First Published: 2017-07-12

UAE says Al-Jazeera promotes 'anti-Semitic violence'
Closure of Al-Jazeera is one of 13 demands that Saudi-led bloc of Arab states made of Qatar as conditions to lift blockade, now in its second month.
Middle East Online

UN has warned that demands to close Al-Jazeera violate basic freedoms.

ABU DHABI - A top UAE official on Wednesday accused Qatari broadcast giant Al-Jazeera of anti-Semitism, discrimination and inciting religious hate, in a rebuttal to UN accusations of attacking freedom of expression.

The United Nations has warned that demands that Qatar close Al-Jazeera by a rival Saudi Arabian-led alliance, which includes the UAE, violate basic freedoms.

The United Arab Emirates' state minister for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, hit back in a letter to UN rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.

In it, Gargash wrote that Al-Jazeera had "promoted anti-Semitic violence by broadcasting sermons by the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Yusuf al-Qaradawi".

Qaradawi, he added, had "praised Hitler, described the Holocaust as 'divine punishment', and called on Allah to 'take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people... and kill them, down to the very last one'".

The letter was published in a statement from the UAE National Media Council.

Saudi Arabia and its allies cut all ties with Qatar last month over accusations the country funded Islamist extremists and was too close to Shiite-ruled Iran, sealing the emirate's only land border and ordering its citizen to return home.

The closure of Al-Jazeera is one of 13 wide-ranging demands the alliance placed on Doha as conditions to lift the "blockade", now in its second month.

On June 30, Al Hussein said the demand that Al-Jazeera be shut down represented "an unacceptable attack on the right to freedom of expression and opinion".

Gargash's letter, dated July 9 but released Wednesday, also accuses Al-Jazeera of having "repeatedly crossed the threshold of incitement to hostility, violence and discrimination" and lists multiple examples, among them broadcasting the speeches of slain Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

 

US, Iranian top diplomats confront each other for first time

Moscow accuses US of hitting Syrian regime forces

Turkey, Iran and Iraq make joint threat against Kurd vote

Thousands of Huthi supporters mark 3 years since Sanaa takeover

Gemstone purchase essential for Najaf pilgrims

UN sets up probe of IS war crimes in Iraq

Air strikes kill 22 civilians in northwest Syria in 48 hours

Iranian supreme leader lashes out at Trump UN speech

Iraq attacks all remaining IS territory at once

Turkey jails lawyers representing hunger striking teachers

Syrian Kurds to hold first local elections in federal push

Qatari expats lauded as statesmen by Arab critics

Shipwreck off Libyan coast leaves over 100 migrants missing

Will Turkey’s opposition to Kurdish state translate into action?

US ups the ante on Iraq Kurds

Macron: Iran nuclear deal no longer enough

Trump’s mind made up on Iran but refuses to divulge

Scores of Iraqis missing during war against ISIS

Netanyahu rejects calls for mixed gender worship at Western Wall

Russia accuses US of missile treaty breach

Iran TV translator mocked for watering down Trump speech

Saudi Arabia hopes Kurdish referendum will not take place

Saudi invites women to sports stadium for first time

Saudi set to create $2.7 billion investment company

Humanitarian disaster grips Yemen three years since Houthi takeover

What will become of Iraq’s Hawija after ISIS?

Multi-ethnic Kirkuk tense ahead of referendum

UN awaits Iran’s defence against Trump nuclear deal threats

US-backed SDF seizes 90% of Syria's Raqa

Man hanged in Iran for rape, murder of child

Saudi to lift ban on internet phone calls

Sisi calls for peace, co-existence in Mideast

Erdogan demands Iraqi Kurds call off referendum

US looking to revisit Iran nuclear deal

Trump expects Gulf dispute to be resolved quickly

Bashir calls on Darfur displaced to return

Saudi Aramco could release accounts in early 2018

Saudi-led coalition says rebels hindering Yemen food imports

Jihadist activity prompts regime, Russian air strikes in Syria safe zone

Two prominent rights activists arrested in Saudi Arabia

Israel shoots down Hezbollah drone over Golan Heights

Iraqi forces launch assault on IS in western Anbar province

Families of the missing, the forgotten victims of war in Lebanon

25 killed in South Sudan clashes

Suicide attack on Iraq restaurant kills three