Al Manar Mystified

I was sure we could find a thinktank scholar behind the recent turbulences over Al Manar’s effects. Check here for a summary of the case (with an opinion that could be acceptable). And here the guy that could have (in part of course) made this possible. The guy: Avi Jorish, has another article in the Middle East Quarterly that discusses the “Dark side of the New Arab media”. Al Manar’s propaganda pales in comparison to MEF’s…

Here are the policy recommendations of Avi Jorish:

•The Treasury Department should add al-Manar to its terrorism sanctions list.

•The United States should ask the four Lebanese banks that currently hold Hizballah bank accounts — and any other banks with which Hizballah does business — to freeze the accounts in question. If these banks refuse to comply, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control should designate them as institutions harboring accounts of a terrorist organization. This designation would allow Washington to freeze their U.S.-based assets and block their access to U.S. markets.

•The United States should take action against any American financial institutions that continue to serve as agents for noncompliant Lebanese banks.

•The Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Center — the intergovernmental task force responsible for uncovering terrorist financing — should begin monitoring al-Manar broadcasts for advertised bank accounts.

•The United States should enforce existing laws or pass new legislation prohibiting U.S. companies from advertising on any of Hizballah’s mass media outlets.

•Washington should begin a dialogue with European Union officials regarding European companies that advertise on al-Manar.

•The United States should enforce existing laws or pass new legislation prohibiting U.S. media from purchasing footage from, or providing footage to, al-Manar. Washington should encourage Europe to do the same.

•The United States should enforce existing laws that ban U.S. citizens and companies from working with SDGT entities and FTOs. In doing so, the U.S. government should close down al-Manar’s Washington bureau (housed within the Associated Press’s Washington bureau) and consider pressing criminal charges against the bureau’s chief, Muhammad Dalbah.

•The United States should investigate foreign firms that have provided assistance, including media training, to Hizballah or al-Manar.

•The United States should encourage foreign satellite package providers to remove al-Manar from their networks. It should also force IntelSat, a U.S.-based provider, to cease offering al-Manar.

•The United States should consider providing the Lebanese government with the intelligence and support it needs to enforce its own ban on foreign financing of Lebanese media.

•Washington should ask Iraqi authorities to remove al-Manar’s correspondents from Iraq.

•In light of Syria’s ongoing occupation of Lebanon, the United States should demand that Damascus end al-Manar’s calls for suicide attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and elsewhere. Syria’s response should be treated as a central test for whether Damascus is cooperating in the war on terrorism.

•The United States should pressure Egypt, Iran, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates to close down al-Manar bureaus. It should also pressure Belgium, France, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Russia, Sweden, Syria, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates to forbid al-Manar correspondents from reporting on their soil.

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