of the Palestinian Authority's ruling Fatah movement in a "Five-Day War" in 2007. It is used primarily to prevent materials for building rockets and terror tunnels from entering the Gaza Strip.

Approaching the end of the broadcast, the implied reliability of Roth's assertions is promoted by touting his supposed main qualification. Replying to Harris' demand (“I want you to talk about your father"), Roth hastens to explain that he came to his work with HRW as a result of his father's childhood experiences in Nazi Germany as a Jewish survivor. Thus, ipso facto, viewers are supposed to accept Roth as, if not being beyond reproach, then at least having elevated standing in his condemnation of the Jewish state. This imputed inoculation fails. Roth qualifies as a Hamas apologist by his blatant distortion, “… Israel killing young boys on the beach because they were running away from a structure that was being shelled as if anybody would stand next to the structure as it was being shelled.” Roth, and HRW's halo, when it comes to Israel, slipped off long ago. Al-Jazeera America's use of HRW for its own anti-Israel purposes merely confirms the drift.

August 3, 2014

Repeats of this same report regarding the Hamas-Israel conflict were aired on several different Al-Jazeera America network broadcasts during the weekend of August 2 and 3.

Correspondent: Kimberly Halkett in Washington, D.C.

Halkett's performance here, like her April 29 report, was much more that of an anti-Israel advocate than that of an impartial correspondent. The production and editing of this slick, propagandistic report in no way contradicts the foreign policy of the rulers of the wealthy nation of Qatar, the network's owner/operator, which is the major financial supporter of Hamas.

[Scenes: Interior of moving bus filled with demonstrators; loud, raucous crowd waving huge signs, seemingly numbering in the hundreds outside the White House.]

Halkett: “They come by the bus load from as far away as Philadelphia, New York and Chicago. They're travelling hundreds of miles to send one message to policy makers in Washington. The view among the thousands gathered outside the White House that Israeli use of force in Gaza is out of proportion, in comparison to the number of rocket attacks from Hamas. There has been almost daily protests outside the White House since the Israeli attacks on Gaza began almost a month ago. But this is by far the largest as public anger over the high number of Palestinian civilian casualties continue to rise.”

Rev. Graylan Hagler (African-American pastor, not identified as a long-time anti-Israel and fringe politics activist): “There's a genocidal massacre going on in Gaza. People who believe in freedom and justice need to be standing up – not only here, but across the world – demanding that somehow human dignity be respected.”

Halkett: “There's frustration too at historically unconditional support for Israel. It's a mission the United States president defends. Saying that Israel must do more to protect civilians, he blames Hamas for breaking Friday's fragile 72-hour truce.”

President Obama (film clip): “I think it's going to be very hard to put a ceasefire back together again if Israelis and the international community can't feel confident that Hamas can follow through on a ceasefire commitment.”

Halkett: “It's a view these pro-Israel supporters try to inject into the public discussion unsuccessfully. The police escorted them away [scene of a dozen or so pro-Israel protesters placed into a police wagon].”

Halkett: “It's a view that the U.S. public is increasingly at odds with – the pro-Israel position of their government.”

Muslim woman: “This is not a [indiscernible] issue, this is not a Muslim issue – it's a humanitarian issue and we have to support it. We should not be on the wrong side of history and I feel like President Barack Obama is on the wrong side of history. Killing innocent women, children, people is not viable or justifiable in any manner whatsoever.”

Halkett: “But it's unclear if anyone is listening because the U.S. Congress has just left for a month-long summer recess and President Obama on Saturday (August 2) was playing golf and celebrating his birthday at Camp David away from the noise of the protests outside the White House. Kimberly Halkett, Al-Jazeera, Washington.”
 
NOTE: Reporter Halkett falsely states that the American public is “increasingly at odds” with the pro-Israel policy of Congress and the administration. In fact, several recent polls (for example, mid July 2014 Pew poll) show strong American backing for Israel over Hamas. She says “there have been almost daily protests outside the White House" since Operation Protective Edge began on July 8, but that is not so. There have been several, none extremely large. Halkett misleadingly frames pro-Israel advocates as negligible in number and as law breakers. For example, approximately 1,000, including several members of Congress as speakers, gathered in Farragut Square, one block from the White House, days before Halkett's several busloads of anti-Israel demonstrators arrived in Washington and there have been numerous other, sizable pro-Israel rallies across the country.

