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March 8, 2010 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 593

Arab Attacks on U.S. Congress' Anti-Incitement Bill Targeting Arab Satellite Channels

March 8, 2010 | By H. Varulkar
Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 593

Introduction

On December 8, 2009, by a vote of 395 to 3, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2278, which "direct[s] the President to transmit to Congress a report on anti-American incitement to violence in the Middle East." The bill calls for sanctions against satellite companies providing services to television channels that incite against the U.S., such as Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV and Hamas's Al-Aqsa TV, as well as the Iraqi Al-Rafidayn TV broadcasting out of Egypt. On December 9, the bill was read twice in the Senate and then referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

It should be noted that MEMRI research was used in the writing of the bill. MEMRI provided Congress with numerous examples of anti-American incitement in Middle East media, particularly from Al-Manar and Al-Aqsa.[1]

The passage of H.R. 2278 sparked sweeping objections and furious reactions in the Arab world. Arab information ministers held a special session to discuss the bill and ways of dealing with it, and resolved to reject all U.S. interference in their media. Syria, Lebanon, and Qatar objected most to the bill, reiterating that it constituted a blow to the sovereignty of the Arab states, interference in their internal affairs, and grave injury to their freedom of media and opinion.

However, it seems that at the same time, several moderate Arab states, led by Egypt and Saudi Arabia, were working on setting up an Arab mechanism for overseeing the Arab channels and supervising the content of their programming, and on setting regulations and criteria for them. Indeed, while debating H.R. 2278, the Arab information ministers also discussed an initiative by Arab League Secretary-General 'Amr Moussa to establish an Arab media commissionership, operating under Arab League direction, to oversee Arab television programming. The initiative was supported by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and some of the Gulf countries, but vehemently opposed by Syria, Qatar, and Lebanon, who called it a limitation of media freedom; some of the countries even accused Moussa and the countries supporting the initiative of collaborating with the U.S. and with H.R. 2278. Moussa denied any connection between his initiative and H.R. 2278, saying that his initiative had first been put forward in 2002. Due to the disagreement, the ministers agreed to postpone discussion of the issue.

It should be noted that H.R. 2278 calls for sanctions against satellite carriers, such as Nilesat, which is owned by the Egyptian government, and Arabsat, owned by the Arab League, that provide services to television channels that incite against the U.S. Therefore, under the bill, sanctions are to directly impact the satellite companies, not the channels themselves. In contrast, the Arab media commissionership proposed by Moussa would revoke the licenses of the channels, thus relieving the satellite companies of responsibility for the programming of the channels that they carry. Referring to H.R. 2278, Moussa said, "The Arab satellite companies, like other such companies worldwide, are not responsible for the content of the programming of each individual channel." He added that the satellite companies sign contracts with television channels that have obtained broadcasting licenses from the relevant authorities in the countries from which they air.[2]

Arab Information Ministers Reject Foreign Intervention in Arab Media

The Arab information ministers met on January 24, 2010 for a special session after the passage of H.R. 2278; at the meeting's conclusion, Moroccan Communications Minister Khaled Al-Nasri read out the resolutions taken, and stressed that the ministers "opposed foreign intervention in the Arab media, on the grounds of upholding media freedom." He said that the ministers had stressed that there must be a distinction between terrorism and the Arab people's right to oppose the Israeli occupation.

The information ministers asked the Arab foreign ministries to clarify to the U.S. that the passage of the bill would have a negative impact, and tasked the Arab League delegation in the U.S. and the Arab embassies in Washington with continuing the dialogue with the U.S. on the issue. The ministers also stated that foreign channels must stop broadcasting programs inciting against the Arabs and Muslims, at the same time underlining that the Arab countries must continue their efforts to fight terrorism, extremism, violence, ethnic sectarianism, and incitement to all of these in their media. They also stressed that it was crucial for the Arab countries and satellite companies to adhere to the criteria and regulations concerning satellite broadcasting.[3]

