Al Jazeera, the Qatari-owned international news network, admitted on October 9 that it had installed an undercover reporter inside pro-Israel organizations last year in Washington, D.C., and that it is planning to air a documentary film based on the reporter’s work.
The announcement came shortly after a British government regulation agency rejected the complaints against an earlier documentary broadcast by Al Jazeera, in which an undercover reporter joined pro-Israel organizations in the United Kingdom, which resulted in the resignation of an Israeli Embassy official who had been filmed plotting to “take down” British lawmakers.
The official, Shai Masot, was recorded by an undercover Al-Jazeera reporter discussing his wishes to engineer the downfall of several British Members of Parliament, including Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan, a supporter of a Palestinian state and outspoken critic of the Israeli settlements.
The Office of Communications (Ofcom) has deemed the program to be “a serious investigative documentary which explored the actions of the Israeli Embassy and, in particular, its then Senior Political Officer Shai Masot and his links to several political organizations that promote a pro-Israel viewpoint.”
Following the announcement, the director of investigative reporting at Al Jazeera, Clayton Swisher, said during an interview on the network’s main Arabic channel that “at the same time we had an undercover [reporter] in Britain, we also had an undercover in the United States.”
He explained that the network did not want to broadcast materials gathered in Washington before the regulator in Britain released its verdict on the network’s reporting in Britain.