Billionaire Friend of Israel wants to buy Al-Jazeera

Egyptian newspaper al-Mesryoon says former Israeli media tycoon has submitted another offer to purchase television network from Qatari emir through Egyptian mediator.

Israeli-American Haim Saban is well connected. Here with Bill Clinton.
Israeli-American Haim Saban is well connected. Here with Bill Clinton.

Former Israeli billionaire Haim Saban is holding negotiations for the purchase of 50 per cent of the al-Jazeera television network from the Qatari government, Egyptian newspaper al-Mesryoon reported Wednesday. The negotiations are said to be conducted through an Egyptian mediator.

According to the report, the television network is experiencing financial trouble despite its immense popularity. This is the second time Saban is negotiating with the Qatari emir.

The media tycoon visited Qatar in 2003 together with former US President Bill Clinton, as part of a conference aimed at promoting peace in the Middle East.

Saban backed out of the same negotiations in the past without offering any explanation. His new offer was submitted recently through an Egyptian businessman.

In addition to the Saban Group’s media activity, and its stakes in Israeli communications company Bezeq, Saban used to be a musician and has a dual Istaeli-American citizenship. He was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1944, and immigrated to Israel in 1956.


My comment:

I have to admit that the Islamic movement have a great spokesperson in the Global Arabic TV-network Al Jazeera.

The Government of Israel have earlier been debating if Israel should follow suit, to get the messages from Jerusalem and the people of Israel out to all nations.

I feel that media should not be controlled by any government, because the news looses its credibility.

If a friends of Israel is able to buy a controlling stake in Al Jazeera, it will be a brilliant move. The result will be more balanced coverage of the Middle East, on an established Arabic news channel.  Even among moderate Arabic viewers, there is a concern that a TV-network like Al Jazeera only will spread comments and news from a Radical Islamic viewpoint.

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