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Qatar and American Jews

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On Feb. 2, Philip Rees, a Doha-based Manager of Investigations at Al Jazeera, sent letters to several U.S.-based Jewish and pro-Israel organizations—along with various current and former employees of those organizations—informing them that they will likely be featured in an upcoming documentary “concerning the role of pro-Israel advocacy groups in the United States.” Qatar-based Al Jazeera is a subsidiary of the regime-owned Qatar Media Corporation and its coverage often reflects the monarchy’s pro-Islamist leanings, especially on its Arabic channels.

For most recipients, the letters did not come as a surprise. Over a year ago, news broke that the universe of pro-Israel advocacy groups in Washington, D.C. had been infiltrated by an undercover activist—who is almost certainly Tony Kleinfeld, a 25-year-old British citizen, Oxford graduate, and Palestine solidarity advocate. According to a 2017 Tablet investigation, during the summer and early autumn of 2016 Kleinfeld constructed a false pro-Israel persona, presented himself under a modified version of his first name, and enrolled in Georgetown University’s summer school with the hidden purpose of insinuating himself in pro-Israel groups in Washington.

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