November 22, 2023 Special Dispatch No. 10974

Arab Journalists: Al-Jazeera Is A Mouthpiece Of The Terrorist Organizations

November 22, 2023
Qatar, Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 10974

Since Hamas' October 7, 2023 attack in southern Israel, in which some 1,200 Israelis were murdered and about 240 were kidnapped, Qatar's Al-Jazeera channel has been serving as a major mouthpiece for Hamas and the Iran-backed terror militias. This is part of Qatar's policy of extending support to Hamas and other terror organizations, including global jihad organizations such as Al-Qaeda. [1]

Al-Jazeera's bias in favor of Hamas, Hizbullah, the Houthis, and other terror organizations in the Iran-led resistance axis[2] sparked criticism from Arab journalists and intellectuals who took to X (formerly Twitter) to slam the channel and its coverage. They called Al-Jazeera a mouthpiece for terror organizations that serves them by spreading lies and inciting terror, and accused it of jeopardizing Arab national security.[3] 

This report presents some of the criticism voiced by Arab journalists and intellectuals against Al-Jazeera. 

Criticism Of Al-Jazeera Reporter Who Cut Short Interview With Gazan Who Complained About Hamas

Saudi businessman and online activist Monther Aal Sheikh Mubarak shared on his X account a video in which an Al-Jazeera reporter interviews a wounded Gazan man at a local hospital. The reporter cuts the man off mid-sentence when the latter starts criticizing Hamas operatives for hiding among civilians.[4] Commenting on the video, Mubarak wrote: "An elderly Gazan wondered why the resistance hides among civilians. He seemed to be saying, 'Hamas, is it not enough that we [Gazans] are not allowed to hide in [your] tunnels[?] The Al-Jazeera reporter cut the interview short and walked away, because that is not what the man was supposed [to say] in the interview…"[5]  Saudi journalist Faisal Ibrahim Alshammeri also shared this video on his X account and wrote, “Al-Jazeera trades in the blood of the people of Gaza. When a Palestinian man criticized Hamas, the reporter didn’t like it [and cut him off].”[6]

Monther Aal Sheikh Mubarak's post

Iraqi Journalist: Al-Jazeera Seeks To Ensnare The Muslims In The Trap Of The Terrorist Organizations

In a November 4, 2023 post on his X account, Iraqi journalist Sufian Al-Samarrai, the director of the Baghdad Post website, shared a video posted on Al-Jazeera's X account showing a Hamas attack on Israeli tanks and armored vehicles in Gaza. Al-Samarrai wrote in response to the video: "Oh Al-Jazeera, [the channel of Yousuf] Al-Qaradawi,[7] of [Iranian Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei, [a channel] that purports to be Islamic! Your media lies continue, and you continue to refine your artificial stupidity.[8] Fools applaud you on the platforms that specialize in fake 'likes' and 'retweets,' just as they applauded your lies and fabrications about the fictional Safavid[9] ISIS state.

"Oh Al-Jazeera, you will never repent sowing deception in the Muslim street with the aim of ensnaring people in the trap of the terrorist gangs and recruiting criminal jihadists. Afterwards you deny responsibility and abandon them to an unknown fate, as you have done in the past."[10]

Al-Samarrai also criticized Al-Jazeera's false claim that Israel had targeted the Baptist Hospital in Gaza. On October 18 he shared a segment from a press briefing by IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari, who explained that the blast at the hospital had been caused by a rocket misfired by Islamic Jihad, and wrote: "The Iranian and Qatari media tried to impose a [media] blackout on the crime of the so-called Islamic Jihad terror [organization], which is backed by Iran. To this end it conducted a large-scale media campaign and a deliberate [media] attack aimed at misleading the Muslim public and prompting [protest] marches in order to undermine Arab national security. Yesterday [October 17] many people believed this lie of Al-Jazeera's."[11] 

On November 3, Al-Samarrai shared a picture of Al-Jazeera airing a speech by Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, and wrote: "Al-Jazeera is the platform of all the terrorists who do not have a platform."[12]  

Saudi Online Activist: Al-Jazeera's Goal Is To Burnish The Image Of the Terrorist Organizations

Saudi online activist Mesh'al Al-Khalidi wrote: "The Al-Jazeera channel burnishes [the image] of the militias and terrorist organizations that have waded in Arab blood, describing them as 'Islamic resistance.' We seem to be facing a planned and organized project to burnish the image of Iran's agents and use the Palestinian issue as an excuse to direct accusations of heresy at anyone who exposes the proxies and agents loyal [to Iran].[13] 

Former Al-Arabiya Official: Al-Jazeera Is The Channel Of Nasrallah, Khamenei And Bin Laden

Saudi journalist Matar Al-Ahmadi, formerly the editor of the Al-Arabiya website, shared a picture of former Al-Jazeera director Yasser Abu Hilala holding a rifle, and responded to criticism voiced by Abu Hilala regarding Al-Arabiya's allegedly pro-Israeli coverage of the war in Gaza. Al-Ahmadi replied that Al-Jazeera is "the channel of [Hizbullah Secretary-General] Nasrallah, [Iranian Supreme Leader] Khamenei and [slain Al-Qaeda leader] Bin Laden." He added, "I admit that Al-Jazeera is better than Al-Arabiya at hurling invective, whining and riling up the simple folk. But in time its audience will replace it with TikTok videos. Al-Arabia [actually shapes] awareness. Al-Jazeera is nothing but a tool for creating chaos and anarchy. The proof is in the results. All of [Al-Jazeera's] media and ideological campaigns aimed at marketing Hizbullah, Al-Qaeda and the Spring of Anarchy [i.e., the Arab Spring] have ended in defeat."[14]  

