Flat White

The Project’s outrageous anti-Israeli conspiracy mongering

6 August 2020

11:32 AM

6 August 2020

11:32 AM

Waleed Aly and his pals at The Project have reached a new low, last night broadcasting a segment blaming the Beruit blast on Israel.

Beirut-based photographer João Sousa was asked by Aly if the Lebanese government’s explanation the explosion was caused by ammonium nitrate was “widely accepted by people there”.

His response was pure conspiracy theorising: “Ninety-nine per cent of the people I’ve spoken with …feel that that’s not necessarily the correct explanation. People are more likely to believe that this was an attack, a military attack, possibly by Israel than an accident.”

Sousa continued in this vein, alleging a “historical aspect here that cannot be ignored … Lebanon and Israel are never on good terms, so there’s always this tension going on, and people are always expecting something like this to happen.”

Video of the segment was posted to Facebook last night by the Australian Jewish News, which has reported today:

On Thursday morning, The Project deleted the segment from their social media channels, but stopped short of an apology.

In a statement, a spokesperson from The Project said, “The Project rejects the suggestion there is any evidence the explosion in Beirut was a military attack.

“As our report last night clearly stated, this is a tragic accident resulting from the mishandling of dangerous chemicals.”

The AJN says Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dvir Abramovich has spoken with The Project’s co-executive producer, Chris Bendall, to express his concerns over the segment:

“I communicated my profound concerns and disappointment that the photojournalist interviewed yesterday was given a free ride by Waleed Aly to claim, without a shred of evidence, sources, facts or confirmation that Israel might have been responsible for the explosion and the heartbreaking loss of life,” Abramovich told The AJN.

“Allowing such wild and unfounded accusations that defame Israel to go unchallenged by the interviewer, and then to post it online was highly irresponsible.”

He added, “Such false charges should have never been given a platform on a mainstream current affairs show, and should have been rejected and refuted immediately.

“And while I welcome the removal of the video, I urge the senior management at The Project to apologise for this lapse in judgement.”

Update, Friday AM:

Dvir Abramovich has posted on Facebook this morning “I have written to Chris Bendall Co-Executive Producer of The Project asking them to immediately remove the interview that Waleed Aly conducted with João Sousa which is still on the show’s website.” The Australian Jewish News also has a strong analysis piece that examines The Project and Aly’s record on Middle-East issues.

Illustration: The Project/Twitter.

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