Syria, Lebanon, and Qatar Voice Vehement Opposition to H.R. 2278

According to reports in the Arab media, the atmosphere at the Arab information ministers' meeting was charged and very tense, and included "furious arguments" among the ministers, primarily about the initiative to form an Arab media commissionership.[4] The ministers also argued about H.R. 2278. The Qatari Al-Arab daily reported that Egypt and Saudi Arabia did not want the Arab information ministers' council to issue a resolution against the bill that would be too extreme.[5] In contrast, the Syrian, Lebanese, and Qatari representatives came out strongly against the bill, saying that American interference in the Arab media was unacceptable and constituted yet another layer of American intervention in Arab affairs. They claimed that if the U.S. passed the bill, it would harm the sovereignty of the Arab countries, and would lead to the imposition of additional restrictions on them.[6]

Syrian Information Ministerial aide Muhammad Razouq said that H.R. 2278 "harmed the Arab countries' national sovereignty and violated freedom of the media and of expression, and civil rights." He said that Barack Obama was repeating the grave mistakes of the previous administration, proving that the current administration was continuing in the path of the previous, anti-freedom one. Razouq stated that the bill was aimed at instituting American guardianship over the Arab media, and called on the Arab countries to take a unified stance to fight the bill.[7]

Lebanese Information Minister Tareq Mitri stated that Lebanon would not submit to external dictates and pressure aimed at restricting media freedom in the country, because political forces were entitled to express their views as much as they wished.[8] He even warned that the bill could deepen hatred among the peoples and foment extremism.[9] It should be noted in early January, Lebanese parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling H.R. 2278 a blow to freedom of expression in Lebanon as well as to Lebanese sovereignty, and threatening that it would harm Lebanese-American relations.[10]

1. The Arab Press Attacks H.R. 2278

a. Obama Is Bush's Heir

Lebanese Columnist: The U.S. is Reviving Its War on the Arab World

Sati' Nour Al-Din, editorial director of the Lebanese daily Al-Safir, called H.R. 2278 "a clear declaration of the revival of the war on the Arab and Muslim world that the U.S. waged launched against the Arab and Islamic world eight years ago, by ways and means that are no different from those used by the Bush administration... This decision negates the atmosphere following Obama's election, under which the Americans decided to reexamine their current military attack, to extend the hand of reconciliation to the Arabs and Muslims, and to restrict their fighting to terrorists [only]... particularly to Al-Qaeda officials, and to their leader Osama bin Laden...

"First and foremost, this [bill] infringes upon freedom of expression and opinion, which must not be revoked even from bin Laden himself – and certainly not from legitimate public political movements that undoubtedly have a popular support base... This bill shows that the U.S. wants to turn over a new leaf – of war... and [in itself] contributes to the expansion of the circle of its enemies and rivals..."[11]

Syrian Columnist: The Bill Silences Opponents of U.S. and Israel, and is Based on MEMRI Research

Adnan 'Ali, columnist for the Syrian government daily Al-Thawra, wrote: "This is an attempt to restrict these television channels and to frighten those who operate them, so as to silence any voice opposed to U.S. and Israeli policy and actions in the region, particularly those who support the path of resistance against the occupation.

"This bill... is based on research by MEMRI, headed by a former Mossad officer. The pretext it presents [for persecuting the satellite carriers] is that the channels incite to violence and hatred – as though the occupied peoples, whose humanity and most basic rights are violated day in and day out by force of arms and repression, must glorify their murderers and boast of their love for their hangmen... This bill is in effect a [direct] continuation of the policy of the previous [American] administration, which based itself on punishment and intimidation without looking for the reasons for [the hatred against it], and without acting to solve the real problems..."[12]

Syrian Columnist: The Bill is the Final Elimination of American Democracy

In his column in the Syrian daily Al-Thawra, Dr. Jihad Taher Bakfalouni claimed that H.R. 2278 meant the final elimination of the tattered American democracy: "If the American Congress dares to adopt this measure, and decides to punish the Arab television channels, it will [in effect] be firing a mercy bullet into the so-called American democracy...

