Exclusive: Al Jazeera warned by Parliament for covert filming

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Exclusive: Al Jazeera warned by Parliament for covert filming

Broadcaster gets its knuckles rapped for breaking rules during its undercover Israeli embassy sting

Justin Cohen is the News Editor at the Jewish News

Shai Masot, political officer for the Israeli embassy, being filmed by an undercover Al Jazeera reporter.
Shai Masot, political officer for the Israeli embassy, being filmed by an undercover Al Jazeera reporter.

Al Jazeera will receive a ticking off from parliamentary authorities after an undercover reporter filmed within the Palace of Westminster for its investigation into alleged Israeli influence on British democracy.

Posing as an Israel activist, the journalist befriended the embassy’s political officer, Shai Masot, gaining access to private events and and meeting senior figures at the forefront of putting Israel’s case in the UK. In one of the four part series, the reporter was seen introducing himself to Masot during an event in the Commons.

After the case was raised by blogger Jonathan Hoffman, a parliamentary spokesperson said: “To ensure we are able to offer reasonable and practical opportunities for reporting on Parliamentary business we require the full co-operation of all journalists to ensure that regulations governing filming and broadcasting within both public and non-public areas of the Houses of Parliament are adhered to.

“The House of Commons will be reminding this broadcaster of the rules and asking them not to do it again without seeking prior permission.”

Hoffman said: “It’s hardly surprising. When you set out to fuel the antisemitic trope about Jewish power and vilify Jews for reacting to antisemitism, why should you worry about such niceties as getting permission to film?”

OFCOM is currently assessing a complaint over elements of the first programme, before deciding whether to launch a formal probe.

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