Alahednews
english.alahednews.com.lb
Liberation 18
Sayyed Nasrallah: US-Gulf Sanctions Ineffective, Confident of Victory in any Coming War Egypt, Ethiopia Fail to Reach Breakthrough in Dam Negotiations Intriguing Gold Coin, Other Treasures Uncovered in Egypt US House Okays Motion Opposing Attack on Iran Reform in Reverse in Saudi Arabia Champs League Final: Madrid, Liverpool Fans Gather in Kiev Struggling in Parliament, German Far Right Takes to Streets Why Trump’s Small-Handed Plan to Strangle Iran Will Fail South Korea Relieved About Trump-Kim Summit Revival Efforts «Israeli» Court Approves Razing West Bank Bedouin Village #Ethiopia Releasing #British National Detained in 2014 Sayyed #Nasrallah: Among the brother MPs in the ‘Loyalty to the Resistance bloc’, we chose Hassan #Fadlallah to follow up the file against #corruption Sayyed #Nasrallah: Our fight against #corruption is a serious and major battle, and it completes what happened in the 2000 #liberation Sayyed #Nasrallah: #Hezbollah didn’t and will not demand having one of the so-called sovereign ministerial portfolios Sayyed #Nasrallah: There are parties with whom we may disagree strategically, but nothing prevents from cooperating with them in fighting #corruption Sayyed #Nasrallah: The #Moroccan foreign minister has not offered any evidence to his #Iranian counterpart backing his accusations Sayyed #Nasrallah: #Hezbollah will not put forward a candidate to head any of #Lebanon’s key ministries Sayyed #Nasrallah: #Terrorism lists won’t delay formation of #Lebanese government Sayyed #Nasrallah: When they face popular #resistance, they will not be able to defeat it Sayyed #Nasrallah: Blacklisting #Hezbollah aims at scaring the allies and pushing them away from the resistance and also at drying up the #resistance's funding sources and they've been seeking this since the #1990s
Guestbook mailinglist.php arabic site french site spanish site facebook twitter rss page
News Categories » Files » Files » Selected Articles

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size  Print Page
Saudi Arabia Has Started Spreading Its Own «Fake News»
Anthony Harwood

When it takes Julian Assange, of all people, to point out how Saudi Arabia's dirty tricks campaign has gone into overdrive, you know it's reaching Alice in Wonderland proportions.

Qatar airways

From his bolthole in the Ecuadorian embassy, the WikiLeaks founder took to Twitter to complain that the Saudi-owned TV station Al Arabiya was making "increasingly absurd fabrications" in the country's 11-week-long dispute with Qatar.

In particular he took the broadcaster to task for quoting him saying Qatar had paid "huge sums of money" for two damaging cables not to be published.

Equally absurd was the Arab TV station's attack on The Independent and Newsweek over the weekend.

Both had reported widespread outrage at an animated Al Arabiya video showing a Qatar Airways passenger plane being shot down by a Saudi jet for straying into the desert kingdom's airspace.

Saudi Arabia closed its borders to Qatar at the start of June when it launched a diplomatic and transport blockade of the country over its supposed support for extremism and cozying up to Iran, which the tiny Gulf state denies.

The video led to a complaint by Qatar to the International Civil Aviation Organization that the Saudis were "terrorizing" travelers.

But in an extreme case of splitting hairs, Al Arabiya then launched a bizarre attack claiming the "Western media outlets" had "misleadingly" reported what the footage conveyed.

It said the video began with a Saudi jet forcing a passenger jet - with the Qatar Airways logo on the side - to land for entering its airspace.

This was followed by a second sequence in which a missile is fired at the aircraft in midair. But on this occasion the plane's Qatar Airways logo had been removed - so, they tried to claim, it wasn't a Qatari plane.

I think not. It's the same animated video sequence; it's the same voiceover talking about what Saudi Arabia can do under international law if a Qatari plane strays into its airspace; it's the same airplane, bar a logo.

If it walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it's probably a duck.

Plus, who else has Saudi Arabia closed its border to?
A Qatari passenger is going to be no less terrified that the pilot might lose his bearings just because the Qatar Airways logo has been removed in the second half of a video sequence.

As well as singling out The Independent for its coverage, the Al Arabiya report also named the Newsweek journalist involved in writing up the story for his own outlet, noting that "he has frequently been featured on Al Jazeera Arabic, the news channel that has led a campaign against the Arab countries boycotting Qatar". How dare he!

That's the same Al Jazeera TV station that, in their ludicrous list of 13 demands at the outset of the dispute, the Saudi-led alliance said should be closed down.

OK, as the Qataris said at the time, you close down Al Arabiya, and we'll close Al Jazeera.

But while Al Jazeera is an internationally respected news organization, Al Arabiya, in Assange's words, is just becoming, well, absurd.

Consider how gleefully it seized upon this week's story of how a little-known cousin of the Emir of Qatar was paraded around Saudi Arabia and touted as a mediator between the two countries.

Not only did he get to see the Crown Prince, but he was also flown to Morocco to meet King Salman himself at his holiday retreat.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali al-Thani, who's an elderly relative of the current Emir living in Saudi and married to a Saudi woman, in a matter of hours become the proud owner of a Twitter account with 250,000 followers.

It is being deluged with people calling for the ruling Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim, to step down, using a hashtag which reads [in translation] "Abdullah is Qatar's Future".

It's too laughable to be a serious attempt to overthrow the ruling family of Qatar. But a report by Al Arabiya goes so far as to run a photograph of the pretender with the caption: "Sheikh Abdullah Althani the wise, ‘the light at the end of the tunnel'."

It dresses up the story to be about how Abdullah has mediated between the two countries to facilitate Qataris travelling to this month's Hajj in Saudi Arabia, the pilgrimage to Mecca every Muslim must do once in their life if they are able. But it's actually just a rather clumsy call to the people of Qatar to ditch their ruler.

The reality is that Sheikh Tamim's popularity has soared ever since he stood up to Saudi-led aggression at the start of June, which the Che Guevera-style images of him displayed on buildings and social media show.

As the Al Bawaba website, based in Jordan but with offices across the Arab world, put it: "Fake News Gulf Crisis Style: No, Al Arabiya, Qataris Are Not Begging Their Emir To Step Down".

In its report, Al Bawaba noted: "On closer inspection the embedded tweets in Al Arabiya appear to come from Saudi accounts... in fact a quick search of the ‘Leave Tamin' hashtag quickly reveals Qataris flooding Twitter instead with derision towards the hashtag, and support for their Emir."

Absurd, indeed.

Source: The Independent, Edited by website team

24-08-2017 | 13:27


Name
E-Mail
Comment Title
Comment
Human Verification


News Coverage

Related News

Search
To Top