The Al-Jazeera America reporter lets one interviewee's allegation of Israeli "killing innocent women, children, people" pass without challenge. She does not mention Hamas' use of Gazans as human shields, its firing of mortars and rockets into Israel from among the civilian population or its construction of fortifications beneath or alongside hospitals, mosques and schools. Nor does she note Israel's efforts to reduce noncombatant casualties, including leaflets, phone calls, text messages and even dummy missile strikes.

Qatar supports Hamas and owns Al-Jazeera, Al-Jazeera English and Al-Jazeera America. So the fact that fundamentals, including the Hamas' charter commitment to destroy Israel and murder the Jewish people, go unreported is not surprising. But such basic omissions – as in this segment – contradict Al-Jazeera's claim, including that of Al-Jazeera America, to be a journalistic enterprise.

August 2, 2014 – 8:21 AM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America 8 AM News Hour 7-minute interview about the Hamas-Israel conflict.

Host: David Shuster (formerly of MSNBC and Fox News Channel).

Guest: Rami Khouri, a Palestinian-Jordanian and U.S. citizen, is director for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut (Lebanon). He is also editor at large for Beirut's Daily Star newspapers (rami.khouri@dailystar.com.lb). For many years, Khouri's slanted perspectives on the Arab-Israel conflict have typically echoed institutional Arab anti-Israel propaganda.

In this broadcast, Khouri freely propagandizes for Hamas' aggression against Israel including the same old false claims of occupation. In an instance of blatant Journalistic malpractice, host Shuster omits mention of Hamas' reason for existence as stated in its charter and repeatedly confirmed by its actions – destruction of Israel and killing Jews everywhere. Viewers should be aware of the strong financial support for Hamas provided by Shuster's paymaster, the government of Qatar which owns and operates Al-Jazeera America.

Shuster: “Rami Khouri is at the University of Beirut and editor at large for the Daily Star newspapers. He joins us via Skype from Beirut. President Obama squarely blamed Hamas for the violence yesterday. Do you agree?”

Khouri: “Well the fact is we don't really know the details quite enough. And the most important thing we don't know is was the cease-fire agreement that Hamas accepted the same one as the cease-fire agreement that John Kerry read out to the press in India. Kerry said the Israeli army in Gaza could hold positions and continue its operations against the tunnels and that was not in the other cease-fire agreement. There may have been two versions of the cease-fire agreement. There may have been duplicity. There may have been incompetence. There may have been miscommunications. I don't know what it was, but it's impossible right now to say if the Israeli or the Hamas version is the correct one.”

Shuster: “Speaking of the tunnels, it's now pretty clear that Hamas took hundreds of thousands of tons of concrete to construct these tunnels over the last several years. What's been your reaction to what you have been seeing and what the world has been seeing about what Hamas is up to?

Khouri: “Well, Hamas is up to what any occupied people subjugated in the way they are would do. They are doing what is natural.”

Shuster: “There have been numerous reports that say that the Arab countries, at least their leadership hate Hamas more than they dislike Israel. How has that changed this conflict this time around?”

Khouri: “Well, I wouldn't agree exactly with that phrasing. But it's absolutely true that the Arab governments have been pretty quiet and they don't mind seeing Hamas being beaten up. The reality is that the majority of people in those countries are much more leaning towards Hamas and the freedom for the Palestinians from Israeli occupation and siege. What you have is a terrible split in the Arab world between the governments that are non-democratic, non-elected, non-accountable and the people. They just had revolutions in seven or eight of those countries to overthrow these regimes. If you are going to stick with what these regimes say then stick with what Putin says in Russia and what dictators say in other autocratic countries. I think that's a bizarre way for a democratic country like the United States to judge these countries. So the leaders have a viewpoint which is completely different from the people.”

