Republicans and Democrats may snipe at each other, but there is at least one issue that is currently uniting them; representatives from both parties are asking the Trump Administration to investigate Al Jazeera for spying on American Jews and supporters of Israel.
As Adam Kredo of The Washington Free Beacon reports, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Lee Zeldin (R-NY) are pushing members of Congress to convince the Department of Justice to open an investigation.
Only eight days ago, Kredo reported that Al Jazeera, which is funded by the Qatari government, claimed it was making a documentary about supposed Jewish influence in the U.S. government. Kredo wrote:
Ahead of Al Jazeera running this production, it has sent several letters to subjects who were secretly recorded asking them to respond to a range of allegations that the Qatari outlet claims confirm that American Jews are working to influence the American government and block global efforts to boycott Israel, known as the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS.
Gotheimer and Zeldin’s letter to their fellow members of Congress stated:
On August 17, 2017, the DOJ National Security Division determined that RTTV America, a state-sponsored media organization funded by the Russian government, is obligated to register under the FARA. While we welcome this determination, Congress needs clarification as to whether additional foreign principals should also be required to register under FARA, including Qatar’s Al Jazeera, which the U.S. State Department has indicated is state-controlled …
We find it troubling that the content produced by this network often directly undermines American interests with favorable coverage of U.S. State Department-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, including Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Jabhat al- Nusra, al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria. Furthermore, Al Jazeera’s record of radical anti-American, anti-Semitic, and anti-Israel broadcasts warrants scrutiny from regulators to determine whether this network is in violation of U.S. law. Such an investigation should cover the full range of activities undertaken by Al Jazeera in the United States, including reports that it infiltrated American 501(c)(3) and (c)(4) nonprofit organizations.
As highlighted by your Department, “the purpose of FARA is to inform the American public of the activities of agents working for foreign principals to influence U.S. Government officials or the American public with reference to the domestic or foreign policies of the United States, or with reference to the political or public interests, policies, or relations of a foreign country or a foreign political party.”
A congressional advisor told the Free Beacon, “After confirming its state sponsored espionage, the case for FARA is a slam dunk. And now we see Congress is pressuring the administration to do the right thing. AJ doesn’t have any friends on Capitol Hill, so the Trump administration should be taking this pressure seriously. When foreign governments are sending secret spies to infiltrate Washington-based organizations, Congress understands it’s time to act.”