ADL Says Al Jazeera Poll “Exploits and Diminishes” Memory of the Holocaust

New York, NY, January 28, 2014 ... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today strongly criticized a poll being conducted by the pan-Arab satellite television network Al Jazeera, which asks viewers to weigh in on whether the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s “crimes” are worse than Hitler’s “Nazi crimes.”

So far, the online poll, posted just days prior to International Holocaust Remembrance Day, has received more than 44,000 votes. More than 95 percent of those voters responded “yes” to the question of whether Assad’s crimes are “worse than the Nazi crimes of Hitler.” Slightly more than 4 percent responded “no.”

The poll will be available on Al Jazeera’s Arabic-language website through January 30.

“Shame on Al Jazeera.  Even when people are dying on the streets of Syria the network cannot help but to inject their own warped views toward Jews and the Holocaust,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor.  “This is part of the network’s dangerous obsession with Jews and Israel, and this poll is a blatant attempt to exploit and diminish the Holocaust while having the unintended effect of demeaning all of the people who died in Syria. 

Mr. Foxman added, “There is simply no comparison between Assad’s crimes, no matter how horrific they are, and the crimes of Hitler.”

The network has announced that the results will be broadcast on a popular show called “The Opposite Direction,” which airs live across the Arab World.  ADL has previously expressed concern about content featured on Al Jazeera, including the network’s showcasing of anti-Israel ideologues and its promotion of anti-Israel and extremist propaganda.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.