Israel lobby doesn’t want Al Jazeera coming into ‘millions of American homes’

Israel/Palestine
on 40 Comments

The latest evidence of the collapse of American Jewish tradition of liberalism and outsider smarts; here are Jewish “leaders”–actually just Malcolm Hoenlein, 68, and Abraham Foxman, 72, but they are powerful– behaving like Stalinists, or the know-nothings who wanted to keep evolution out of the classroom and fluoride out of the water. Haaretz: “US Jewish leaders express concern about impending Al Jazeera incursion into millions of American homes“:

American Jewish leaders have expressed “concern” about the impending entry of the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera network to the U..S television market, citing its record of anti-Israeli coverage and support for extremist Muslim regimes.

Both Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents and Abe Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League publicly voiced their apprehensions on Friday in the wake of reports that former U.S. Vice President Al Gore had sold his Current TV network to Al-Jazeera for $500 million. The sale will allow Al Jazeera to gain access to tens of millions of American homes in which Current TV had been available through various cable providers.

Hoenlein said that although the network’s English-language coverage has been more balanced and had given a platform to Israeli spokesperson, “their general coverage has served to destabilize regimes and favor some of the more extremist elements in the Arab world.”

Foxman was even harsher in his criticism…

Richard Silverstein notes that the lobby’s fear is related to the fact that the Emir of Qatar has made huge investments in Gaza on the theory that the people in Gaza are human beings.

40 Responses

  1. amigo
    January 5, 2013, 11:45 am

    Correct me if I am wrong but doesn’t ADL mean anti defamation league.Foxman out of his position. Again

    • lyn117
      January 5, 2013, 1:26 pm

      ADL is known in some circles as the Arab Defamation League

    • Hostage
      January 5, 2013, 2:30 pm

      Correct me if I am wrong but doesn’t ADL mean anti defamation league.Foxman out of his position. Again

      The ADL is famous for redefining terms, like the “new anti-Semitism”. A few years back the ADL lost a 10 million dollar judgment in an old fashioned anti-defamation lawsuit/mission failure.

      • Cliff
        January 6, 2013, 9:36 am

        Didn’t the ADL spy on our own Jeffrey Blankfort in the early 90s?

        I’m sure they have continued to spy on Americans they consider to be anti-Israel.

    • Woody Tanaka
      January 6, 2013, 9:02 am

      Foxman is a gutter-trawling anti-Muslim, anti-Arab bigot. Nothing more.

      • Cliff
        January 6, 2013, 9:35 am

        Watch ‘Defamation’.

        Abe Foxman is a lunatic. The ADL’s position on the I-P conflict is as hypocritical/slanderous/absurd/racist/bigoted as he is.

  2. Annie Robbins
    January 5, 2013, 11:55 am

    here’s time magazine:

    It’s sober, thoughtful and, flush with Qatar’s petro-wealth, capable of devoting resources to stories other major news channels now eschew; few international networks cover Latin America and Africa, let alone the Middle East, with more authority and depth than Al Jazeera. Its journalists hail from some 50 countries, making it one of the most cosmopolitan enterprises in the news business. What Wolff deems “boring” has been praised by other prominent Americans as “real news.” Colin Powell apparently told Al Gore that it’s the only channel he watches. And here’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2011:

    You may not agree with [Al Jazeera English], but you feel like you’re getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and, you know, arguments between talking heads, and the kind of stuff that we do on our news. Which, you know, is not particularly informative to us, let alone foreigners.

    link to world.time.com

    • American
      January 5, 2013, 1:51 pm

      Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2011:

      You may not agree with [Al Jazeera English], but you feel like you’re getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and, you know, arguments between talking heads, and the kind of stuff that we do on our news. Which, you know, is not particularly informative to us, let alone foreigners.”

      Amen…Hillary said something right on for a change.

  3. Mikesailor
    January 5, 2013, 11:56 am

    What will happen if a news organization in the US does not employ the ubiquitous ‘pro Zionist’ filter found in the rest of America’s ‘main stream media’? Such a question must scare the hell out of Foxman, Kristol, Dershowitz and their ilk. For by denying Americans the right to view information over the public airwaves, they display their contempt for American values such as the First Amendment. Yet, if such information is disseminated without the pro-Israeli gatekeepers, the truth may actually get to the public, with questions asked about America’s unquestioning support of the so-called ‘Jewish’ state which Zionists are either loathe to, or will never be able to answer satisfactorily to the general public. This is hilarious.