Shuster: “You say the United States is not judging the conflict based upon the people's viewpoint but I think what a lot of people are saying is that the dynamics of this conflict are a bit different this time because Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan seem to be taking the Israeli side in trying to destroy Hamas.”

Khouri: “They are. The vast majority of people are not of that mind. That's what I am saying. So, you know, you can either go with what the autocratic non-democratic leaderships are saying or what public opinion is saying. So you have a terrible situation. The governments clearly dislike Hamas. They don't like revolutionary Islamic movements that fight for people's freedoms and for people's self determination and for justice and this is what you have just seen in Egypt where the people have elected the former army commander who will bring back military rule to Egypt essentially.”

Shuster: “We've got to leave it there. Rami Khouri is at the institute of public policy at the American university of Beirut. Thank you for joining us.”

NOTE: Host Shuster would have done well to include an anti-Hamas Arab spokesman on the program or at least describe Arab views completely opposite to Khouri's. For example, those of Mudar Zahran, Jordanian Palestinian writer and political activist, who lives in the UK. He spoke on Fox's Hannity program on July 31: "Most Gazans have had enough with Hamas. You have to understand that Hamas is not only Hamas. Hamas is a part of a larger evil, if you want to say, hostile coalition with other countries."

July 20, 2014

Al-Jazeera America network's skewed coverage of the Hamas-Israel conflict.

Hostess: Dareen Abughaida from Al-Jazeera English headquarters in Doha, Qatar.

Abughaida is one of approximately forty hosts/news presenters in Jazeera/Doha as compared to “only” about thirty Jazeera/America hosts from New York City. Each of these numbers dwarfs the number of hosts with any of the other American news networks.

Abughaida's problematic opening remarks, setting the stage for the coverage to come, mendaciously accused Israel of “indiscriminate shelling … random shelling” of Gaza residents. Al-Jazeera's July 20 reports each hour from 1 AM to 7AM featuring Jazeera English correspondents Stefanie Dekker and Nicole Johnston, portrayed Hamas ruled (elected by an overwhelming majority of Gazans) Palestinian Arabs as completely innocent, tragic victims and the Israelis as only relentless, cruel victimizers. It is interesting to note that subsequent reports from Gaza on this same day each hour from 8 AM to 11 AM featuring Nick Schifrin, the Middle East correspondent for Al-Jazeera America, were much less blatantly propagandistic. It's as if the American office realized it would be prudent to back off from the previous Jazeera English excesses.

At 1:09 AM viewers were treated to a problematic segment::

Abughaida: “Earlier we spoke to Dr. Mads Gilbert. He's a Norwegian doctor who works at the Shifa hospital in Gaza and here is what he has to say.”

Gilbert: “Right now we are operating almost only on amputation injuries and shrapnel injuries that the artillery of the Israelis are doing from shelling in the local areas. These may cause internal bleedings and other life-threatening situations. And it's very disturbing to see the large numbers of civilians and in particular the children injured. What is remarkable with the Palestinians in Gaza is their resilience. They don't give up. They stand tall. I'm amazed to see the calm in the community and also among the staff. Today, I think it's three medical doctors who had their homes shattered by the Israeli attacks. The psychological effect is that the more they bomb, the more they get convinced and determined that they will not give up. They will not yield to the pressure from the state of Israel. They stand tall and they say calmly, ‘We are used to this. We will not surrender. We have the right to this land. This is our land and we will help our people.' I think this despite the fact that they are exhausted by the very palpable determination and coherence among the Palestinians. Really, what they are talking about is that, you know, how can the world accept this Israeli terrorism targeting mostly civilians in an area which is completely shut off. Nobody can (indiscernible). There are no shelters, no early warning systems, no sirens. The population is basically completely naked towards an enormously strong Israeli military machine.”

However, the foregoing perspective is completely unreliable since it comes from a well-known, notoriously anti-Israel person who endorses the "moral right" of the 9/11 terrorists to kill Americans. Gilbert's previous propaganda antics in Gaza have been documented.

