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

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

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

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

Read more at JNS

More about: Al Jazeera, Anti-Semitism, Media, Politics & Current Affairs, Qatar

The Possible Death of Mohammad Deif, and What It Means

On Saturday, Israeli jets destroyed a building in southern Gaza, killing a Hamas brigade commander named Rafa Salameh. Salameh is one of the most important figures in the Hamas hierarchy, but he was not the primary target. Rather it was Mohammad Deif, who is Yahya Sinwar’s number-two and is thought to be the architect and planner of numerous terrorist attacks, of Hamas’s tunnel network, and of the October 7 invasion itself. Deif has survived at least five Israeli attempts on his life, and the IDF has consequently been especially reluctant to confirm that he had been killed. Yet it seems that it is possible, and perhaps likely, that he was.

Kobi Michael notes that Deif’s demise would have major symbolic value and, moreover, deprive Hamas of important operational know-how. But he also has some words of caution:

The elimination of Deif becomes even more significant given the current reality of severe damage to Hamas’s military wing and its transition to terrorism and guerrilla warfare. However, it is important to remember that organizations such as Hamas and Hizballah are more than the sum of their components or commanders. Israel has previously eliminated the leaders of these organizations and other very senior military figures, and yet the organizations continued to grow, develop, and become more significant security threats to Israel, while establishing their status as political players in the Palestinian and Lebanese arenas.

As for the possibility that Deif’s death will harden Hamas’s position in the hostage negotiations, Tamir Hayman writes:

In my opinion, even if there is a bump in the road now, it is not a strategic one. The reasons that Hamas decided to compromise its demands in the [hostage] deal stem from the operational pressure it is under [and] the fear that the pressure exerted by the IDF will increase.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas