An Israeli billionaire has offered to buy Al-Jazeera
satellite television network from the Government of Qatar. Al-Jazeera
is the most popular media house in the Arab World today.
Israeli media tycoon Haim Saban, has
submitted an offer to the Qatari government in a bid to purchase
half of the Doha -based Al-Jazeera satellite network.
Haim Saban is currently engaged in
negotiations with Qatar's emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani,
over the partial purchase of the media outlet. The talks are said to
be conducted through an Egyptian mediator, Press TV writes
the Egyptian newspaper al-Mesryoon as reporting on October 7.
The Israeli bid to buy Al-Jazeera
comes amid reports that the largest Arab news channel in the Middle
East is grappling with a terrible financial crisis at present. Saban
had previously made an offer to purchase Al-Jazeera in 2004, but it
was turned down.
According to the Press TV, the
Israeli-American magnate has supposedly made an offer of $5 billion
for the popular Arabic-language news channel, in an attempt to get a
hold of it and to broadcast a pro-Israeli message so as to influence
the Arab opinion in favor of Tel Aviv's hawkish regime.
Al-Jazeera spawned a media revolution
in the Arab world after it was founded in 1996. The network is
reliant on state financial largesse, estimated at over $70 million a
year, but does not broadcast shows critical of the Qatari
government. Al-Jazeera, however, does air programs leveling
criticism at all other Arab governments.
Seban made his fortune by buying the
rights to market the Japanese kids show, “The Power Rangers,” in
America. He is a prominent supporter of Israel and the right-wing
Netanyahu government. In addition, the Egyptian-born Jewish
businessman is well known for his under-the-table dealings, says the
Press TV report.