Saudi Researcher: Al-Jazeera Is A Tool Of Iran And Its Militias

Saudi researcher Awwad Al-Qarni responded to an interview given by Mohsen Rezai, the former commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), on Al-Jazeera, saying: "This channel is a mouthpiece of Iran's ayatollahs and of its criminal militias. It operates according to the instructions of [former Israeli] Knesset member Azmi Bishara. What can we except it to do except spew poison and drive a wedge between Arab states in the service of the Persian plan[?]…"[15]

Yemeni Journalist: Al-Jazeera And Qatar Support The Houthis And All The Terror Organizations

Yemeni journalist and political activist Ahmed Al-Emad wrote on October 31: "The Qatari Al-Jazeera channel has become a mouthpiece that spreads the Houthi lies. This is where Qatar's unprecedented support for the Houthis is revealed, which far exceeds the Iranian support for them. What is Qatar's goal in supporting and promoting the extremist terrorist organizations that destroy the region and kill the peoples[?] Qatar lives in security and peace and its people enjoy prosperity while it promotes and supports those who destroy our country and kill our people. [Qatar's] goal is to prevent the Yemenis from enjoying stability and prosperity in their land."[16]

Syrian Journalist: Al-Jazeera Spreads Lies

On his personal X account, Syrian journalist in exile Abd Al-Jalil Al-Sa'id, a columnist with the Emirati news website, mocked Al-Jazeera's propensity for fake news by posting made-up Al-Jazeera headlines: "Al-Jazeera: [Hamas leader Yahya] Sinwar Arrives in Tel Aviv; [Hamas Spokesperson] Abu Obeida Arrests Netanyahu; [Hamas' Military Wing,] the Al-Qassam [Brigades], Capture Dimona [Nuclear] Reactor;  The Al-Quds Brigades [the PIJ Military Wing], Look Over Ben Gurion Airport; [Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan] Nasrallah Arrives At Al-Aqsa.' Don't insult our intelligence. Enough with the lies and slogans. After all your lies, Gaza is done for."[17]

Saudi Journalist: Qatari Is Not An Honest Broker

Saudi journalist Abd Al-Aziz Al-Khames quoted from a November 2, 2023 Wall Street Journal article criticizing Qatar and Al-Jazeera: "Qatar an ‘Honest Broker’? Try Al Jazeera in Arabic. The Gulf state’s TV news station tells the real story. Al Jazeera is Qatar’s official state-owned TV news station. It doesn’t reflect the viewpoint of an honest broker."[18] 



[1] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 10872, Qatar Enabling Hamas' War Against Israel, October 15, 2023. On Al-Jazeera see MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1527, Al-Jazeera Unmasked: Political Islam As A Media Arm Of The Qatari State, August 12, 2020.

[3] It should be noted that Al-Jazeera has been attacked in the past for supporting the resistance axis. For example, in 2020 it evoked intense public criticism with a podcast that presented Iranian general Qassem Soleimani as a figure worthy of admiration and emulation. See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 8750, Al-Jazeera Podcast Praising IRGC Al-Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani Sparks Intense Criticism Of The Channel, May 13, 2020.

[4] See MEMRI TV Clip No. 10637, "Elderly Wounded Man At Gaza Hospital Criticizes Hamas For Hiding Among Civilians: 'They Can Go To Hell And Hide There'; Kicks Al-Jazeera Reporter For Cutting Him Off Mid-Sentence," November 5, 2023; and in an interview with the Russian RT TV channel on October 27, 2023, Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzouk said that the tunnels were built to protect the Hamas fighters and not the civilians, and that the protection of the civilians in Gaza is the responsibility of the UN and of Israel. See MEMRI TV Clip No. 10585, Hamas Official Mousa Abu Marzouk: The Tunnels In Gaza Were Built To Protect Hamas Fighters, Not Civilians; Protecting Gaza Civilians Is The Responsibility Of The U.N. And Israel, October 27, 2023.

[5], November 15, 2023.

[6], November 14, 2023.

[7] Egyptian Islamic scholar Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi (1926-2022) was a spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and the founder and long-time head of the Islamic Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS). Al-Qaradawi, who spent much of his life in Qatar, and the IUMS, likewise based in Doha, are known for spreading extremist discourse of incitement, calls for jihad, antisemitism, and anti-Christian sentiment. Al-Qaradawi frequently appeared on Al-Jazeera and had a regular show on the channel for years.

[8] A play on the term "artificial intelligence."

[9] The Safavids were a dynastic family that ruled over modern-day Iran in the 16th-18th centuries. The term "Safavid" is now used by some Arabic speakers as a pejorative synonym for "Iranian."

[10], November 4, 2023.

[11], October 18, 2023.

[12], November 3, 2023.

[13], November 3, 2023.

[14], November 5, 2023.

[15], October 30, 2023.

[16], October 31, 2023.

[17], November 11, 2023.

[18], November 4, 2023.

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