Qatar to launch new TV network to counterbalance Al Jazeera

Posted May 5, 2014 by Paul Iddon
Qatar is launching a new television news network in order to counterbalance the country's well-known Al Jazeera news network.
A general view shows the newsroom at the Al-Jazeera headquarters in Doha  on November 14  2006
A general view shows the newsroom at the Al-Jazeera headquarters in Doha, on November 14, 2006
Karim Jaafar, AFP/File
The National informs us that the station is to be based in London and will be broadcast across the Middle East and North Africa regions. It is being launched by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
This comes amidst growing concerns that Qatar is too sympathetic to the controversial Muslim Brotherhood organization. The launch of the new network seems to be in part a bid to negate these concerns that Qatar has a favorable disposition towards that organization.
The main backer of this new channel is a man named Azmi Bishara who is said to be "fairly anti-Brotherhood." He is the director of the Palestinian Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies which is based in the Qatari capital Doha.
As The Times of Israel reminds us Mr. Bishara is himself an ex-member of the Israeli Knesset who fled Israel back in 2007 after the police began investigating him for laundering money and passing intelligence to the Hezbollah group in Lebanon when it was at war with Israel in the summer of 2006.
He has even compared himself to the Jewish-French army officer Alfred Dreyfus who was falsely accused of passing intelligence to the Germans in 1894 and sparked the Dreyfus Affair.
The new news network in Qatar ail lbw named Al Araby Television Network and is set to compete with the Al Arabiya network in Saudi Arabia more so than it will with Al Jazeera.
As reported here on Digital Journal Qatar has recently reconciled with three of its fellow Gulf Cooperation Council member states in the region following a dispute between it and those countries over its many diverging policies and stances, such as support for the Muslim Brotherhood and for the critical reporting of the Al Jazeera network.
Bishara has said that he believes that Qatar has been too close to the Brotherhood for too long.