Discrepancies between English, Arabic Al Jazeera Holocaust videos cause backlash

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Qatari state-run media network Al Jazeera has received backlash after releasing an Arabic and English version of the Holocaust genocide on their AJ+ platforms, which had clear discrepancies.

The Arabic AJ+ video claimed that Jews exploit the Holocaust, exaggerate the death toll, and that Israel is the genocide’s “greatest beneficiary”, while the English version published earlier in May included an interview with a 94-year-old Holocaust survivor who recounted her days at the Auschwitz concentration camp and how she was separated from her mother by German officers.

The English video was published on Holocaust Remembrance Day. AJ+ English also reported that anti-Semitic attacks rose 13 percent worldwide in 2018, in a stark difference between both versions.

AJ+ is an online news and current events channel run by Al Jazeera, publishing short videos on its website and its social media accounts, including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter in English, Arabic, French and Spanish.

The Arabic AJ+ video, posted on May 17, questioned some historical facts regarding the Holocaust, a genocide that took place during World War II in which Nazi Germany murdered millions of European Jews.

The video claimed that “the creation of the State of Israel itself stems from the Nazis’ nationalistic ideology.”

The narrator of the Arabic video says: “The gas chambers killed millions of Jews…So the story says. How true is the Holocaust and how did the Zionists benefit from it?”

Before its removal from the platforms on Saturday, the video reportedly gained 1.1 million views on Facebook and Twitter.

Many took to Twitter to comment on the clear discrepancies between the English and Arabic versions.

In response to the Arabic AJ+ video, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs took to their official Arabic Twitter account to highlight some of what they deemed as “lies”, referring to the video as anti-Semitic. Additionally, Israel’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said the video’s “explanation of the Holocaust is the worst kind of pernicious evil.”

Following the backlash, the Arabic video was taken down on May 18, a day after the network had released it. The English version, however, has not been taken down.

In an announcement on their official public relations Twitter page, Al Jazeera explained why the video was taken down, saying it “violated the editorial standards of the Network”.

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