NOTE: Al-Jazeera America makes very little or no mention of key information such as the overwhelming evidence that Hamas puts Palestinians in harm's way by placing rocket launchers and terror tunnels in hospitals, schools, mosques and homes to attack Israelis. Furthermore, Hamas' complete lack of concern for the welfare of Palestinians is evidenced by misuse of the many tons of concrete allowed into Gazafor building factories and housing. Hamas has instead used the concrete for building the extensive terror tunnels. Hamas' hatred for Jews, codified in its charter (resulting in thousands of rockets shot into Israeli populated area), is rarely if ever mentioned.

July 12, 2014 – 9 AM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America's coverage (“Gaza under fire”) of the current Hamas/Israeli conflict has been blatantly one-sided as epitomized in this 17-minute report. The report completely ignores the unprovoked harm inflicted upon Israeli citizens from approximately 700 Gaza rockets in a few days, including panic in major population areas, as the Hamas missiles penetrate deeper and deeper into heavily populated areas. Al-Jazeera repeatedly mentions damage and casualty statistics inflicted in Gaza by Israel's retaliatory actions but nothing of the harm inflicted upon Israel. Meanwhile, the news crawler at the bottom of screen repeats Gaza casualty and damage statistics every five minutes while ignoring Hamas' rocket attacks upon Israeli citizens. Likewise, the network's Web site spews non-stop anti-Israel views. Al-Jazeera remains silent concerning the terrorist Hamas organization's dedication to destroying Israel. This fanatical dedication obviously is a much higher priority for the jihadist Hamas rulers of Gaza Strip than the welfare or safety of its inculcated-to-hate-Israel populace.

Host: David Foster from Al-Jazeera English headquarters in Doha, Qatar. Foster was previously with Sky News of Britain.

Correspondent: Stefanie Dekker, based in Al-Jazeera English headquarters in Doha, Qatar.

Correspondent: Nick Schifrin, Al-Jazeera America Middle East correspondent (formerly an ABC News correspondent based in London).

Correspondent: Bernard Smith, Istanbul-based correspondent for Al Jazeera English.

Guest: Riad Kahwaji, Director of Dubai-based Institute for Near East & Gulf Military Analysis (INEGMA).

Host: “This is what we've got coming up in the next 60 minutes. An aerial bombardment hits a center for the disabled in the middle of the Gaza Strip.” Crowds now attending funerals of the victims as Israel insists there has been no let up in its military operation.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “No international pressure will prevent us from acting with all our force against a terror organization calling for our destruction.”

[…]

Host: “It has become a familiar scene in the last few days, and Israel said it won't be letting up on its aerial defense against Gaza. We understand that the death toll is at least 127 people inside the Gaza strip. More than 40,940 have been hurt. Saturday morning, an Israeli strike hitting a medical disability center. Others killed two and many were injured. We go to that center in the Gaza strip to Stefanie Dekker. We'll let you decide when it's safe to go, but tell us what has happened there.”

Dekker: “You can see where the missiles came through. It came through two stories of this house, and then landed right here in the ground floor. You can still see the back end of that missiles. I don't think you can actually see that, but we spoke to the director of this medical center who said to us there is absolutely no one else here other than those who cared for the disabled. This is not a place where people where potentially going to shoot rockets or anyone associated with that. She was extremely upset. She said we've had this for three years, and we were just trying to do good for these people. You can see the scene of destruction here. We'll walk you through. There is a wheelchair here which has been left intact amazingly because the rest of this building has been turned to absolutely rubble.”

Host: “Stefanie, what has happened to the other patients there? Where have they gone?”

Dekker: “They've taken them to the hospital just to monitor them. A lot of people actually suffered burns, of course, because you can see it's still dark when the missiles hits it bursts into flames. Amazingly only two people died. Israel has precision strikes. Sometimes they can be incredibly targeted, incredibly specific. This place than been taken down and in the words of the director, she says, I don't understand why they targeted this place. There are no factions or anyone associated with it. It is a question that we'll have to ask the Israeli army, why the center for the disabled was targeted.”

Host: “Stefanie Decker there in the north of Gaza. As we see the disabled, and the old and the young are losing their lives. We go to Nick Schifrin in Gaza where they have buried a victim of the violence.”

