- Al Jazeera on Sunday announced that it suspended two journalists over a video about the Holocaust.
- The AJ+ Arabic clip claimed Jews exaggerated the extent of the genocide, and that Israel benefited from it.
- The Qatari broadcaster said it “disowns the offensive content” and deleted the clip.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera suspended two journalists over a video that claimed Jews exaggerated the extent of the Holocaust, it announced Sunday.
It deleted the clip, which originally appeared on its social media channel AJ+ Arabic, and all related posts.
The video captioned “How true is the #Holocaust and how did the Zionists benefit from it?” caused public outcry as soon as it was published on Saturday.
It suggested that Israel benefited from the genocide because it received reparations from Germany in the years after the atrocities, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
The clip also claimed Zionists, nationalist Jews who believe Israel is their homeland, “inflated statistics” to establish themselves in the territory. The Nazis persecuted and killed six million Jews during the Holocaust.
Emmanuel Nahshon, the spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, called the video “the worst kind of pernicious evil” and compared it to the Nazi propaganda paper Der Stürmer.
This @ajplusarabi “explanation “ of the Holocaust is the worst kind of pernicious evil. That’s how @AlJazeera brainwashes young people in the Arab world and perpetuates hatred of Israel and the Jews. Lies and evil propagated by the ideological descendants of “ Der Stürmer”. https://t.co/8mqRINZP2i
— Emmanuel Nahshon (@EmmanuelNahshon) May 18, 2019
Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, shared an image from the video, which featured a photograph of Adolf Hitler.
— Ofir Gendelman (@ofirgendelman) May 18, 2019
Al Jazeera said the post went against its editorial standards, but did not name the two staff members who were suspended over the video.
“Dr. Yaser Bishr, Executive Director of Digital Division, stated that Al Jazeera completely disowns the offensive content in question and reiterated that Al Jazeera would not tolerate such material on any of the Network’s platforms,” a statement said.
Dr. Bishr emailed staff to call for mandatory bias training, according to the statement.
Many social media users pointed out that content on AJ + Arabic differed from the videos on its English-language sister channel.
Dena Takruri, a presenter on AJ+ English, tweeted: “I’m honestly shocked and condemn it wholeheartedly. At @ajplus *English*, we have long honored and upheld the stories of Holocaust survivors & believe in FACTS that are undebatable.”
The video that @ajplusarabi published that questioned the holocaust was offensive and should never have been produced, let alone published. It goes against my personal values & the values of @ajplus english.
Denying or downplaying the holocaust is ALWAYS unacceptable. https://t.co/h73CLAi6zB
— Ahmed Shihab-Eldin (@ASE) May 19, 2019
Another AJ+ journalist, Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, also denounced the video and shared his channel’s report on a 94-year-old Auschwitz survivor supporting asylum seekers in the US.
Al Jazeera said it will review its workflows as the since-deleted video was “produced without due oversight.”
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