In May, the Qatar-based Al Jazeera network requested that the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigate the death of its reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, who was hit by a stray bullet during a shootout between the IDF and Palestinian guerrillas. Rafael Medoff suggests that this exercise in lawfare may end up hurting Al Jazeera—not just because its claim against Israel has no merit, but because the proceeding might reveal the news organization for what it is: an arm of the Qatari government tasked with disseminating anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism, and Islamism. Medoff cites a historical precedent:
Al Jazeera’s suit against Israel is somewhat reminiscent of the legal actions initiated by the anti-Semitic agitator, Benjamin Freedman, against American Jewish organizations in the 1940s. Freedman, a New York businessman who was born Jewish but embraced Catholicism, placed large advertisements in the American press in 1946 accusing Jews of trying to, “drag [the U.S.] into a war to create a nationalist sovereign Jew state in Palestine.” The ads were signed by the “League for Peace with Justice in Palestine.”
The American Jewish Committee (AJC) charged that the purported interfaith coalition was a sham. . . . Freedman promptly filed suit, demanding $5 million in damages. An AJC leader welcomed the suit as, “an opportunity to demonstrate in court the nature and character” of Freedman and his alleged organization. The suit was dismissed before it went far enough to delve into those details, but two years later, the litigious Freedman re-opened that pandora’s box.
The defense [in the subsequent case] produced a cable sent by Freedman to Haj Amin el-Husseini, the Palestinian Arab mufti and Nazi collaborator, praising Husseini’s “vision, courage, strength, and struggle [on] behalf [of] justice” and vowing “fullest cooperation” with the mufti’s war against the Jews. The defense also revealed a document in which Freedman reported to an associate that he had recently, “negotiated [the] immediate establishment” of a “sub-machine gun factory” in Pakistan.
Not surprisingly, the judge dismissed the suit, finding that Freedman was “a crackpot,” and that [the criticism he claimed to be libelous] was “proven to be true.”
Read more on Jerusalem Post: https://www.jpost.com/opinion/article-724610