On Al Jazeera, Congressman Calls Station’s Support of Hamas a “War Crime”

The Algemeiner reported yesterday on remarks Representative Brad Sherman (D-Calif) made to Al Jazeera last week criticizing Hamas (video embedded below).

Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also slammed the network’s coverage of the latest round of fighting between Hamas and Israel during his recent appearance on the network.

“Every one of those rockets [fired by Hamas into Israeli cities] is a war crime, almost every one,” Sherman said, noting that Hamas seeks to hit civilian targets. “Of course it’s a war crime committed by Hamas. And of course the owners of this TV network help fund Hamas.”

Sherman further excoriated the station’s supposed objectivity: “… [Y]ou on this TV station say, ‘well maybe it’s not a war crime because it’s not successful, the rocket didn’t hit a kindergarten – it was aimed at a kindergarten but it didn’t hit a kindergarten – so then it’s not reprehensible.’”

The “owners” of Al Jazeera that Sherman referenced is the government of Qatar. A leaked confidential cable from America’s ambassador to Qatar called the station “an informal tool of [the Government of Qatar's] foreign policy.”

The ties between Qatar and Al Jazeera have long been problematic. In 2009, then-Senator John Kerry said, “Qatar can’t continue to be an American ally on Monday that sends money to Hamas on Tuesday.” Last week, in fact, the United States blocked Qatari funds from being used to pay employees of Hamas.

Qatar’s role in supporting Hamas looms large as it is proffering a ceasefire agreement in competition with Egypt’s; Qatar’s terms address most of Hamas’ demands.

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