It’s Time to Close Down Al Jazeera

July 31 2017

Among the demands put to Qatar by its Arab rivals are that it shut down Al Jazeera, the media company it owns and sponsors. The editors of such Western publications as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Economist have rushed to defend the network. Clifford May explains why they’re wrong, citing the observation by the late Arab intellectual Fouad Ajami that Al Jazeera is a “crafty operation” that “day in and day out deliberately fans the flames of Muslim outrage.”

Among Al Jazeera’s brightest TV stars is Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the “spiritual leader” of the Muslim Brotherhood. He has praised Imad Mughniyah, the Hizballah terrorist mastermind behind the 1983 suicide bombings in Beirut, in which 241 U.S. Marines were killed. He once issued a fatwa, a religious opinion, calling for the “abduction and killing of Americans in Iraq.”

Sheikh Qaradawi favors the “spread of Islam until it conquers the entire world and includes both the East and West, [marking] the beginning of the return of the Islamic caliphate.” Hitler, he has said, deserves praise for having “managed to put [Jews] in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hands of the [Muslims].”

Defenders of the network argue that however extreme Al Jazeera Arabic may be, its sister network, Al Jazeera English, is different. [But] consider the . . . exchange on National Public Radio earlier this month between [the interviewer] Kelly McEvers and Giles Trendle, the managing director for Al Jazeera English.

When confronted with evidence that Al Jazeera’s Arabic-language programs promote anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, Trendle replied that “the cultural context and the language is such that [Arabic is] much more expressive and passionate, whereas maybe the English language, we [sic] might be more reserved and stiff-upper-lip.” Reading between the lines, May contends that rather than offering a lame defense, Trendle effectively admitted that “Al Jazeera is Al Jazeera. Its mission is to shape public opinion. Its owners are savvy enough to understand that different audiences will be persuaded by different messages.”

Read more at Washington Times

More about: Al Jazeera, Fouad Ajami, Media, Muslim Brotherhood, Politics & Current Affairs, Qatar

The Right and Wrong Ways for the U.S. to Support the Palestinians

Sept. 29 2023

On Wednesday, Elliott Abrams testified before Congress about the Taylor Force Act, passed in 2018 to withhold U.S. funds from the Palestinian Authority (PA) so long as it continues to reward terrorists and their families with cash. Abrams cites several factors explaining the sharp increase in Palestinian terrorism this year, among them Iran’s attempt to wage proxy war on Israel; another is the “Palestinian Authority’s continuing refusal to fight terrorism.” (Video is available at the link below.)

As long as the “pay for slay” system continues, the message to Palestinians is that terrorists should be honored and rewarded. And indeed year after year, the PA honors individuals who have committed acts of terror by naming plazas or schools after them or announcing what heroes they are or were.

There are clear alternatives to “pay to slay.” It would be reasonable for the PA to say that, whatever the crime committed, the criminal’s family and children should not suffer for it. The PA could have implemented a welfare-based system, a system of family allowances based on the number of children—as one example. It has steadfastly refused to do so, precisely because such a system would no longer honor and reward terrorists based on the seriousness of their crimes.

These efforts, like the act itself, are not at all meant to diminish assistance to the Palestinian people. Rather, they are efforts to direct aid to the Palestinian people rather than to convicted terrorists. . . . [T]he Taylor Force Act does not stop U.S. assistance to Palestinians, but keeps it out of hands in the PA that are channels for paying rewards for terror.

[S]hould the United States continue to aid the Palestinian security forces? My answer is yes, and I note that it is also the answer of Israel and Jordan. As I’ve noted, PA efforts against Hamas or other groups may be self-interested—fights among rivals, not principled fights against terrorism. Yet they can have the same effect of lessening the Iranian-backed terrorism committed by Palestinian groups that Iran supports.

Read more at Council on Foreign Relations

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy