Al Jazeera Deal Sparks Concern for Jews

Leaders Worried About Arab Network's New Reach

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By Chemi Shalev (Haaretz)

Published January 05, 2013.

Jewish leaders have expressed “concern” about the impending entry of the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera network to the U..S television market, citing its record of anti-Israeli coverage and support for extremist Muslim regimes.

Both Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents and Abe Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League publicly voiced their apprehensions on Friday in the wake of reports that former U.S. Vice President Al Gore had sold his Current TV network to Al-Jazeera for $500 million. The sale will allow Al Jazeera to gain access to tens of millions of American homes in which Current TV had been available through various cable providers.

Hoenlein said the network’s English-language coverage has been more balanced but, “their general coverage has served to destabilize regimes and favor some of the more extremist elements in the Arab world.” Foxman was even harsher in his criticism of the station.

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