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Liberman Pushes to Ban Al-Jazeera from Israel

Foreign Minister lashes out at broadcasting network's ties with Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas; says it has 'no semblance of reliability.'
By Tova Dvorin, Hezki Ezra
First Publish: 7/21/2014, 8:47 PM

Avigdor Liberman
Avigdor Liberman
Flash 90

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) vowed to stop major Arab broadcaster Al Jazeera from broadcasting in Israel on Monday, arguing that it is a mouthpiece for Hamas propaganda. 

"Qatar has become a global problem," he stated, in a meeting with the Rwandan Foreign Minister. Several Hamas leaders have fled to Qatar since Israel began cracking down on Hamas terror. "It constitutes the economic backbone of terrorist groups in the most extreme sense, aiming to destabilize the world in general and the Middle East in particular."

Liberman accused Qatar of directly funding Hamas, firing that the state is giving leader Khaled Meshaal refuge.

Al-Jazeera is based in Doha, and has been associated with a Hamas ally, the Muslim Brotherhood. 

As such, Liberman said, Qatar uses the network as a "propaganda machine," saying it "has abandoned even the semblance of a reliable communication tool and it conveys, even to the outside world, anti-Israel lies, provocation, and encouragement to terrorists." 

"We've already started an investigation into Al-Jazeera's status, with the intention not to allow it to operate in Israel," Liberman added. "Israel has hosted all the broadcast networks and among the biggest in the world, but a considerable number of them are not broadcasting just Zionist propaganda - even the opposite - but as a democracy we must allow it.'' 

Al-Jazeera is an exception, he said, due to its ties to the Brotherhood and Hamas. 

"The United States would not allow an Al-Qaeda channel to broadcast from New York," he fired. "Thus we will prevent Al-Jazeera from broadcasting from Israel."