Al Jazeera suspends journalists over video that questioned the Holocaust

The executive director of Al Jazeera's digital division said the network 'completely disowns the offensive content in question'


Al-Jazeera's AJ+ Arabic channel has suspended two journalists after the outlet posted a video that called into question the "truth of the Holocaust".

The video, which was shared on Twitter and Facebook on Friday by the AJ+ Arabic channnel, asked “what is the truth of Holocaust and how did the zionist movement benefit from it.”

The seven minute-long video, recorded in Arabic, said the Holocaust was "different from how the Jews tell it.”

The Qatar-based channel deleted the video following widespread criticism.

However the channel also appears to be having the video removed from all sites that have hosted copies.

A copy of the video with English subtitles that was shared by Middle East Media Research Institute is now unavailable.

The video has been replaced with the error message "this media has been disabled in response to a report by the copyright owner."

At the time of publication the network had not responded to the claim they were removing the content or offered an explanation as to why.

Reacting to the criticism of the video on Sunday, the network said the content violated its editorial standards.

Yaser Bishr, executive director of Al Jazeera's digital division, said the network "completely disowns the offensive content in question."

In an email to staff, Mr Bishr said a mandatory bias and sensitivity training programme would take place for staff.

The video was made by AJ+, the youth-focused spin off of Qatar's official Al Jazeera Network, and shared with the caption: “The gas chambers killed millions of Jews…So the story says. How true is the #Holocaust and how did the Zionists benefit from it?”

According to Dima Khatib, managing director of AJ+, the video was produced without the appropriate oversight.

Ms Khatib announced a review of the chain of command at the channel to ensure all content is checked by editors.

In a statement, Al-Jazeera said: "Al Jazeera continues to adhere to the journalistic values of honesty, courage, fairness, balance, independence, credibility and diversity.

"In addition, the network recognises the diversity in societies with all races, cultures, beliefs and their values and intrinsic individualities."

The post was viewed 1.1 million times on Facebook and Twitter before it was taken down by Al Jazeera on Sunday.

Speaking to camera, the video's presenter, Muna Hawwa, said: "The Jews weren't the only targets of the Nazis, but also Gypsies [Roma], the disabled, homosexuals, and Arabs and Christians, too.

"In all, the Nazis killed 20 million people during the Holocaust and the Final Solution, and the Jews were just a part of that. Then why does the world focus so much on Jews?”

The video also suggested Jews from pre-war Europe were able to get people to “focus” on their suffering because they were wealthy and controlled media companies.

It went on to suggest “statistics” around the Holocaust were “inflated by the Zionist movement to help them establish Israel.”

Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon condemned the AJ+ video as an example "the worst kind of pernicious evil."

He said: "That's how Al Jazeera brainwashes young people in the Arab world and perpetuates hatred of Israel and the Jews. Lies and evil propogated by the ideological descendants of 'Der Stürmer’.”

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