Al Jazeera’s social media accounts published a video diminishing Jewish suffering in the Holocaust and cast Israel as the spiritual successor of the Nazis.
“The gas chambers killed millions of Jews… So the story says. How true is the #Holocaust and how did the Zionists benefit from it?” read an Arabic description of a video posted on Facebook by AJ+, the social media branch of the Qatari government-owned media outlet.
According to a translation by Middle Eastern media watchdog MEMRI, the video didn’t deny the existence of the Holocaust, but claimed falsely that the number of victims was a matter of scholarly debate. Diminishing the number of Holocaust victims is generally considered by historians to be a form of Holocaust denial.
“…The number of victims of the Holocaust remains one of the most prominent historical debates to this day,” the video claimed. “People are divided between those who deny the annihilation, others who think that the outcome was exaggerated, and others yet who accuse the Zionist movement of blowing it out of proportion in the service of the plan to establish what would later be known as the ‘State of Israel.'”
The video also invoked several anti-Semitic tropes, suggesting that Jewish victims of Nazism only received special attention because “Jewish groups” had control over “financial resources, media institutions, research centers, and academic voices.”
“Denouncing the Holocaust is a moral obligation, but Israel is the biggest winner from the Holocaust, and it uses the same Nazi justifications as a launching pad for the racial cleansing and annihilation of the Palestinians,” the video concluded. “The main ideology behind the ‘State of Israel’ is based on religious, national, and geographic concepts that suckled from the Nazi spirit…”
In response to outcry, Al Jazeera removed the video and placed the journalists who made the video on suspension. In a statement, they claimed the video had not been properly vetted and was contrary to their editorial guidelines.
“Al-Jazeera completely disowns the offensive content in question and reiterated [sic] that al-Jazeera would not tolerate such material,” the executive director of the digital division Yaser Bishr said in the statement, announcing that there would be mandatory bias training for staffers.