  4. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    January 5, 2013, 11:56 am

    The lobby really have nothing to fear. Though it’s still better than most other English-language news channels, Al J has clearly been toning down its criticism of Israel for some time now. I strongly suspect that its expansion into America will see Al J move further towards the American norm of adopting a softly-softly approach to the Holy State.

    • seafoid
      January 5, 2013, 5:44 pm

      The American norm is to Sell the bot narrative as if it is real . They are in la la land compared to the bbc . Al jaz does stuff that would destroy careers in the us. Even if they tone it down They’ll never get that US mendacity .

    • MLE
      January 5, 2013, 5:51 pm

      I think they’re afraid that if Al Jazeera does air something they view as controversial, they won’t have any leverage to force a retraction or something.

      Really they have nothing to worry about- barely anyone watches current tv to begin with and if Al Jazeera takes over there won’t be some massive switch from CNN/MSNBC over to AJE. The average American isn’t really THAT interested in serious news. Which is why it’s on FIOS in NYC and not a wink of controversy. Most people won’t even know its there.

      Something about this story is confusing me though- are they going to create a special version of Al Jazeera English for airing in the United States, with more domestic American focus or are they just buying current tv for the channels and its going to show Al Jazeera English as is.

  5. Doctor Pi
    January 5, 2013, 12:49 pm

    To paraphrase Noam Chomsky, Al Jazeera in the US would reframe the middle east debate.

  6. Citizen
    January 5, 2013, 1:07 pm

    God forbid we Americans should get extensive daily coverage by real journalists of the Middle East, South America, and Africa–and with less commercials.

    Currently Al Jazeera English can be seen for a half hour or hour show weekly via Current TV in a few areas, and also via Satellite in a few areas.

  7. yourstruly
    January 5, 2013, 1:13 pm

    al jazeera?

    balanced & fair?

    what, a world anew?

    compliments of palestine, just & free?

    • yourstruly
      January 5, 2013, 1:36 pm

      doomsday forsaken?

      or will it turn out to be that the too good to be true takes hold?

  8. dbroncos
    January 5, 2013, 1:43 pm

    Comcast, as I understand it, has declined to carry Al Jazeera citing the lack of space on their crowded line up of cable channels. This nonsense will be put to the test when Current network changes over. We’ll see if Comcast, under the leadership of Zionist David Cohen, suddenly decides that there is no longer any space in the Comcast spctrum for the Current channel under Arab management.

    • MLE
      January 5, 2013, 5:55 pm

      I emailed cablevision about it. They told me if enough users requested it they would consider adding it to their lineup. I asked them how many viewers watched fox business or any of those other channels that are randomly tucked in the high triple digits. Cloo network?

    • Scott
      January 5, 2013, 5:59 pm

      I’m sure the deal is structured so that Gore and his partners don’t get paid unless Al Jazeera gets on. I wouldn’t bet on David Cohen versus an Al Gore being paid $100 million to lobby for freedom of speech.

  9. amigo
    January 5, 2013, 1:43 pm

    I am reminded of the decades of fake discussions between 2 or 3 so called Mid East Experts debating but never asking any hard questions.

    Or if by chance a real expert pro Palestinian person sits in, he /she will be shouted down and the gloves usually reserved for zio apologists will quickly be taken off.

    Will Israel be demanding equal time.I do hope so as the shoe will be on the other foot.

    I already get Al Jazeera in Ireland so I recommend it fully.

  10. Talkback
    January 5, 2013, 1:44 pm

    “their general coverage has served to destabilize regimes and favor some of the more extremist elements in the Arab world.”

    Of course very unlike US networks …

  11. Oscar
    January 5, 2013, 4:03 pm

    “behaving like Stalinists, or the know-nothings who wanted to keep evolution out of the classroom and fluoride out of the water.”

    Wow, Phil, maybe for the first time I disagree with you on something you posted on Mondo. “Fluoride in the water” is a terrible thing, toxic nuclear waste from production of aluminum and ironically, the production of American missiles, and this toxic waste has been dumped in our drinking water for decades.

    Countless studies, including a recent one from Harvard, have proven that fluoride in the drinking water reduces IQ in children, and Alzheimer’s in older Americans.

    As passionate as we are about seeing peace and justice in the Middle East, many of us are equally as passionate about getting this poison out of our children’s drinking water.

    Aside from that, great post.

