An analysis of Al Jazeera and Associated Press (AP) reports on Israel’s demolition of the 14 storey building in which their respective offices were located - illustrates media anti-Israel bias that seeks to denigrate and delegitimise the Jewish State in much of the media reporting coming from the Gaza Strip.
Al Jazeera’s report claimed:
“A building that housed international media offices including Al Jazeera’s in the Gaza Strip has been hit by an Israeli air raid that demolished the structure… The building also housed The Associated Press news agency bureau.”
AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt released the following statement:
“We are shocked and horrified that the Israeli military would target and destroy the building housing AP’s bureau and other news organizations in Gaza. They have long known the location of our bureau and knew journalists were there. We received a warning that the building would be hit.
"The Israeli government says the building contained Hamas military intelligence assets. We have called on the Israeli government to put forward the evidence. AP’s bureau has been in this building for 15 years. We have had no indication Hamas was in the building or active in the building. This is something we actively check to the best of our ability. We would never knowingly put our journalists at risk.”
Both these media outlets failed to report that one of the other media offices located in the building was Middle East Eye (MEE) – exposed as the alleged media mouthpiece for Hamas in this 2017 report:
“Middle East Eye (MEE) — an increasingly prominent web portal — often obscures its finances, but it increasingly fills the gap as Qatar’s chief agent of influence. Groups like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International incorporate MEE stories, as do newspapers like the New York Times and the Washington Post.
Delving into the details of MEE, however, show that it acts far less as a traditional journalistic outlet and far more as an English-language front for Qatari-supported groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. British corporate records, for example, show that Jamal Awn Jamal Bessasso, a former official for both Al Jazeera in Qatar and the Hamas-affiliated al-Quds TV in Lebanon, owns and operates MEE through M.E.E. Ltd. A CV for Jamal Bessasso, since scrubbed from the internet, shows previous stints as director of planning and human resources for the Al Jazeera satellite network in Qatar and director of Human Resources for the Samalink Television Production Company in Lebanon.
Samalink is the registered agent for Al Quds TV’s website. While David Hearst, MEE editor-in-chief, told the United Arab Emirates’ The National paper that Bessasso was “a colleague and the head of human resources and the legal director,” he denied that Bessasso was the MEE owner, despite his listings on corporate records. Neither Hearst, former news editor Rori Donaghy (in a tweet now deleted), nor other MEE employees, however, would identify who owned MEE if not Bessasso…
The Hamas links run as deep. A former official of Interpal, a United Kingdom-based charity designated by the US Treasury Department as a financial supporter of Hamas, registered the Middle East Eye website. Prior to joining MEE, Donaghy worked for organizations founded by Hamas (such as the House of Wisdom in Gaza) and the Muslim Brotherhood (Emirates Center for Human Rights, which was set up with financing and assistance from the Cordoba Foundation, a Muslim Brotherhood entity).
David Hearst – in an apparent brain explosion – has just published a virulent anti-Israel article in MEE conveniently omitting to include MEE’s location:
“Its [Israel’s] air force may bomb the building housing AP and Al Jazeera.” No mention of the building's other uses.
Designed to whip up anti-Israel hatred? You be the judge.
David Singer is an Australian lawyer who is active in Zionist community organizations in that country. He founded the "Jordan is Palestine" Committee in 1979.