Fact Check

Al Jazeera Wrote 'Alleged Holocaust' in Article?

The news network previously suspended two journalists for downplaying and misrepresenting the Holocaust.

Published May 14, 2024

 ( Getty Images)
Image courtesy of Getty Images
Claim:
A May 2024 X post accurately claimed that an Al Jazeera article referred to the Holocaust as "alleged."
Context

The article in question was originally published by The Washington Post in 2018 and did not include the word "alleged" before Holocaust. It was then republished in Arabic by Al Jazeera Arabic, not Al Jazeera English. The two act as editorially separate entities, although the Al Jazeera Media Network operates both.

On May 13, 2024, X account @NiohBerg posted what appeared to be a screenshot of an article by Qatari news network Al Jazeera. The user underlined the words "alleged Holocaust" in red. "Thank you, Al Jazeera, very cool," the user wrote. The post had received more than 616,100 views and 2,800 likes, as of this writing.

The screenshot was authentic, meaning that it was not falsely generated or digitally altered in any misleading way. We were able to find the article [archived here] on Al Jazeera Arabic; it was not available on Al Jazeera English. The article, titled "Danish minister: Muslims fasting is 'dangerous for us all,'" described difficulties faced by Muslims and immigrants in Denmark and was originally published by The Washington Post [archived here] on May 22, 2018. This original version does not include the word "alleged" before Holocaust.

The full paragraph seen in the Al Jazeera Arabic article, published one day later on May 23, 2018, as translated by Google Translate, is as follows:

Then, in 2016, Denmark passed a controversial law that allows Danish authorities to search immigrants' luggage and confiscate valuables and money from them to help pay for their stay in the country, compared to the Nazis' treatment of Jews during the alleged Holocaust.

(Google Translate)

This same paragraph, translated by translation software DeepL — which describes itself as "the world's most accurate translator" — does not include the word "alleged."

(DeepL)

However, Sarab Al Ani, a professor of Arabic at Yale University, confirmed via email that the word "??????" accurately translates to "alleged."

If the use of the word "alleged" was intentional in the translated version, it would not be the first time Al Jazeera faced criticism for downplaying and misrepresenting the Holocaust. In 2019,?Al Jazeera Media Network suspended?two journalists over a video that claimed the "Zionist movement had misrepresented the extent of the Holocaust" and had "adopted the narrative" that Nazis killed 6 million Jewish people.?Yaser Bishr, executive director of Al Jazeera's digital division at the time, said the network "completely disowns the offensive content in question." He also announced a mandatory bias and sensitivity training program in an email to staff.

It is important to emphasize that?Al Jazeera Arabic and Al Jazeera English act as editorially separate entities, although Al Jazeera Media Network operates both and is funded in part by the Qatari government. According to The Associated Press, Al Jazeera's English and Arabic channels "do not mirror one another in style and target different audiences." A 2017 article by The Guardian?explored sanctions faced by Qatar if a list of demands posed by several other Arab nations — including shutting down the Al Jazeera network — was not met. It read:

Al-Jazeera is on the list because it is such a powerful symbol of Qatar and the most visible manifestation of Qatari policymaking. But there is a deeper reason, which for westerners to understand they must consider that al-Jazeera has two faces – one Arabic and one English – and it is the Arabic face that creates all the problems in Qatar's neighbourhood.

We reached out to Al Jazeera for clarification or comment?and will update this story if we receive a response.

Given that?the X post in question contained an accurate screenshot of the translated article by Al Jazeera Arabic, the article was originally published by The Washington Post one day before Al Jazeera Arabic and did not say "alleged" before Holocaust, and the word "??????" accurately translates to "alleged," we have rated this claim as "True."

Sources

'Al Jazeera Suspends Two Journalists over Holocaust Report'.?Al Jazeera, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/5/20/al-jazeera-suspends-two-journalists-over-holocaust-report. Accessed 14 May 2024.

DeepL Translate: The World's Most Accurate Translator. https://www.deepl.com/translator. Accessed 14 May 2024.

Google Translate - Google Search. https://www.google.com/search?q=google+translate&oq=google+t&gs_lcrp=EgZjaHJvbWUqDwgAEEUYOxiDARixAxiABDIPCAAQRRg7GIMBGLEDGIAEMgYIARBFGDkyCggCEAAYsQMYgAQyBwgDEAAYgAQyDQgEEAAYgwEYsQMYgAQyBggFEEUYPDIGCAYQRRg8MgYIBxBFGEGoAgCwAgA&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#ip=1. Accessed 14 May 2024.

'Https://Twitter.Com/NiohBerg/Status/1790065158212989168'.?X (Formerly Twitter), https://twitter.com/NiohBerg/status/1790065158212989168. Accessed 14 May 2024.

'????? ????????? ????????: "????? ??? ?????"'.???????? ??, https://www.aljazeera.net/politics/2018/5/23/%d9%88%d8%b2%d9%8a%d8%b1%d8%a9-%d8%af%d8%a7%d9%86%d9%85%d8%a7%d8%b1%d9%83%d9%8a%d8%a9-%d9%84%d9%84%d9%85%d8%b3%d9%84%d9%85%d9%8a%d9%86-%d8%b5%d9%88%d9%85%d9%83%d9%85-%d8%ae%d8%b7%d8%b1. Accessed 14 May 2024.

Taija PerryCook is a Seattle-based journalist who previously worked for?the PNW news site Crosscut and the Jordan Times in Amman.