    • Scott
      January 5, 2013, 5:55 pm
      • ToivoS
        January 6, 2013, 3:01 am

        These studies you reference here are for communities drinking well water with natural fluoride minerals. I once evaluated a study of natural fluoride in water from wells in India. It has been known for decades that some natural water supplies have dangerously high levels of fluoride. People drinking that water show symptoms of fluorosis (white streaks or spots on teeth, young children are most susceptible) These are concentrations that greatly exceed the amount of fluoride added to municipal water supplies.

    • peeesss
      January 5, 2013, 7:48 pm

      I have already called Time Warner Cable, my cable provider, complaining about their decision not to carry Al-Jazeera America on the network. I an in touch with their corporate HQ , Mr Glen Britt, CEO of TWC. Supposedly they will get back to me Monday. Hopefully others will follow and call TWC, insist on speaking to someone in Corporate/Mgmt. , if not Mr. Britt himself, and lodge a complaint. I too realize that Al-Jazeera has softened its Middle East coverage to placate US govt. sensibilities. It still behooves us to get it shown in the States as much as possible however. Still is heads and tails over main stream coverage here.

  12. chet
    January 5, 2013, 4:26 pm

    Within hours of the Current deal announcement, Time-Warner cut Current from its cable coverage.

    link to salon.com

    Another brick in the wall of the muting of US MSM coverage of anything that might be critical of Israeli policies and actions or anything positive re the Palestinians – who says you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

  13. rob
    January 5, 2013, 4:54 pm

    I was really excited to hear Al Jazeera was finally coming to NYC cable TV!
    I waited years, I had written emails, signed petitions, etc, and then finally they’re here!
    Well, now I could care less, they’ve totally let me down regarding their coverage of the I/P issue.
    I was told they made an agreement with TWC that in order to broadcast they would not air anything that could make israel look like an aggressor, in other words, airing the truth about what goes on….
    A complete sellout tv network

  14. ritzl
    January 5, 2013, 6:29 pm

    Thanks for posting this.

    When skimmers like me start recognizing (i.e. “isn’t he the guy that also wanted to/was against…”) background player names like Hoenlein from multiple events like this, the Lobby’s got problems. The “nightflower” scenario every one keeps talking about.

    Personally, it’s hard to imagine the level fear or loathing or both that would be required for these folks to make a public pitch to block (how? btw) a completely legitimate avenue of expression. They must be desperate beyond reason.

    This also may be an attempt at a secondary boycott or collusion, if these pronouncements and exhortations are meant to get cable carriers to stop carrying AJA.

  15. James Canning
    January 5, 2013, 6:49 pm

    The Emir of Qatar has worked hard to improve the lives of the Palestinians and to acheive an end to the occupation of the West Bank. And he has tried to foster better relations between the US and Hamas. Which would of course be a good thing.

  16. gingershot
    January 5, 2013, 6:59 pm

    What!

    No more ‘two AIPAC-Jews plus Tom Friedman’ sitting around a table discussing the Palestinian terrorist state and what size the Bantustans should be?

    No more Martin Indyk and Dennis Ross playing footsie under the table with each other and trying to keep a straight face?

    Sigh – the good ole days are gone for Israeli Apartheid!

  17. Philip Munger
    January 5, 2013, 7:39 pm

    I had an Al Jazeera news crew who were covering VP candidate Sarah Palin over for dinner on election night 2008. So, they’ve already been in this American’s home.

    Nice crew.

    Helped do the dishes.

    Nobody mentioned Israel…..

  18. justicewillprevail
    January 5, 2013, 9:39 pm

    You can tell by the hysterical comments that none of these Israel shills has actually watched Al Jazeera. If they had, they would have seen a news channel which has far higher standards than US networks, quite conservative in many fields, and reports from around the world with serious analysis. Israel does not feature in most of their reporting, and why should it? it is only one aspect of the politics of the Middle East and beyond. When it is featured it is treated critically like any other state. There lies the rub – if Americans were given a wider and more informed picture of the Middle East, the Israel lobby would lose a lot of its power overnight. The lobby fears nothing like the free flow of information about Palestine, and an informed American public. Why would the cable networks pull it? Follow the money, follow the influence.

  19. Taxi
    January 5, 2013, 11:56 pm

    Meanwhile, in Brazil, zionist tried to smother this international event:

    Activists Show International Solidarity With Palestinians at World Forum:
    link to truth-out.org

  20. Nevada Ned
    January 6, 2013, 2:19 am

    Al Jazeera, in English, is available on the internet.
    link to aljazeera.com

    The Angry Arab news blog thinks that Al Jazeera is not reliable about Syria, or Yemen, because after all, it does belong to the Sultan of Oman (or somebody similar). That is a blind spot.