"It seems that the American politicians who are throwing all their weight [behind] such a decision... have become sick of telling themselves the lie that that they belong to a nation that takes pride in the Statue of Liberty on its soil, and adopts democratic values. Therefore, they have decided to take off their masks, to reveal their true faces and their true hearts – which cannot tolerate anything called democracy and do not recognize the concept of freedom of opinion and expression. These faces and hearts welcome the repression and boycotting of the other opinion, and [would rejoice] if they could force the whole world to revolve in the American orbit and to pray all their lives to the Washington politicians... [They would rejoice] in sending democracy into an exile of torture and humiliation.

"The world must understand that such a decision will be the last nail in the coffin of American democracy..."[13]

b. The U.S. Is Inciting against Islam and Perpetrating Terrorism in the World

Many columnists stated that it was actually the U.S., not the Arabs, who were inciting and perpetrating terrorism in the world.

Saudi Columnist: Fox News – The Channel of Anti-Arab and Anti-Islamic Propaganda

Dr. 'Abd Al-'Aziz Al-Sawaigh, columnist for the Saudi daily Al-Madina, wrote: "Even if several Arab channels do go overboard regarding some American issues, the broadcasts of some of the American TV channels... include grave excesses against the Arab and the Islamic nation. The most prominent example... is the Fox News channel, with its racist attitude, which levels outrageous accusations are directed against us... This channel is completely biased in favor of the Israeli policy against the Arabs, and accuses the Arabs of antisemitism and links them to terrorism... In effect, this channel has no place for anyone who disagrees with this bias...

"The war of hatred waged on this channel against Islam and the Muslims is unforgiveable..."[14]

Palestinian Journalist: Freedom of Expression Is an Excuse to Harm Islam

Israeli Arab journalist Zuheir Androus, a correspondent for the London daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, wrote in a similar vein: "There's nothing wrong with reminding the Americans and the West that consider themselves enlightened, and consider the Arab and Islamic East backward, and [frequently] denigrate it, that insulting Islam and [Muhammad,] the beloved Prophet [of Allah], has become a national sport in their countries, and that they allow it in a false and mendacious way, under the pretext of expressing an opinion...

"The Arab television channels, which are obligated to cover the news of the resistance anywhere and at any time, are committing no sin, and do not deny the existence of any monotheistic religion – unlike many of the American and European preachers, who attack Islam and boldly and brazenly call it a version of Judaism.

"This Congressional law is a mark of shame for the Obama administration, who plied us with resonating promises... "[15]

Iraqi Journalist: The Discourse on Terror Must Focus on America's Terrorism Worldwide

Iraqi journalist Ghassan Al-'Azzami stated that it is the U.S. that is perpetrating terrorism worldwide, not the Arabs: "The well-known American cowboy methods reveal the true culture rooted deeply in [the Americans'] souls. This culture is one of murder and intimidation, most clearly implemented in the Arab homeland and in the Middle East. These methods are the truth, clear as the sun, of the American policy in the world.

"The discourse on terror must in fact be on America's terrorism towards the entire world. The murder of 1.5 million Iraqis since the occupation, and the crippling of over 1.5 million Iraqis – what should they be called in the new American dictionary?"[16]

c. The U.S. Will Implement This Law Arbitrarily

Many columnists pointed out that there was no clear and accepted international definition of either "incitement" or "terrorism," and that if the bill became law, the U.S. could use it arbitrarily, accusing any media outlet that spoke of issues differently than it did.

Al-Hayat Columnist: "One Man's Terrorist Is Another Man's Freedom Fighter"

Columnist Jihad Al-Khazen wrote in the English-language edition of the daily Al-Hayat that anti-American incitement in the Middle East was the result of U.S. policy there, and that the Americans applied the term "incitement" to any rhetoric they disliked:

"In truth, I can sum up this whole issue [of the bill] in two sentences, and say that the U.S policy in the Middle East is in itself anti-American incitement to violence. Of course, the belligerent here is the Bush administration, and not the Obama administration, along with the Congress which has incessantly endorsed wars against Arabs and Muslims, including the war on Iraq which was waged for oil-related and Israeli premises...

