'Al Jazeera is like Nazi propaganda'

Israel is reportedly weighing plans to close down the Qatari-owned paper's regional offices in Israel.

Tal Polon ,

Al Jazeera head offices in Doha, Qatar
Al Jazeera head offices in Doha, Qatar

The Israeli government is reportedly considering following the example of Arab countries in the region and closing down the offices of news outlet Al Jazeera in Israel. Middle East experts such as Professor Mordechai Kedar, who read the output of the outlet in the original Arabic, have been urging the government to take this step for years.

According to Yediot Aharonot, Prime Minister Netanyahu yesterday held a meeting to assess a plan whose goal is to close the Qatari-owned media outlet office in Israel, while the government press office, foreign ministry, and defense establishment began work on the matter.

At a Knesset meeting yesterday, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman blasted the Al Jazeera newspaper, likening it to Nazi propaganda.

“Some [Arab countries’] interests overlap with Israeli interests, including the issue with Al Jazeera,” he said. “Al Jazeera is not media, it’s not journalism. It’s an incitement machine. It’s pure propaganda, of the worst variety, in the style of Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia.”

Liberman also implied that Al Jazeera is supportive of the Iranian regime, as is Qatar.

“I’ve been tracking Al Jazeera for many years,” Liberman said. “You’ll never see a single article against Iran,” he said.

The latest Israeli action against the paper comes after Saudi Arabia and Jordan took similar steps in recent days as part of a larger campaign of regional Sunni Arab states against Qatar.

Last week, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain announced that they were breaking diplomatic ties with Qatar, confiscating its currency in their banks and closing Saudi air space and territorial waters to Qatar - effectively a blockade as Qatar abuts Saudi Arabia - citing the country's support for “terror organizations which intend to harm the region's stability."