    But despite that, Al Jazeera is a breath of fresh air in ME coverage. They actually cover stories in depth, and not in sound bites.

    • Bandolero
      January 7, 2013, 1:05 am

      To understand how Al Jazeera became from a truth station a lie factory, I suggest you to read Aktham Suliman: “A farewell to Al Jazeera: Forget what you have seen!”

      link to callmecynical.com

      In German language, his article was published in the reputated FAZ paper.

      Aktham Suliman was Berlin corrrespondent of Al Jazeera until he resigned because he couldn’t bear the lies anymore.

  21. PilgrimSoul
    January 6, 2013, 2:40 pm

    Fantastic news. My respect for Al Gore has just gone way, way up. Of course, a lot depends on how they play their new possession. AJ English is already a very good operation. Wouldn’t it be great if AJ kept Current TV as a competitor to MSNBC, with a social justice slant and youth-oriented talking heads, but started allowing commentators to actually talk about the Israel Lobby when it’s relevant to do so??

  22. Avigail Abarbanel
    January 6, 2013, 3:25 pm

    This is going to backfire on them big time I think… I really think they are going too far overestimating their influence.

  23. pjdude
    January 6, 2013, 6:53 pm

    what a surprise zionists don’t want any competetion to getting their message out. guess they aren’t that confident on how well it hold up when it has to deal with facts.

  24. Qualtrough
    January 6, 2013, 10:08 pm

    This is good news. Al-Jazeera English does present in-depth features and cover subjects that the US media ignore or shy from. They also engage in real journalism, and anyone used to the ‘soundbite’s and one minute coverage offered by US network news will be delighted to see news figures allowed to speak in complete sentences, even entire paragraphs! Moreover, they do not deal exclusively in topics related to the middle-east, and offer wide coverage of events around the world, often in the form of documentaries and interviews.

    Having said that, in the last year or so constraints (biases) in their coverage have become quite noticeable. I first noticed this with their Libya coverage, when they completely jumped on board the “Khaddafi is the most evil dictator in the world, he must go” line, which was coincidently in line with the viewpoint (instructions?) of their Qatari owners. Ditto for Syrian coverage, and I think they have also been remiss on Bahrain as well.

    Contrary to the expectations of many who have not viewed the channel, Israeli figures and spokespersons are given ample time to offer their opinions, defend policy, and participate in debates. One would think that would delight the pro-Israel crowd, but given the fact that the Israeli spokespersons usually end looking like evil fools as they seek to justify acts that to non-Zionists appears to be completely beyond the pale and in violation of just about any standard of human behavior. For this reason alone you can see why opponents will not be very keen to have the network made more widely available to the US public.

  25. bob
    January 7, 2013, 1:46 pm

    Eliot Spitzer Out: Quits Job at Current TV After Purchase by al-Jazeera
    Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is quitting his Current TV show “Viewpoint” following the cable channel’s recent acquisition by al-Jazeera.

    In a Sunday interview in the New York Times, Spitzer acknowledged the network’s anticipated change in direction from liberal news talk to an international news focus with al-Jazeera’s acquisition.

    Spitzer said his departure was “more of my instigation than theirs, truth be told.”

    Pan-Arab al-Jazeera, owned by the oil-rich Persian Gulf state of Qatar, has struggled for years to win space on American cable television, but Spitzer didn’t appear to share the view of many who consider the network as anti-American or sympathetic toward al-Qaeda.

    “I view Al Jazeera as a very serious journalistic outfit. They have proven to observers around the world that they are serious and objective,” said Spitzer. “They will have to, at a P.R. level, prove to the American public that that is the case. And I think that over time they will succeed at doing that.”

    “For me, journalism has been more a matter of projecting a particular approach to covering policies, to covering issues. It was a continuation of what I tried to do in government. And that doesn’t fit with their vision of what they are going to do,” said the former governor.

    Spitzer, 53, resigned as New York governor in March 2008 after news of his frolicking with an upscale Washington D.C., escort service became public. Referred to as “Client-9″ by the escort service, Spitzer was regarded by many as hypocritical for hiring a prostitute after spending years as the state’s attorney general and prosecuting wealthy New Yorkers who used escorts.

    Despite his tarnished image, CNN hired Spitzer to cohost a primetime show with Kathleen Parker in June 2010 which was later cancelled by the network a year later. In March 2012, Spitzer was hired by Current TV to host his own show, replacing liberal talk show host Keith Olbermann who was fired.

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