"I go further and denounce Al-Qaeda’s incitement to terrorism along with that of all similar terrorist organizations, specifically with regard to its war against ‘Jews and Crusaders’. But I ask here, would the misled Muslims youths have believed Al-Qaeda, had it not been for the repercussions of the U.S policies against Arabs and Muslims? Also, how many terrorists were there before, then after Bush’s wars?

"The bill mentions after that the media in the Middle East, and the influence of television, mentioning by name Al-Manar, Al-Aqsa and Al-Zawra... Al-Manar is affiliated with Hizbullah, and as far as I know, Al-Manar incites action against Israel and not the United States. However, the American congressmen are yet to realize that their country’s interests do not go hand in hand with those of Israel, and may even conflict with them and contradict them, and that the Congress’s blind support for Israel is the permanent excuse used by [anti-American] instigators...

"Once again, I object to inciting hatred against the United States; however, I want to scrutinize the portrayal of these TV channels as outlets owned by groups that the Congress considers as terrorist. I want to say here that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. Therefore, while the Congress views Israel as being democratic and Hamas and Hizbullah as being two terrorist organizations, I view Israel as a terrorist state that occupies, murders, destroys and steals the homes of the Palestinians, and Hamas and Hizbullah as two national liberation organizations that are confronting Israel’s terrorism. Moreover, the Congress’s classification is not gospel, nor is it divine revelation...

"I call on Congress to conduct a public opinion survey in the countries it identified as making up the Middle East, with the help of Gallup, Pew or Zogby, to learn about the reasons behind anti-American incitement to violence. I bet that the first and most important reason will be found to be none other than Israel. This is because the blind support for Israel, even when the latter is led by an extremist fascistic government, is in itself enough cause for anti-Americanism, without the need for any media outlets to engage in incitement to violence..."[17]

Egyptian Columnist: America Has Its Own Definitions of Terrorism

Mahmoud Murad, columnist for the Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram, wrote: "We thought that the meeting [of the Arab information ministers] would come out with a firm decision vis-à-vis the American [bill], particularly because the ministers know better than anyone that the U.S. has interpretations to suit its every mood vis-à-vis the question of what is terrorism and who is a terrorist!!

"Thus, a Jewish Israeli rabbi who issues rulings to the settlers in Jerusalem and the West Bank permitting the murder of non-Jews and the destruction of their homes and property would be considered a fighter, [while] anyone attacking the Zionist Jews and calling them racist because of this behavior would be considered an antisemite... and inciting to terrorism. And any television channel that states this [will cause] the satellite via which it broadcasts to be considered [by the U.S.] as a terrorist channel worthy of destruction!!

"[In contrast], the publication of cartoons [in the West] insulting the Prophet [Muhammad] – this is considered freedom of expression!!..."[18]

An editorial in the Qatari daily Al-Watan also warned that such a law could be used arbitrarily: "As long as there is no exact and agreed-upon definition, on the international level, for the term 'terrorism,' the U.S. will continue to exploit the situation, and will slap the label of terrorism on any organization that it considers to be a rival or an enemy, according to its own judgment and that of the global Zionist movement..."[19]

Syrian Columnist: The Law Will Be Misused to Harm the Arab Countries' Sovereignty

Syrian columnist Ghaslan Halabi wrote in the Syrian government daily Al-Ba'th: "...As we see, the term ['anti-American incitement to violence'] is a broad term that can be applied to any media content or even news content – for example, to an item that the U.S. is supplying Israel with sophisticated weapons, or one hinting that the ammunition that Israel is using, with which it is murdering our children and elderly, is American-made.

"Once this law is passed by the Senate, it will leave the Arab countries' national sovereignty open to harm."[20]

Saudi Columnist: The Bill Contradicts Media Freedom

A similar view was expressed by Muhammad Al-Mukhtar Al-Fal, columnist for the Saudi daily Al-Watan: "If the American president signs this bill [into law], he will open up the floodgates to many who will bring the region into a new age [characterized] by disputes over terminology. How is it possible to agree on a definition of 'incitement'[?]...

