Congressmen demand Al Jazeera be investigated for spying on American Jews
The Washington Free Beacon is reporting that a bipartisan group of congressmen is demanding that the Department of Justice open an investigation into Al Jazeera, the Qatari-based media company. The website published a story on February 13 that detailed a sophisticated spying operation on American Jews by Al Jazeera, and Congress wants the media company to be identified as a foreign agent.
Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D., N.J.) and Lee Zeldin (R., N.Y.) are circulating a letter to their congressional colleagues urging them to back an effort demanding the Trump administration's Department of Justice open an investigation into Al Jazeera's recent spy operation. The lawmakers argue that in light of this and other efforts by the Middle Eastern news network it should register as a foreign agent under U.S. law.
Such a designation under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, would show Al Jazeera is under the thumb of the Qatari government, which funds its operations, and not an independent news organization, as it claims to be.
The Free Beacon first reported last week that Congress is actively working to see Al Jazeera designated under FARA following a secret effort last year to spy on the American Jewish community as part of a documentary it claims will expose Jewish control of the media.
Al Jazeera has been sending letters to a slew of Jewish organizations and pro-Israel individuals asking them to comment on what appears to be secret recordings that the news outlet claims confirms Jewish meddling in foreign affairs.
Al Jazeera's actions are being viewed as tantamount to a foreign-funded spy operation on U.S. citizens conducted on American soil. In light of this spy effort, Gottheimer and Zeldin are seeking support for an effort to force Al Jazeera to register as a foreign agent under FARA.
The U.S. is not the only nation that thinks Al Jazeera is a mouthpiece for radical Islam. Last year during the Qatari crisis, where the Gulf States threatened war with Qatar over their support for Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt all threatened to close Al Jazeera bureaus in their countries because the media company is seen as the propaganda arm of the Qatari government. Egypt actually arrested Al Jazeera employees for their support of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The question isn't whether Al Jazeera is a propaganda organ. The question is who takes its people at their word that they're not.
"American citizens deserve to know whether the information and news media they consume is impartial, or if it is deceptive propaganda pushed by foreign nations," the lawmakers write in a draft letter to the DOJ that is currently circulating on Capitol Hill. A copy of that letter was obtained by the Free Beacon.
This would put Al Jazeera in the same category as state-funded propaganda outlets such as RT, a Russian-controlled outlet that was recently forced to register under FARA as part of a similar push.
"Congress needs clarification as to whether additional foreign principals should also be required to register under FARA, including Qatar's Al Jazeera, which the U.S. State Department has indicated is state-controlled," the lawmakers write.
Al Jazeera's coverage of Middle Eastern issues has been hysterically anti-American and anti-Israel. Its paranoid conspiracy theory about Jews having outsized influence on American foreign policy would be laughable if the organization didn't firmly believe it. To "prove" that contention, the network created a document that purportedly included several prominent American Jews expressing alarm about anti-Semitism.
As part of the upcoming documentary, a mole paid for by Al Jazeera infiltrated these organizations and recorded pro-Israel advocates discussing efforts to combat anti-Semitism and boycotts of Israel.
Ahead of Al Jazeera running this production, it has sent several letters to subjects who were secretly recorded asking them to respond to a range of allegations that the Qatari outlet claims confirm that American Jews are working to influence the American government and block global efforts to boycott Israel, known as the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS.
American Jews have an interest in U.S. policies in the Middle East just as Mexicans in America have an interest in U.S. policies regarding immigration. It's a free country with a Constitution that guarantees the right to assemble peacefully and redress grievances. Al Jazeera's problem is that its staffers are hysterical anti-Semites who want Israel destroyed.
The congressional letter to DoJ asking for the investigation pulled no punches:
"We find it troubling that the content produced by this network often directly undermines American interests with favorable coverage of U.S. State Department-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, including Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda's branch in Syria," the letter states.
"Furthermore, Al Jazeera's record of radical anti-American, anti-Semitic, and anti-Israel broadcasts warrants scrutiny from regulators to determine whether this network is in violation of U.S. law," the letter continues. "Such an investigation should cover the full range of activities undertaken by Al Jazeera in the United States, including reports that it infiltrated American ... nonprofit organizations."
Al Jazeera's coverage of the U.S. and Israel is reminiscent of the wildly conspiratorial coverage of America by TASS during the Cold War. In the 1980s, the Kremlin was still showing race riots from the '60s as "news" on TV. Russian TV was also fond of showing workers' strikes from bygone eras and trying to pass them off as current events. Imagine the surprise of the Russian people when broadcasts from the West finally began to be seen and Soviet citizens were able to see how miserable their lives were compared to citizens in the West.
Al Jazeera's portrait of Jews in America is likely to be equally idiotic. Why does anyone believe these people to be anything but a mouthpiece for Islamist propaganda?