Schifrin: “When it comes to this war, the Gazans say, the most frequent sound is grief. The most frequent image is a child missing his uncle or a woman missing her husband. A this was a pious man said his family. He was 66. Today the Israeli army dropped a bomb on him and his entire community are calling him a martyr. Their silence shows their reverence. His family said that he helped the fighters to make money and because he believed in believed in it.”

Man: “This is our land, the land of Palestine. And they have come in and destroyed our lives.”

Schifrin: “This is Mohammed's cousin. At a local mosque they say a prayer and his relatives came to show thanks. Mohammed liked visiting people and helping people. He educated his children.”

Schifrin: “As the crowd of nearly a thousand walked out of the mosque they're reminded that the most frequent sound is the loud Israeli bombs that shake the earth. Shockwaves travel through your spine. This one landed 300 feet away from us, and the aftermath, part of this video is too grizzly to show. That man in blue is carrying a dead toddler. Israel says the target was a Palestinian fighter. Who saw at least one woman wounded. And the scars felt by the children who were just a few feet away [sounds of screaming] the women were inconsolable.

Prayers were just ending as this strike happened. You can still smell the explosive powder in the air. There is a lot of tension right now because about a mile down here about 30, 45 seconds ago there was yet another attack. Today Israel vowed to step up its campaign, which means in this war there would be more sound and more images like today's. Nick Schifrin, Al- Jazeera, Gaza.”

Host: “Well, the so-called silence procedure calling for de-escalation for Gaza is going around the United Nations. Israel shows little if no sign of scaling down the military offensive. Tanks and troops amassing around the Gaza border getting ready for a ground assault there. We go to [correspondent] Bernard Smith. Tell us about the mood of the Israeli government and what you're hearing what it may plan to do now.“

Smith: “David, the Israeli government's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, feels comfortable with what they have done the last couple of days In Gaza. Because Israel's international allies, U.S., Canada … has backed Israel's right to defend itself. Britain's [foreign minister] William Hague, has come out and said today after having spoken with [Palestinian Authority (West Bank) President] Mahmoud Abbas, that he's extremely concerned about the humanitarian situation. Friends in the region say they're concerned about the humanitarian situation. Because Benjamin Netanyahu has overwhelming domestic support for his actions, he doesn't feel under any pressure to change course.”

Netanyahu: “No international pressure will prevent us acting with all our resource against those calling for our destruction. We will continue to defend with determination of wisdom, the home front and the citizens of Israel.”

Host: “The Israeli army has the practice known as knock on the roof. It is a procedure which involves the firing of warning shots or the dropping of some kind of explosives before a main airstrike goes in. We're going show you one, now. This is out of Gaza yesterday. It will be played out in real time. We'll show you how it is from the beginning when you get the warning shots and the proper attack. We've sub titled it so you can hear the cries of those people nearby. This is it [explosion ] [explosion]. Fifty-seven seconds between the dropping of the warning bombs, the knock on roof as it's known. And the targeting of a particular residence there. We saw at least one person on the roof of that house … from those shouting nearby that there was a father in the house. We're trying to find out what the results were of that attack. Let's talk about this kind of procedure. A Military analyst, Riad Kahwaji, will be joining us live from Dubai, and I'm going to ask our INEGMA director Kahwaji as we're talking to play these pictures again in real time. Fifty-seconds it is. So we see initially a couple of small explosions near the villa. This is presumably to let those inside know what?”

Kahwaji: “Well, basically it's going to be bombed. When you are in a war situation, and I was in a war situation. I grew up in a war in Lebanon, it is very hard to expect people to just take action and flee in less than one minute. To evacuate a building. This was a two-story building, in less than a minute. This also this has an impact on, like, about 500 meters around it. So even though you manage to get out, you have to be away from this building at least 100 yards, 100 meters to be safe. So within this minute so-called knock on the roof, it is basically nonsense. You're not leaving these people any chance to get out. You're only playing – Israel is only playing a propaganda game here.”

Host: “This is the Israeli military actually striking? It's pretty devastating.”

Kahwaji: “It is very devastating. Talking about giving notice to people, this is just propaganda by Israel to tell the world that it is going out of its way to make sure that collateral damage is very low. And within one minute this, is nonsense.”

