Conspiratorial accusations that Israel and the Jews secretly create terrorist organizations are not uncommon in the Arab world. However, an article published by Al Jazeera on August 19, 2015, which claimed, “Israel is behind ISIS” is still shocking considering the news outlet’s international reputation.
The article, which was published on and eventually removed from the Al Jazeera Arabic website, is based on reports by the British Daily Mail and other Western media outlets about a questionable document found in one of the tribal areas of Pakistan, which suggests the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was a response to Israel.
Unlike the original report in the English language media, Al Jazeera’s Arabic’s article misleads readers to believe that Israel had a role in the actual creation of ISIS.
“A British Newspaper reported that the American Media Institute found a classified document in one of the rural tribal areas in Pakistan indicating that Israel is behind the emergence of the Islamic State,” according to the first paragraph of the report by Al Jazeera.
Soon after publishing the report, supporters of ISIS on Twitter launched a campaign against Al Jazeera with an Arabic hashtag “Supporters of the Islamic State expose Al Jazeera.” Several comments attacked Al Jazeera for misrepresenting the original report and for connecting ISIS to Israel.
While there is no evidence that Al Jazeera removed the article because of criticism from ISIS supporters, the implication of publishing such an article and then removing it without addressing the errors may reinforce its conspiratorial narrative.
In the past, ADL expressed concern over the promotion of conspiracy theories in some countries in the Muslim world connecting Jews to the creation and activity of the terror group ISIS.
See related ADL blog posts about the topic: