NEW YORK (JTA) – A former Al Jazeera executive is suing the company for advancing a “pro-Arabic/Middle Eastern agenda, often at the expense of Jewish people.”
The suit, one of the latest in a string of recent high-profile allegations against the company, was filed June 11 by Shannon High-Bassalik, the channel’s senior vice-president of programming and documentaries from July 2013 until this February.
High-Bassalik asserted that the news network “favoured its Arabic and male employees, treating its non-Arabic female employees as second class citizens” and that one employee said, “Anyone who supports Israel should die a fiery death.” She also claimed that the network, which purports to be objective, sets aside truth for its “pro-Arabic prejudices.”
The news channel responded June 11 in a statement.
“The allegations made against Al Jazeera America are by a former employee whose conduct and performance went through a full process of investigation led by an external law firm before her employment ended, during which Ms. High-Bassalik made none of the allegations she makes in her complaint,” Al Jazeera said.
The lawsuit also targets former CEO Ehab Al Shihabi, who left the company last month after another former employee sued, alleging that the channel allowed workplace anti-Semitism and sexism.
Three other female executives, including the former executive vice president of communications, Dawn Bridges, resigned after that lawsuit was filed.