America debates Al Jazeera expansion

The purchase of Al Gore’s US television channel Current TV by Qatari news channel Al Jazeera has prompted mixed reactions from the Jewish community and media.

Jewish leaders and the American right have expressed concern at the content of Al Jazeera’s broadcasts given that it will now have unprecedented access to American viewers.

Abe Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement: “Al Jazeera has a troubling record… particularly in its Arabic language broadcasts. It has exploited and exaggerated the Arab-Israel conflict in a heavy-handed and propagandistic manner, and always at the expense of Israel.”

However other Jewish voices have suggested there is no need to panic. The Jewish Daily Forward quoted analysts saying that Americans could benefit from seeing news about themselves through a more “global lens”.

Last updated: 9:45pm, January 10 2013