"What interests us in this region is how we will deal with this bill, which is likely to become a sword waved above the necks of institutions, individuals, and even states – because its meaning, [i.e. the term] 'incitement,' will become unclear, relative, and fuzzy, and the source of the authority [that will decide what it means] will be the American [way] of understanding – which is based on [various] interests, some of which are known and most of which remain secret, and are motivated by extremist movements [in the U.S.]..."[21]

d. Calls to Punish The U.S.

Qatari Columnist: Expel and Ban U.S. Media From Arab Countries

Qatari columnist Muhammad Salah Al-Masfar called on the Arabs to stop obeying the U.S.'s orders: "...At their special meeting in Cairo, the Arab information ministers did well to reject the U.S. Congress's [bill]...

"If Congress's resolution against our media is implemented, there must be a steadfast Arab decision on the expulsion from the Arab world of all American news agency correspondents; there must [also] be [an expulsion of correspondents] from all other countries that agree to this [U.S.] resolution. BBC [radio] broadcasts on FM stations across the Arab world must be stopped; all [Arab] educational delegations must be recalled from America, [Arabs] should refrain from traveling to [the U.S.] except when absolutely necessary; all Arabic-language American and European [radio] stations must be stopped from [airing] in our Arab [world], and must be boycotted en masse..."[22]

U.S. Silences, Hobbles Arab Satellite Channels

Cartoonist: Boushra
Source: Al-Raed (Sudan), January 24, 2010

U.S. Tries To Determine What Arab Viewers Will Watch on TV

Cartoonist: Ala Rustum
Source: Aljazeera.net, January 31, 2010

2. The Dispute over Establishing an Arab Oversight Mechanism for Television

As mentioned, the Arab information ministers also discussed at their January 24 meeting an initiative by Arab League Secretary-General 'Amr Moussa, to establish an Arab media commissionership that would oversee all Arab television channels. It was decided, however, to postpone discussion of the issue due to serious disagreement between the Syria-Lebanon-Qatar camp, which was vehemently opposed to any oversight, and the camp headed by Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and including Iraq, Morocco, and some of the Gulf states, which supported the establishment of guidelines and oversight of television channels as well as the establishment of a commissionership.[23]

The ministers decided that the Permanent Arab Media Committee would hold a special meeting with the participation of legal experts and of media members from Arab countries and media institutions, to discuss any thoughts the Arab countries might have regarding the commissionership proposal. It was also decided that the results of this meeting would be presented to the Arab information ministers at their June 2010 meeting, before the commissionership was approved at the information ministers' summit in October 2010.[24]

Some Arab Countries: Incitement on Arab Television Is Directed at Us Too, Not Only America

One of the main reasons why some of the Arab countries support the establishment of an Arab media commissionership is that the incitement on the channels in question is also largely directed against them. For example, Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV regularly, and viciously, attacks the Egyptian regime and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak personally. Just a few weeks ago, an Egyptian court dismissed another lawsuit demanding that Al-Manar be dropped from Egypt's Nilesat satellite because of its anti-Egypt incitement.[25]

Another example is Iran's Al-Alam channel, which regularly broadcasts anti-Saudi and anti-Egyptian content. The matter came to a head on October 4, 2009, when Nilesat and Arabsat stopped transmitting the channel, following a meeting of the Egyptian, Saudi, Jordanian, Bahraini, and UAE information ministers in which they discussed, inter alia, the harmful programming on several television channels.[26] Several weeks ago, Arabsat again stopped transmitting Al-Alam.[27]

The Egyptian press warned several times against incitement on Arab channels. For example, the Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram wrote: "Nothing is more dangerous to our national unity than when the satellite channels fan the flame, spread an atmosphere of fanaticism, resentment, and hatred, incite civil strife, and feed ethnic sectarianism night and day!..."[28]

'Ali Al-Moussawi, media advisor to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, who represented his country at the meeting of Arab information ministers, harshly criticized the incitement on the Arab channels, and supported the establishment of an Arab media commissionership. He told the Saudi London-based daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, "Iraq has insisted that its sister country [Syria] will not interfere in its domestic affairs, especially in media matters... The Iraqi channels [operating] from Damascus are broadcasting programming supporting armed operations [i.e. terror attacks, in Iraq], and are mobilizing the public. We will not tolerate this..."[29]

