Al Jazeera Dredges Up Ukrainian Blood Libel

As Israel works to shut down the offices of the Qatari news network Al Jazeera in Jerusalem, the network came out last Wednesday with an “investigative report” that perpetuates a modern-day blood libel from 2013.

The Al Jazeera “report” centered on the words of a young Ukrainian Jewish woman, Elena Zakusilo, also known as Elena Gluzman, on a Ukrainian game show episode that was broadcast in November 2013.

In the show, called The Lie Detector, a lie detector machine ostensibly tried to verify whether the words of the contestant were true or false.

Zakusilo, who, prior to the airing of the episode, had served in the Israeli army, was asked by the interviewer whether she had killed people during her army service, and answered in the affirmative. The lie detector then established that her statement was “true.”

“The first time I killed was very difficult for me. I threw out my weapon and said I was not going anywhere, but I went,” she said on the show.

She went on to claim that she had killed children during her service, and that she did not know how many people she had killed.

Zakusilo’s words on the show had already been proven in 2013 to be a complete fabrication.

After Ukrainian Muslims expressed outrage when the show was aired, an Israeli investigation with IDF authorities found that Zakusilo’s words on the show were, indeed, false.

The findings of the investigation were then forwarded to Ukrainian security officials, who established in December 2013 that “Elena Zakusilo did not participate in military confrontations, including between Lebanon and Israel.

Everything she said on The Lie Detector does not conform to reality. Her answers on the show were given in accordance with a script prepared by the lead editor of the program.”

Further, the Israeli Foreign Ministry had checked and found that, although Zakusilo had served in the IDF, she had served in a low-ranking administrative position during which she had no involvement in the type of activity in which she had claimed to have participated on the show.

Yediot Ahronot reported that, in light of the above, the Government Press Office turned to Al Jazeera in Israel, demanding to know why their “report” was nevertheless aired.

Al Jazeera’s Chairman in Israel, Walid Al-Omari, confirmed last night that he had received the request and had forwarded it for further investigation.

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