Former al Jazeera director, Yasser Abu Hilala, has refuted claims by the Saudi funded Al Arabiya News Channel that he had called for a blacklist of journalists, writers, and analysts supportive of the UAE and Bahrain’s decision to normalise ties with Israel.
Abu Hilala vigorously denied the accusation that he called for any such list but insisted that as a career journalist it was his duty to truthfully document events as they occurred.
He added that the Al Arabiya allegation was proof of their utter disgrace, having disavowed Palestinian rights. “I will not hesitate to declare my support for the Palestinians who regard the agreement as a ‘stab in the back.”
It is clear, according to the Jordanian-born journalist, that the purpose of Al Arabiya’s post was to incite Western public opinion through deception.
Instead of fabricating lies of a fantasy blacklist, Abu Hilala said it would be more fitting for Abdulrahman al-Rashid, Chairman of Al Arabiya’s Editorial Board and former General Manager of Al Arabiya to make a list of the journalists who supported the agreement and award them.
According to the former al Jazeera executive, the agreement with Israel is essentially a military one geared to equip UAE with fighter jets and drones to wage war in the region.
“The one who actually issued a blacklist of intimidation is Saud al Qahtani, who was responsible for the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.”
Abu Hilala said it is evident that Abdulrahman al-Rashid supports the UAE stance of ‘normalisation for normalisation’ instead of the Arab Peace Plan of ‘normalisation after the end of occupation.’
On the contrary, the veteran al Jazeera executive pointed out that at the very least he had the courage to declare the agreement a betrayal of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian, which are enshrined in numerous international resolutions, as well as those of the Arab League.
The bitter exchange between two of the region’s most prominent journalists comes amid an intense debate on social media platforms about the controversial UAE and Bahraini agreements with Israel. Since the announcement of the UAE-Israel agreement twitter-sphere has been overwhelmed with condemnations of what is described as the Gulf State’s disloyalty.