(March 6, 2018 / JNS) Congressmen Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) led a bipartisan letter sent on Tuesday urging U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to enforce the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, with respect to Qatar’s media outlet Al Jazeera.
“For years, Qatar has used its state-controlled propaganda arm, Al Jazeera, to incite violence, glorify terrorist killers as ‘martyrs’ and broadcast hateful, extremist content. But recent reports that the network’s operatives secretly filmed American nonprofit organizations in Washington show the urgent need for an investigation to determine whether Al Jazeera undertook ‘political activities’ in the U.S. and should register as a foreign agent,” said Gottheimer.
“Now more than ever, American citizens deserve to know the difference between foreign propaganda and independent media,” he added.
Zeldin said “Al Jazeera’s radical anti-American, anti-Semitic and anti-Israel content is extraordinarily troubling and must be closely scrutinized to determine whether Al Jazeera is in violation of U.S. law.”
“As a state-sponsored news organization that favorably covers foreign terrorist organizations, including Hamas, Hezbollah and others, it is critical the United States takes action where laws are being broken and American interests are being undermined,” said the congressman.
The bipartisan letter was signed by Gottheimer, Zeldin, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Congressmen Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Mike Johnson (R-La.), Peter King (R-N.Y.), Ted Poe (R-Texas), John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), Keith Rothfus (R-Pa.), David Rouzer (R-N.C.), Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) and Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.).
Gottheimer told JNS in January: “We know that the Qataris have been playing all sides for years, financing heinous terrorist groups and giving sanctuary to the leaders of Hamas and the Taliban with hardly any consequences from Washington.”
“No public-relations campaign will cover up the truth: Qatar uses its state-controlled propaganda arm, Al Jazeera, to incite violence, glorify murderers of Jews as ‘martyrs’ and broadcast virulent anti-Semitism,” he had said, referring to a charm offensive by Qatar among U.S. Jews.
Meanwhile, Gottheimer celebrated the Purim holiday with families last week in northern New Jersey.
He joined students as they danced the hora at the Frisch School’s Purim party. The celebration included more than 1,000 local residents marking the Jewish festival.
“North Jersey is home to a strong and vibrant Jewish community, and nowhere is that more evident than at the Frisch School, where hundreds of students come together to learn and grow in their Jewish faith,” said Gottheimer.
“I had a great time celebrating this joyful holiday,” he said. “Thank you to Yeshivat Frisch for welcoming me, and Chag Purim Sameach.”