Host: “Does it not also get the phone numbers of people living in those houses and ring them up in the house?”

Kahwaji: “Where do you want me to go? This is a basic question of these poor people over there. Where do you want me to go? How far? Israel is dropping big bombs. Some of these bombs are 200-pounders. It's a one-ton sized bomb or 500-kilo bombs. These have a radius of devastation that is like up to 100 meters or maybe more. How much time you should be giving people, and if the target is leader, so Israel now giving notice to its own targets to flees. This is propaganda. This is how they say they're keeping collateral damage down.”

Host: “The incoming is packing a heck of a punch over a small area. What about what's going out from Gaza? In 2012 the rockets could travel, what, perhaps 75 kilometers out of Gaza? Now they're going twice that distance. Where do you get your hand on that sort of weaponry?”

Kahwaji: “This weaponry was smuggled over the last few years. Some from Iran, some from Qaddhafi in Libya after the collapse there. And we know there was chaos in Egypt during the Arab spring over there. This has helped Hamas to get a corridor for itself to get weapons and stock up in Gaza. Also, they have improved their own domestic production lines. They're producing bigger missiles with a longer range. These are … rockets. The biggest one would have a warhead of 100 kilos. They have very limited effect. So far the sort of missiles fired from Gaza have helped cripple Israel in an economic way.”

Host: “We have spoken about this on the news hours before, not so much when it was being used but when it was being suggested. I have been reading that while they have been knocking some of the missiles out of the sky, they have not actually in the course of that been detonating the war heads. There is unexploded ordinance lapping on the ground. Have you seen that?”

Kahwaji: “Yes, this is a usual problem. We've had, of course, with the Patriot missile when it was used here during the Gulf war a lot of times they would have just fuselage of the body but the warhead would still explode on impact. We have similar scenarios. Israel has managed to reduce 50 percent of the impact of these missiles on the residential neighborhood. They have deployed these missiles in remote areas where we have seen the missiles hit, but they have managed to knock down by 50 percent the number of missiles that were targeted residential and strategic targets.”

Host: “We appreciate your time here and your expertise for this Al-Jazeera News Hour. Thank you for coming on.”
 
NOTE: Al-Jazeera provides not a word about Hamas' documented violation of the rules of war involving the use of human shields, a violation defined by among others, the United Nations. CNN has shown that Hamas puts its civilians in the line of fire by placing weapons and missile launchers in densely populated areas. They also send men, woman and children to act as human shields for terrorists. The Israeli Army takes precautions and does all in its power to limit civilian casualties and carry out precision strikes in Gaza.
 
Thane Rosenbaum of the Daily Beast reports that, "Retaliatory responses in the Gaza settings will invariably result in equations that simply won't add up to equivalent losses. Hamas fires rockets the way Brazilians dance: all over the place. They have launched thousands of them at Israel since 2005-unsuccessfully but indiscriminately, without any regard to where they might land. When it comes to its retaliatory airstrikes, Israel calls the cell phone numbers of the Palestinians whose houses are about to be bombed. Paradoxically the world is holding Israel responsible for Hamas being unable to shoot straight. Israel's moral position would be stronger if the casualty count was more equal. But under what moral principle must a nation mimic both the madness and the misdirection of the enemy."

Al-Jazeera says not a word about Israel's humanitarian actions relating to a hostile population. For instance, Israel continues caring for Gaza patients as shown in this report: "Despite the terrifying barrage of missiles, air-raid sirens and Red Alert warnings in half of Israel this week, Israeli hospitals that regularly provide medical care to patients from Gaza and the Palestinian Authority have continued to do so. Haifa's Rambam Health Care Campus reported today that its hospitalized patients include three adults and eight children from Gaza, and three adults and two children from the PA. Most of the hospitalized children are in the pediatric oncology or nephrology wards. Earlier this week, four preschoolers from Gaza arrived for lifesaving cardiac care at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon through Save a Child's Heart."

Meanwhile, Hamas, the West Bank Arab governing body, media, mosques and schools continue, as they have for many years, to incite their populace to violence against Jews.


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