Guardian

A Guardianista trips down MEMRI lane


A guest post by AKUS

If there is one thing guaranteed to get the average Guardian Israel-basher frothing and foaming in futile fury at the keyboard, it is to cite a video clip from the Israeli organization, MEMRI.

For those not familiar with MEMRI, it is an organization that records and translates broadcasts and press reports from the Arabic and Persian language media, demonstrating for the English speaker the constant stream of anti-Semitic and often genocidal language directed at Israel and Jews used in Moslem media and presented to Arab and Iranian audiences.

The average Guardianista apparently prefers to believe that these literal translations from Arabic and Farsi are created from whole cloth by the world-wide Zionist conspiracy and dismisses them as “Zionist propaganda”, in a brilliant example of Orwellian or Huxleyian inversion of the truth.

I was amused, therefore to encounter the following comment:

Curious, I wanted to learn what that person left behind, and clicking on the link took me to this video from MEMRI:

It is, in fact a hilarious Libyan equivalent of “Baghdad Bob”.

To call this example of clumsily reported and amateurishly filmed paranoia a parody would hardly do it justice. It is another magnificent example of the tendency of many in the Arab world to believe in the wildest conspiracy theories.

While oivejoivej seems to ignore Israel (file under “Amazing but true”) it was amusing that a view of at least this facet of Arab media was apparent in this trip down MEMRI lane.

MEMRI is so often vilified by Guardianistas as a descent into the Hades of Zionist propaganda as they try to avoid the truth of those attacking Israel that it is a pleasure to see it inadvertently recognized for the authoritative source it is in revealing what is being broadcast in the Moslem world!

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2 replies »

  1. AKUS,
    “…demonstrating for the English speaker the constant stream of anti-Semitic and often genocidal language directed at Israel and Jews used in Moslem media and presented to Arab and Iranian audiences.”
    True, but there’s more to MEMRI:
    Check out:
    Democratization And Reform In The Arab And Muslim World
    http://www.memri.org/subject/en/804.htm
    LEADING ARAB AND MUSLIM REFORMISTS
    http://www.memri.org/content/en/leading_arab_and_muslim_reformists

    MEMRI also introduces the (unfortunately very few) moderate and democratic voices in the Middle East. Many of these brave people paid dearly for voicing their opinions.
    Example:

    Two of Mr. Alusi’s sons were killed in a car-bomb meant to kill him and his family…
    Or:
    Would you believe that Shi’ite clerics say the following:

    (Taken from youtube, because to view MEMRI’s archives you have to pay, but in the first two months when these clips are put on the site, they are free)
    So when people accuse MEMRI of selective translation, cherry-picking and all that crap, you can direct them to the above clips.
    MEMRI translates not only from TV, but also from other media.
    Peterthehungarian once did a nice little survey of MEMRI’s translation on a particular day, and look what he found:
    “The number of headlines on MEMRI today = 12
    Number of articles quoting extremist stuff = 4
    Number of articles quoting moderate and reasonable articles = 4
    Number of neutral analyses, news, etc. = 4
    http://cifwatch.com/2009/09/15/if-my-memri-serves-me-well/#comment-1599
    As someone who works in this field, I can say that MEMRI is doing a great job!

    • I agree. Fortunately, among those who count (e.g., members of Congress), MEMRI is a valuable source that allows them to see what goes on behind the veil of smooth talk in English for the Western media. Unfortunately, I suspect the US Administration is unaware of MEMRI.