Al Jazeera Suspends Two Journalists Over Video Claiming Jews 'Exploited the Holocaust' for Personal Gain

al jazeera
The entrance to the headquarters of the Al Jazeera TV network in Doha, Qatar, October, 2005.The broadcaster has suspended two journalists over a video claiming Jews exploited the Holocaust for their own gain. Eamonn McCabe/Getty Images

Al Jazeera has suspended two of its journalists over a video that made a number of anti-Semitic statements, including claims that the Jewish people exploited the Holocaust and that the number of those killed in the genocide was "inflated by the Zionist movement."

The seven-minute video, posted by the Qatari state-funded broadcaster's youth-focused AJ+ Arabic service, was posted on social media platforms 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 Haaretz.

In the video, the presenter, Muna Hawwa, speaks to the camera and says the Holocaust is "different from how the Jews tell it." The video claims the "narrative" that 6 million Jews were murdered by the Nazis during World War II was "adopted by the Zionist movement," according to Agence France-Presse.

The video goes on to say that Jews from prewar Europe were able to get people to focus on the Jewish people's suffering from the Holocaust because they are wealthy and control media companies.

The video also says that "statistics were inflated by the Zionist movement to help them establish Israel" and that Jews "exploited the Holocaust for their agenda and made the whole world focus on their murders and forget the other victims." It also claims that reparations that Israel received from Germany were disproportionate, compared with other countries affected by the Holocaust.

"The Jews weren't the only targets of the Nazis, but also Gypsies [Roma], the disabled, homosexuals, and Arabs and Christians too," Hawwa said. "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?"

Yaser Bishr, executive director of Al Jazeera's Digital Division, said in a statement that the network "completely disowns the offensive content in question and reiterated that Al Jazeera would not tolerate such material on any of the network's platforms."

Bishr also called for staff to take part in mandatory bias training and an awareness program in response to the video.

The network said the video and accompanying content were removed online and from its social media platforms for breaching their editorial standards. According to Haaretz, the video was watched more than a million times on Facebook and Twitter before it was taken down.

"Al Jazeera continues to adhere to the journalistic values of honesty, courage, fairness, balance, independence, credibility and diversity, giving no priority to commercial or political over professional consideration," a spokesperson said. "In addition, the network recognizes the diversity in societies with all races, cultures, beliefs and their values and intrinsic individualities."

In a tweet, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Arab media spokesman, Ofir Gendelman, accused the channel of airing an "anti-Semitic video on the Holocaust, spreading lies about it & about Israel, specifically on #Ramadan in order to incite the masses."

He added: "We'll keep fighting anti-Semitism on Arab media, including on [Al Jazeera Arabic]—an inciting propaganda machine."