A former Member of Knesset who was forced to flee Israel after it was revealed that he revealed sensitive security details to Hezbollah terrorists will head a new Qatar-based television network.
The United Arab Emirates-based The National website reported on Sunday that Azmi Bishara, who now heads the Doha-based Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, will head a new television station as a political counterweight to Al Jazeera.
The new station will be an Arabic-language news channel based in London and broadcasting across the Arab world, according to The National. It is one of several new media ventures launched under the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Bishara is considered a close confidant of the Emir, the website noted.
Bishara is still wanted for questioning in Israel for transmitting information to Hezbollah in the 2006 Second Lebanon War, helping them more accurately target Israeli citizens in their missile war against northern Israel. Until the 2011 passing of the "Bishara Law," the former MK was still receiving full pension from Israel, getting a total of 500,000 shekels (roughly $143,000).
Qatar has come under fire from some countries in the Arab world over the Al Jazeera network, which has been called "the Muslim Brotherhood channel" and has been blamed for stirring up much of the violence that has rocked the Middle East in recent years.
Recently, the governments of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar, in protest over Qatar's support for the Muslim Brotherhood, especially in Egypt.
The new channel, which was proposed by Bishara himself, is aimed at dispelling the notion that Qatar supports the Muslim Brotherhood. Bishara, according to The National, is “willing to criticize the group publicly.”