Britain’s broadcasting regulator on Monday concluded that Al Jazeera did not violate any rules in its controversial undercover investigation exposing the Israeli embassy’s campaign to target British citizens critical of Israel, a campaign that included attempts to destroy the careers of pro-Palestinian British politicians.
The move by the communications regulator, known as Ofcom, clears the way for a follow-up documentary focused on Israeli influence in the U.S., the existence of which has previously been suspected but had yet to be made public. Clayton Swisher, director of investigative journalism for Al Jazeera Media Network, confirmed it to The Intercept on Monday. The goal of the British complaint may partly have been to delay publication of the follow-up American version, he said. “At the very same time [as the London investigation] — and we can safely reveal this now — we had an undercover operative working in tandem in Washington, D.C. With this U.K. verdict and vindication past us, we can soon reveal how the Israel lobby in America works through the eyes of an undercover reporter,” he said.
The four-part series, “The Lobby,” dug into the Israeli embassy in London, as well as several other pro-Israel lobby groups, and their campaign to “take down” British Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan.
The investigation led to the resignation of a top Israeli official in London, as well as a high-profile complaint that Al Jazeera had broken broadcasting regulations in the United Kingdom. One of the complaints charged the investigation with anti-Semitism, but the government board ruled that imputing such a motive to a film critical of Israel would be akin to calling a series on gang violence racist….