The Syria-Lebanon-Qatar Camp vs. the Saudi-Egypt Camp

The Saudi and Egyptian representatives claimed during the meeting that there must be regulations for channels broadcasting via the Arab satellites, primarily in light of the proliferation of channels that disseminate ideas that serve the interests of states, movements, and political or religious organizations. The Saudi and Egyptian representatives stressed that media freedom would not be harmed by rules and criteria aimed at preventing media freedom from damaging the states' sovereignty.

On the other hand, the Syria-Lebanon-Qatar camp claimed that any country was capable of drawing up its own regulations for its own media. The Qatari representative to the meeting said that the aim of this commissionership would be to censor the media in every country – that is, it would restrict media freedom.[30]

Arab League Secretary-General 'Amr Moussa clarified that the aim of an Arab media commissionership would be to set standards for an Arab media discourse, and "to make sure that the content will be objective and high-level – in order to gain the trust of the Arab citizen and to gain credibility in the eyes of the world." He said that the commissionership would honor the principles of freedom of expression and opinion, transparency, and independence, but that there was also a need to purge the media of incitement to hatred, violence, extremism, terror, and discrimination..."[31] In an attempt to repel claims of a link between the proposed commissionership and H.R. 2278, Moussa stated that he had proposed the establishment of such a commissionership back in 2002.[32] He said, "If this commissionership had already been [in existence], there would not now be [American] attempts to interfere with our Arab media."[33]

Lebanese Columnists: The Commissionership – An Egyptian Initiative that Serves the U.S.

Ibrahim Al-Amin, chairman of the board of the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, which is close to Hizbullah, stated that the Arab media commissionership was actually an Egyptian initiative that served Egypt's interests as well as U.S. interests: "Egypt and other Arab countries, including the Gulf states, have more than once expressed their objections to allowing the broadcast [of certain content] of some Arab media, such as the Qatari Al-Jazeera channel, the Lebanese channels Al-Jadid and Al-Manar, and other TV channels, including one that is allegedly run by Hamas [i.e. Al-Aqsa].

"These countries' grievance stems from the fact that these channels present all critical opinions, particularly those critical of Egypt's stance – from [criticism of] the siege on the Gaza Strip to a campaign against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and other Arab leaders because they have done nothing to stop the Israeli aggression [against Gaza] or to remove the siege... The aim of Egypt's proposal is to establish criteria and a mechanism of oversight that precisely imitate what the Americans want [to attain with H.R. 2278], in the event that the U.S. does not enforce the new regulations or if the Arab countries are ashamed to implement American orders..."[34]

Also, Lebanese journalist George 'Alam, who writes for the Al-Safir daily, stated that the Arab commissionership would serve the U.S.: "...The Arab information ministers' council missed the target; instead of pouring out its anger and hatred at the American resolution and [figuring out] how to deal with it... They decided to put on the agenda the issue of establishing an Arab media commissionership – that would oversee only the Arab television channels, and would serve the American view..."[35]

Saudi Daily Al-Watan: Establishing an Arab Media Commissionership is Essential

In contrast, the Saudi daily Al-Watan wrote in an editorial that it was essential that a commissionership be established for the Arab television channels: "The ministers came armed with a draft [proposal] to establish a general commissionership for the Arab media. This is an Arab demand, not an American one, and it is essential not to refrain from implementing it, in order to establish an Arab media, with all that this entails, which keeps well away from extreme sectarianism. This, in order to place [on the agenda] the general Arab issues, and first of all the central issue, [namely] Palestine and everything that stems from that, such as the defense of the holy places, particularly Al-Aqsa Mosque...

