Tags: Foxman | ADL | Jazeera | Gore

ADL's Foxman: We'll Monitor Al Jazeera for Anti-Israel Coverage

Friday, 04 Jan 2013 05:30 PM

By Bill Hoffmann and John Bachman

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The leader of the Anti-Defamation League is reeling from Al Jazeera’s purchase of Al Gore’s Current TV cable network and worries the pan-Arab media company may spew anti-Israeli propaganda to a huge American audience.

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, ADL national director Abraham Foxman says Al Jazeera has aired anti-American, anti-Israel propaganda “and even from time to time provided a platform for anti-Semites.

“We need to monitor, we need to watch it, and we need to make sure that it’s honest and fair," Foxman said.

Watch our exclusive interview. Story continues below.

One example, he said, is that Al Jazeera has “exploited and exaggerated the Arab-Israel conflict in a heavy-handed and propagandistic manner, and always at the expense of Israel."

As well, it has given “all manner of virulent anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic extremists access to its airwaves."

Foxman said while the English version of Al Jazeera has somewhat toned the rhetoric down, “it stems from the same source. It’s the same ownership, it’s the same direction.

“So we’re going to continue monitoring both as we do now and with greater concern because now it will be filtering into the United States.

“I don’t think there’s very much one can do except to say America’s open to all kinds of views but you better be responsible, you better be respectful, and you better be honest."

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The founder of Al Jazeera is Hamad bin Khalifa the ruling Emir of Qatar, who has been accused of inciting some of revolutions that have boiled over in the Arab Spring.

“I’m suspicious of a government-owned news entity wherever it comes from. They have an ax to grind, "Foxman said.

“They have an interest to protect their own entity. There is added concern, but you know what? The Chinese are doing their thing, the Russians are doing their thing, and, yes, their news networks are out there ...

“We need to watch but I would not pre-judge them that this is an instrument of rebellious incitement."

The Anti-Defamation League. founded in 1913 "to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all," is the nation's top civil-rights agency fighting anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry.

Gore has been under fire for selling to Al Jazeera and it was revealed that he rejected Glenn Beck’s bid for the network in favor of the Middle Eastern network.

The former vice-president under Bill Clinton can expect to earn about $100 million from the sale, a purchase made possible by oil-rich Qatar, a state on the Persian Gulf.

That Gore benefits immensely from a nation that is heavily invested in an industry he routinely rails against has not been missed by industry observers.

"It’s reeking with irony," Jeff Sonnenfeld, a senior associate dean at the Yale School of Management, told Bloomberg News. "It seems to be at least a paradox in terms of his positions on sustainability and geopolitics."

Gore went on record in 2006 as criticizing America's dependence on foreign oil from that region.

"Many Americans are tired of borrowing huge amounts of money from China to buy huge amounts of oil from the Persian Gulf to make huge amounts of pollution that destroys the planet's climate," Gore said then during a conference at the New York University School of Law.

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"Increasingly, Americans believe that we have to change every part of that pattern,"

Gore's environmental activism led to his being the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for "informing the world of the dangers posed by climate change," according to his official biography.

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