ADL Rips Al Jazeera for Attempt to ‘Exploit and Diminish the Holocaust’
Leading Jewish human rights group, the Anti-Defamation League, slammed Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera for posting an online poll which asks viewers to compare the crimes of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad with those of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
“Shame on Al Jazeera. Even when people are dying on the streets of Syria the network cannot help but to inject their own warped views toward Jews and the Holocaust,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor. “This is part of the network’s dangerous obsession with Jews and Israel, and this poll is a blatant attempt to exploit and diminish the Holocaust while having the unintended effect of demeaning all of the people who died in Syria.”
“There is simply no comparison between Assad’s crimes, no matter how horrific they are, and the crimes of Hitler,” Foxman added.
So far, the online poll, posted just days prior to International Holocaust Remembrance Day, has received more than 44,000 votes. More than 95 percent of those voters responded “yes” to the question of whether Assad’s crimes are “worse than the Nazi crimes of Hitler.” Slightly more than 4 percent responded “no,” the ADL said.
The poll will be available on Al Jazeera’s Arabic-language website through January 30, and the network has announced that the results will be broadcast on a popular show called “The Opposite Direction,” which airs live across the Arab World.
Analyzing the poll further on its website, the ADL said, “The premise of the poll is inappropriate because it compares the death of more than six million Jews who were not part of any armed conflict and were annihilated for no reason other than their faith and culture to the humanitarian crisis and violence in Syria.”
The group points out that commenters who weighed in on the poll on Facebook after “The Opposite Direction” host, Dr. Faisal Al-Qassem, posted a link to it, further justified Hitler’s genocide against the Jews.
“Unlike Bashar, Hitler killed the Jews and not his own people,” one comment reads. Other comments state that there is no way to compare the two at all because, unlike Bashar, “Hitler was defending his people,” the ADL said.
The ADL said it has previously expressed concern about content featured on Al Jazeera, including the network’s showcasing of anti-Israel ideologues and its promotion of anti-Israel and extremist propaganda.
Al Jazeera first gained prominence after it aired video messages from arch-terrorist Osama Bin Laden following the 9-11 terror attacks on the U.S. that he masterminded. Recently it has drawn attention after launching an unprecedented entry into the U.S. market with Al Jazeera America.
“Al Jazeera’s decision to create a U.S.-based news channel was based in part on the fact that Americans have already shown a great demand for its news and programs,” said a company statement at the time of its launch.
Critics, however, doubt whether Al Jazeera can gain a foothold in the U.S. market and maintain that the network is just a mouthpiece for its Qatari owners and their agendas.