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American pro-Israel lobby girds for Al Jazeera exposé

American Jewish leaders are bracing themselves for a documentary series made by the Al Jazeera network expected to claim that pro-Israel groups in Washington are helping Israel to identify and discredit US citizens whom they see as anti-Israel, including supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.

Senior pro-Israel activists in the US capital were surprised last week to receive a request by the network for comment on the documentary after having received what they claimed was a promise from the Qatari authorities that the series would not see the light of day, the Haaretz daily reported Thursday.

“Al Jazeera is in the final stages of preparing a documentary concerning the role of pro-Israel advocacy groups in the United States,” the network said in an email dated February 2 and obtained by the Washington Examiner. “The documentary will investigate how such groups secure support for Israel in Congress and how they have been drawn into Israel’s covert campaign to defeat BDS, the movement to boycott, divest and impose sanctions on Israel.”

The email added that the network had “uncovered evidence, which suggests that this campaign may well involve these groups working with Israel to collect intelligence on and discredit US citizens who support BDS, as well as others who are perceived as challenging Israel.”

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It gave the Jewish organizations until February 22 to respond.

The Jewish magazine Tablet reported in January of last year that the Israeli embassy in the US; the nongovernmental organization The Israel Project; and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a think tank, were likely to be targeted in the program.    Read more