Profi (profi) wrote in meast_ru,

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MEMRI: В Израиле есть люди, которые умеют ...

... делать ПРОПАГАНДУ. Они самым профессиональным и достойным образом пытаются донести до обитателей Запада факты реальности арабского мира не искаженныю западными СМИ и западным (как мы понимаем - не всегда адекватным) взглядом на присходящие в мире события. В продолжение вот этой дискуссии :

Я получил эту статью по подписке и не уверен, что в "Джерузалем Рипорт" можно свободно войти с любого АйПи. Поэтому позволю себе привести ее целиком :

By Jaap Van Wesel December 28, 2003

“We have to be careful with our words, otherwise we’ll end up being published by MEMRI.” That comment was, according to Arab diplomatic sources, made last year during a meeting of Arab ministers of information who’d gathered in the United Arab Emirates to discuss how to improve the Arab world’s image in the West. It reflects something of fear and awe that the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute, a think tank that translates highlights from the Arabic press into English and distributes them on the internet, now inspires in certain Arab capitals. Widely used by the American press, diplomats and politicians dealing with the Mideast, MEMRI’s translations have had a growing impact in Washington, especially in the two years since 9/11. “Most of the US administration’s and media’s information on the Arabs is now derived from MEMRI,” complained Ahdaf Soueif last September 11 in the English weekly edition of the Egyptian Al Ahram. When the Saudi Minister of Interior, Prince Nayef Ibn Abd Al-Aziz, told a Kuwaiti paper last year that the Zionists were behind the 9/11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Riyadh was apparently so pleased that it released an English translation of the interview in an on-line magazine published by the Saudi royal family. MEMRI distributed it. NBC picked it up and added its own spin: that Nayef’s interview had completely undercut a Saudi PR campaign underway in the States aimed at portraying Saudi-Arabia and America as allies, fighting terror hand in hand. Following the media exposure, 11 members of Congress called for the resignation of Prince Nayef, in a highly unusual effort to interfere in the domestic affairs of another friendly country (Nayef needless to say, kept his job.) MEMRI has plans to hold symposia by Middle East experts and is in the process of setting up MEMRI TV, a service that will instantly translate Arab TV Broadcasts for stations around the world at no charge. Having gained in respectability for its accurate and timely translation MEMRI nevertheless remains a source of political controversy. Bringing both Arab despots and firebrand reformers to the forefront of Western radar screens, it provides what many describe as a useful service, while detractors see it as a clever pro-Israeli propaganda outfit that paints the Arab world in the worst light. MEMRI, for its part, argues that it is trying to foster positive change in a region notorious for reactionary thinking. One recent MEMRI success came in late August, when United Arab Emirates president Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan closed down the UAE-financed Zayed International Center for Coordination and Follow Up, the official think tank of the Arab League. In May 2002, MEMRI first exposed the think tank as a platform for hate propaganda. Until then it had been considered a prestigious institution. Former vice president Al Gore lectured there the previous January and praised the center for “promoting a rare dialogue” between the Arab states and the rest of the world. According to MEMRI, the Zayed Center had been producing spurious anti-Semitic and anti-American research, arguing among other things that the 9/11 attacks were perpetrated by Americans and Israelis. It had hosted discussion of the “factual” side of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” the anti-Semitic 19th-century tract, and served as a platform for Holocaust deniers. Its website suggested that the SARS virus could be the product of "an American war against the world." Following two MEMRI reports on the center's activities, Sheikh Zayed ordered its closure, stating that it had "engaged in a discourse that starkly contradicted the principles of interfaith tolerance." MEMRI also flexed its muscle last winter in the case of "A Horseman without a Horse," a controversial Egyptian-made TV series that drew on the Protocols for its plot. In cooperation with three members of Congress, MEMRI screened a subtitled version of the series on Capitol Hill, leading the embarrassed Egyptian embassy in Washington to ask Cairo to counter the negative publicity. The U.S. administration itself raised awkward questions about the production that was aired throughout the Arab world. In the end, Osama El Baz, advisor to President Mubarak, wrote three articles in the Al-Ahram daily in which he condemned anti-semitism and rejected the Protocols as a forgery. Sheikh Tantawi of the prestigious Al-Azhar institution also called for an end to anti-semitic propaganda and to Jews being referred to in the Muslim world as apes and pigs. "We expose anti-semitism in the mainstream Arab press," says MEMRI founder and president Yigal Carmon, a former Israeli intelligence official who was the anti-terrorism adviser to prime ministers Shamir and Rabin until he resigned in 1993. "We expose widely held conspiracy stories in the Arab world about Jews, Zionism, and