Al Jazeera Suspends Two Journalists Over Controversial Holocaust Video

Al Jazeera Suspends Two Journalists Over Controversial Holocaust Video
View of the railway tracks at the former Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oswiecim, Poland, on Holocaust Day, on Jan. 27, 2014. (Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty Images)

Al Jazeera said that it suspended two journalists after a video the media outlet produced questioning how many Jews were killed in the Holocaust circulated widely online.

The Qatari state-funded broadcaster posted the video, “the story of the Holocaust, on its AJ+ Arabic website, reported the Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI.

The clip shows Muna Hawwa, a Kuwaiti-born Palestinian who lives in Qatar and works as a producer for Al Jazeera, standing and talking to viewers.

She tells them that “the narrative” that Nazis killed six million Jews in Europe during the Holocaust was “adopted by the Zionist movement” while claiming that “one of the most prominent historical debates to this day” is about how many Jews were actually killed in the Holocaust.

“People are divided between those who deny the annihilation, others who think that the outcome was exaggerated, and others yet who accuse the Zionist movement of blowing it out of proportion in the service of the plan to establish what would later be known as the ‘State of Israel,'” Hawwa claimed.

The video then showed images of Jews living under Nazi rule and pictures of those killed as the narrator said: “The victims of the Nazis—who were following Hitler’s orders—exceeded 20 million people. The Jews were part of them. So why is there a focus only on them?”

“The Jewish groups had financial resources, media institutions, research centers, and academic voices that managed to put a special spotlight on the Jewish victims of the Nazis,” Hawwa said, answering her own question.

Hawwa said it was “a moral obligation” to denounce what happened but said that Israel was the biggest “winner” of the Holocaust and that Israel uses the “same justification” as a “launching pad for the racial cleansing and annihilation of the Palestinians,” claiming the country had “suckled from the Nazi spirit.”

In a Facebook post, she told her followers that the video was her latest story, asking for feedback on what they loved about it.

The video circulated widely online, garnering some 1.1 million views on Facebook and Twitter, before MEMRI shared an English translation of the video, which was broadcast in Arabic. It was later taken down.

Al Jazeera said that the video “downplayed and misrepresented the Holocaust” and that two journalists were suspended. The company did not say whether Hawwa was one of them.

It said that Dima Khatib, managing director of AJ+, claimed the video was produced “without due oversight.”

“Announcing a review of workflows at AJ+ to ensure all content goes through proper editorial channels, Khatib also called on all AJ+ editors and journalists to comply with the network’s editorial values,” Al Jazeera stated.

The network did not apologize to Jews for its video.

The network has long published anti-Semitic content, such as a video that was posted on Al Jazeera’s website in 2015 titled “Holocaust: Zionist fabrication and Arab failure.”

Marah Elwadia, a self-described Palestinian journalist who worked for AJ+ Arabic, shared a fake quote from Adolf Hitler that same year on Twitter. She claimed he said: “I could have burned all the Jews in the world but I left the rest so the world knows why I burned them.”

Elwadia recently deleted her account.

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