Al-Jazeera Replaces CEO Amid anti-Semitism Allegations

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Al Jazeera America editorial newsroom staff prepare for their first broadcast in New York, Aug. 20, 2013.Credit: AP

Al-Jazeera America replaced its chief executive officer on Wednesday in the wake of a lawsuit by a former employee alleging that he was the victim of workplace anti-Semitism.

Ehab Al Shihabi, who has headed the news network since it began operations in 2013, was replaced by Al Anstey, the former managing director of Al Jazeera America.

In his $15 million lawsuit filed last week, Matthew Luke claimed that he was fired after complaining about the conduct of his boss, Osman Mahmud. Luke alleged that Mahmud made derogatory comments about Israel, women and the United States.

In an email to Al-Jazeera staff on Wednesday announcing Anstey’s appointment, Al Shihabi wrote that he would remain at Al Jazeera America as chief operating officer, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The newspaper quoted an unnamed senior source at the network as saying that Al Shihabi’s departure from Al-Jazeera America was “imminent.”

Al-Jazeera America, which is funded by the government of Qatar, reportedly will fight Luke’s charges. A statement issued by the network on Monday called the allegations in the lawsuit “false and malicious.”

Three female executives have quit since Luke filed his charges.

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