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Al Jazeera ‘totally refutes’ false claims by pro-Israel lobbyist

Al Jazeera Media Network (AJMN) totally refutes false claims by Morton Klein, the president of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), that al Jazeera was compelled to to ‘cancel’ a yet to be broadcast investigation into the activities of pro-Israel advocacy groups in the United States.

Mr Klein obviously mischaracterizes the subject of the series as the “American Jewish Lobby”, when the investigation is into American pro-Israel organizations (including the ZOA), which work to further the interests of a foreign power on American soil.

AJMN also utterly rejects the abhorrent allegation that the series is “viciously anti-Semitic”. The investigation deals with organizations that influence U.S. Government policy in the Middle East, which is a subject of significant public interest.

It is astonishing that Mr Klein writes about a documentary series that he has not seen in terms that are prejudicial, inaccurate and inflammatory.

He also refers to the UK edition of The Lobby, broadcast in January 2017, which he again misconstrues as being about the “Jewish lobby” in Britain.

This series exposed a campaign by the State of Israel to interfere with domestic politics in the UK, which included covert operations to promote a foreign country’s agenda within Britain’s political parties. In one case, it revealed a plot to “take down” a government minister who was critical of Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank.

The Israeli Ambassador to the UK was forced to apologize to the Foreign Office and the diplomat involved was fired. The investigation also triggered a parliamentary inquiry into foreign interference in British politics.

Pro-Israel advocacy groups in the UK made a series of complaints to the Office of Communications (Ofcom), the quasi-government regulator that ensures fairness and accuracy on British television. Al Jazeera is a signatory and abides by Ofcom’s stringent codes of practice.

The complainants leveled charges of anti-Semitism, bias, unfair editing and infringement of privacy. After an eight months’ investigation, Ofcom’s detailed, 60-page ruling vindicated al Jazeera’s journalism on every count. Each complaint was rejected in full.[1]   

The mission of al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit, which produced the two series on pro-Israel advocacy organizations, is to unmask wrongdoing and reveal truths that are being kept from the public.

Recent award-winning investigations uncovered corruption in the Maldives, the criminal gangs that fuel the illegal trade in rhino horn in South Africa, and the unregulated market in military-grade spying equipment.

In 2018, the Unit investigated fraud involving Eastern European oligarchs and produced a heartbreaking documentary into child sexual abuse in British football, which was simultaneously broadcast by Channel 4 Television in the UK.

The journalists in the Investigative Unit are American, British and Australian. They have decades of professional experience at the BBC, MSNBC, ABC, ITN, Channel 4 and Britain’s Sunday Times and Observer. Since its formation in 2011, the Investigative Unit has generated global exclusives that have been described by The New York Times as ‘explosive’ and made front page headlines in USA Today, The Guardian, El Pais and Mail on Sunday.

As a Network, al Jazeera’s independent, high quality journalism is praised all over the world. Last week, al Jazeera English was named Broadcaster of the Year for the second year running at the New York Festivals, where AJMN was honored with 46 awards.

Al Jazeera is committed to independent journalism and reaffirms its belief in media freedom, unhampered by government influence. It considers it deeply unsettling that organizations in the United States are attempting to suppress its output and curtail freedom of speech. Al Jazeera considers such attempts as a form of harassment that threatens the safety of journalists and their ability to perform their professional duties in a secure environment.

AJMN reserves the right to take legal action against anyone who attacks its character and integrity, as well as that of its journalists. Individual members of al Jazeera’s staff also reserve that right.

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[1] OFCOM Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin, Issue number 338, 9 October 2017 https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0033/106989/issue-338-br...

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