America. Stories that have a serious impact on Arab public opinion, but that go unnoticed in the Western world because they are written in Arabic." Carmon started MEMRI in 1998, but it really took off after the failure of the Camp David negotiations in July 2000 and the subsequent 9/11 terror attacks. "People started understanding that there is something wrong, something strange, and they wanted to know what it is," he says. MEMRI has its main office in Washington and maintains branches in London, Berlin, Jerusalem, and now, Baghdad. A Moscow office is temporarily closed due to lack of funds. With a worldwide staff of 36 translators and analysts, MEMRI has an annual budget of $2 million, raised mainly in the U.S. Carmon organizes events on Capitol Hill, has testified for congressional committees about hate sermons by Egyptian, Saudi, and Palestinian clerics, and has appeared on Al-Jazeera TV to talk about MEMRI and to comment on current events. To Carmon's Arab opponents, and to some left-wing Jewish groups, MEMRI is the mouthpiece of right-wing Israel… Jim Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, calls MEMRI "a very efficient and clever propaganda tool used by the Israeli right to discredit Arabs." He charges that it is racist, and that it causes incitement by translating a very selective choice from the Arab press. "I did not invent the wheel, I do not say anything else other than what the UNDP has said about the Arab world," says Carmon, referring to a 2002 U.N. report showing Arab countries to be lagging way behind the West in terms of human development. Furthermore, MEMRI gives a platform to Arab dissidents and liberals who promote democracy in the Arab world. "We are accepted by all liberal media: The New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, the left-wing Nation, Frankfurter Algemeine, and the Observor, to name but a few," says Carmon. The aim, he states, is to change "hatred and anti-Semitic attitudes in the Arab world by exposure which then results in pressure. We want to spread knowledge about Arab cultural, social and economic development. And we give a voice to liberals and reformists. MEMRI is bridging the gap between the Middle East and the West." Arab critics beg to differ. Says Hussein Ibish of the Arab American anti-Discrimination Committee: "MEMRI carries two kinds of articles: Outrageous expressions in the Arab press [translated] in order to annoy an American audience, and articles critical of Arab autocratic regimes. It wants to create distrust of Arabs among U.S. politicians and media. It is common wisdom that the American media are pro-Israel, racist, anti-Arab. MEMRI represents a conscious effort by former Israeli intelligence officers to poison the well." Mohammed Wahby, Washington correspondent of the Egyptian weekly Al-Mussawar, says that MEMRI tries "to distort the Arab image in the United States, and it does a good job at achieving that." For others, though, MEMRI has become an indispensable tool. "It's superb," says New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. "It introduces me to important reformists writing in papers like Al-Hayat and Al-Sharq Al-Awsat. Four out of five times I use MEMRI, it is for reformist writers." Without MEMRI, Friedman believes, the Western non-Arabic speaking press would have no chance of diagnosing the diseases the Arab world suffers from. Ned Walker, president of the Middle East Institute in Washington, former assistant secretary of state for the Middle East and former ambassador to Israel, takes MEMRI publications on the road with him, frequently confronting Arab leaders with unacceptable stories in the Arab press. "I tell them 'You cannot do that,'" he says. One European diplomat specializing in the Middle Easy says of MEMRI: "Of course it is biased, of course it has a political agenda. They create the impression that peace is not possible. Still, they publish a lot of very interesting stuff. It's a pity that it is coming from MEMRI, because that creates the impression in the Arab world that it is an American and Jewish conspiracy." A lobbyist for an Arab country says he learns a lot about his clients from MEMRI, things they would not tell him otherwise and that he ought to know in order to do his job… The ADL, on the other hand, deems the service so important that it has established a mini-MEMRI of its own, exposing Arab hate propaganda. (The two organizations are talking to each other through lawyers since MEMRI sued the ADL, accusuing it of plagiarism for using MEMRI material without crediting the source – an allegation the ADL vehemently denies… In the meantime, MEMRI is never short of material. In recent weeks, the Lebanese Hizballah satellite channel aired a 30-part documentary series for Ramadan reminiscent of last year's "Horseman" but, according to Carmon, "a thousand times worse." The new series, called "Al-Shatat" (or The Diaspora), was produced in Syria and told the story of the history of Zionism from 1812 until Israel's foundation in 1948, with reference to a Protocols-like secret "global Jewish government" whose mission is ruling the world… The battle for public opinion goes on. The Arab ministers of information meeting last year in the United Arab Emirates reportedly concluded that their best bet would be to set up their own alternative to MEMRI, to highlight the more positive aspects of the Arab world as reflected in its media. So far, nothing has been produced.


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