The Director of al-Jazeera's Beirut office has resigned citing what he sees as the network's abandonment of objectivity and professionalism in its coverage of the current unrest in the Middle East.
Ghassan Bin Jeddo, a well-known presenter and journalist for the Qatar-based TV channel, confirmed a report published in the Arabic language Lebanese daily al-Safir that he was leaving al-Jazeera. Bin Jeddo's statements explaining his resignation could not be independently confirmed, but according to "reliable sources" quoted in al-Safir, Bin Jeddo accused al-Jazeera of being "an operation room for incitement and mobilization."
Al-Safir added that bin Jeddo's decision was a response to the network's "provocative policy" that he considers "unacceptable, particularly in light of the historic stage the region is passing through." Al-Safir emphasized that Bin Jeddo resigned on moral grounds since al-Jazeera covered extensively the events in Libya, Yemen, and Syria, but not Bahrain.
Bin Jeddo was banned from Syria for a year and a half in 2005 following the assassination of the country's former Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri. The reason for the ban was that Bin Jeddo was "an advocate of reform and freedom in that country."
Asked if Bin Jeddo's resignation was the result of al-Jazeera's policy on covering the protests in Syria, which it ignored for the first few weeks, a source told al-Safir that "It's [Bin Jeddo's resignation] is an issue of principle and morality for him."
State-run Syrian TV channel Alikhbariya reported that Bin Jeddo has made it clear that "there is no coming back from this decision."