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“Turn down the volume”: Blinken Urges Qatar to Lower Al Jazeera’s Rhetoric on Gaza Conflict- Sources

“Turn down the volume”: Blinken Urges Qatar to Lower Al Jazeera’s Rhetoric on Gaza Conflict- Sources

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken engaged in a significant conversation with Jewish Zionist leaders of the US in which he expressed his concerns about Al Jazeera’s coverage of the conflict in Gaza. Blinken’s message to the leaders underscored his request to the Qatari government, made during a visit to Doha on October 13, to temper Al Jazeera’s rhetoric concerning the war in Gaza. Axios reports.

This development is noteworthy as it appears to diverge from the Biden administration’s declared stance of supporting press independence on a global scale. Al Jazeera, while maintaining its operational independence, is financially supported by the Qatari government.

The Zionist entity has accused Al Jazeera of being a propaganda outlet for Hamas and other Palestinian liberation groups, further raising concerns about its subjection to targeting by the major powers. It is important to note that Antony Blinken’s comments seemed to pertain to Al Jazeera’s Arabic-language platform, rather than Al Jazeera English.

During the meeting, Blinken urged the Qatari government to modify its public stance toward Hamas. To illustrate this point, he cited the need to “turn down the volume on Al Jazeera’s coverage because it is full of anti-Israel incitement.” However, Blinken did not provide specific examples of the rhetoric that he wanted to be dialed back.

The State Department has chosen not to comment on Blinken’s statements regarding Al Jazeera, and the Qatari Foreign Ministry has not responded to inquiries regarding the matter.

Despite these concerns about Al Jazeera’s coverage, it is essential to consider the larger picture. Blinken emphasised that “there can be no more business as usual with Hamas.” Nevertheless, the Biden administration relies on Qatar’s role in mediating with Hamas, which recently resulted in the release of two American hostages. Blinken has expressed deep appreciation for Qatar’s involvement in securing the release of those hostages, acknowledging the nation’s open line of communication with Hamas.

In summary, this development raises questions about the Biden administration’s stance on press freedom and its strategy for engaging with Hamas. It showcases a delicate balance between advocating for independent journalism and relying on Qatar’s mediation efforts.

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