"Without a doubt, there will be those who will be harmed by the establishment of an Arab media commissionership. But if we compare this damage to the overall benefit to Arab affairs, [the damage pales in comparison, because] it will affect only a few people, not the collective. This is particularly true because some of the Arab television channels are indeed flawed. [The political channels] gain their popularity by means of political and sectarian incitement of every sort, while the so-called entertainment channels gain their popularity by presenting poor-quality, banal art...

"[Establishing] a general Arab media commissionership is a logical move that can be a jumping-off point for establishing a non-uniform but united Arab media."[36]

*H. Varulkar is a research fellow at MEMRI


Endnotes:

[1] About H.R. 2278 and MEMRI's contribution, see also MEMRI-TV Clip No. 2360, http://www.memri.org/legacy/clip/0/0/0/0/0/0/2360; MEMRI-TV Clip No. 2299,

http://www.memri.org/legacy/clip/0/0/0/0/0/0/2299.

[2] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), January 25, 2010

[3] Alarabiya.net, January 24, 2010; Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), Al-Mustaqbal, Lebanon, February 25, 2010

[4] Al-Mustaqbal (Lebanon), alwatanonline, January 25, 2010

[5] Al-Arab (Qatar), January 25, 2010.

[6] Alwatanonline.com, January 25, 2010.

[7] Champress.net, January 25, 2010.

[8] Al-Nahar (Lebanon), January 25, 2010.

[9] Alarabiya.net, January 24, 2010.

[10] Al-Mustaqbal (Lebanon), January 9, 2010.

[11] Al-Safir (Lebanon), December 12, 2009.

[12] Al-Thawra (Syria), January 28, 2010.

[13] Al-Thawra (Syria), January 25, 2010.

[14] Al-Madina, (Saudi Arabia), February 5, 2010.

[15] Aljazeera.net, January 25, 2010.

[16] Al-Thawra (Syria), February 2, 2010.

[17] http://www.daralhayat.com/portalarticlendah/114229, February 28, 2010.

[18] Al-Ahram (Egypt), February 2, 2010.

[19] Al-Watan (Qatar), January 24, 2010.

[20] Al-Ba'th (Syria), February 2, 2010.

[21] Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), January 31, 2010.

[22] Al-Sharq (Qatar), January 26, 2010.

[23] Alarabiya.net, January 24, 2010; Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), Al-Mustaqbal (Lebanon), January 25, 2010.

[24] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), January 25, 2010.

[25] Al-Misriyoun (Egypt), January 27, 2010. A similar lawsuit was filed in Egypt in April 2009 following the exposure of the Hizbullah cell in that country. This lawsuit stated, "The Shi'ite Al-Manar channel, Hizbullah's mouthpiece, recently started to broadcast false reports about Egypt and to describe it as an agent of the U.S., and as [a country] that promotes Jewish interests and works to implement the Zionist agenda..." Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), April 19, 2010.

[26] Al-Shurouq (Egypt), November 5, 2009.

[27] Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), January 28, 2010.

[28] Al-Ahram (Egypt), January 16, 2010.

[29] Asharq-e.com, January 25, 2010. On Iraqi channels broadcasting from Syria and their support for the insurgency in Iraq, see MEMRI-TV Clip No. 1854, http://www.memri.org/legacy/clip/0/0/0/0/0/0/1854; MEMRI-TV Clip No. 2241, http://www.memri.org/legacy/clip/0/0/0/0/0/0/2241.

[30] Alwatanonline.com, January 25, 2010.

[31] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), January 25, 2010.

[32] Alarabiya.net, January 26, 2010. Reporters Without Borders issued a communiqué objecting to the Arab media commissionership initiative. This communiqué likewise pointed at the timing of the proposal – nearly simultaneous with H.R. 2278 – hinting at a connection between the two. However, a senior Arab League source denied any connection, and stated, "In order to prove that there is no truth [to this claim], it is enough to see that the proposal to establish the commissionership was [first] made in June 2008... while the American House bill was passed in December 2009 – so the two are not connected at all. Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), January 26, 2010.

[33] Alarabiya.net, January 24, 2010.

[34] Al-Akhbar (Lebanon), January 13, 2010.

[35] Al-Raya (Qatar), January 27, 2010.

[36] Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), January 25, 2010.

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