One of the great things about the Arab press is also the most obvious thing -- it's in Arabic. This means they can, as the TV show title goes, say the darndest things and get nary a mention in our "if-it-ain't-in-English-why-should-we-care" press corps. That's where MEMRI comes in. We've mentioned them before, but in a nutshell MEMRI's purpose is to inform the English-speaking world's debate on Arab problems by providing timely translations of their media.
One of the latest reports is a doozy. In May MEMRI took a look at The Zayed Centre for Coordination and Follow-Up, a prominent think-tank advising the Arab League. It's very long, and very scary. Not to be missed:
[Purim, a Jewish holiday] has some dangerous customs that will, no doubt, horrify you The Jews' spilling human blood to prepare pastry for their holidays. ... A needle-studded barrel is used; this is a kind of barrel, about the size of the human body, with extremely sharp needles set in it on all sides.
Israel has indulged in spreading lies and exaggerations about [the] Holocaust in order to squeeze out huge sums of money from European countries through [the] worst forms of blackmail, and to create false legends in support of the concept of Semitism and [the] establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine.
We know that only four planes took part in the attacks [on September 11th]. Earlier it was suggested that eleven planes were involved! The bombing of the White House Annex, known as the Old Executive Building of Eisenhower, was not mentioned. Yet, ABC transmitted live on 11th September, pictures of the fire which damaged the presidential headquarters.
(For those who might be wondering: the Old Executive Office building is fine. I walked past it more than a year after the attacks. I guess that makes me an active participant of the Zionist conspiracy to take over the world. If so, I'd appreciate them making the check out to SCOTT J.)
This one sounds suspiciously like the writings of a Berkely-based "Jews for Justice" treatise that was sent to me via e-mail by someone who told me "The Stand" was factually incorrect:
[The report] points to several Jewish religious documents based on Torah and the Old Testament that prove clearly that there hadn't been any real, permanent, and continuous existence for the children of Israel in the annals of history. Palestinians had defeated the Israelites several times and even enslaved them. The Jews remained dispersed, lost and displaced in areas of Egypt, Babylonia, and Assyria Palestinians throughout history remained in Palestine without leaving it. This is what the Old Testament verifies, but [is] denied by the Zionist Jews.
Not to be missed:
Former president Bill Clinton sent a July 17, 2002 letter of admiration to the Zayed Centre. The Zayed Centre website states: "In a letter sent to the ZCCF, President Bill Clinton expressed his appreciation of various efforts exerted by [the] Zayed Centre." The Zayed Centre also released a report on June 5, 2002, titled "Bill Clinton."
Al Gore, the former American vice president, lectured at the Zayed Centre on January 19, 2002. A transcript of his speech on the Zayed Centre website states: "I have admired the research done here I compliment this centre for promoting a rare dialogue between the Arab world and the rest of the world.
Some may claim the two above are out of context. If so, it would be terribly important for them to provide the proper context to back that position up. No, I don't think either politician is antisemitic or out to get Israel. Yes, it's true that George W. gave a speech at Bob Jones University, probably due to a similar lack of research and staff manipulation. However, it goes without saying that the citizens of South Carolina are not trying to fly airplanes into the U.S. Capitol.
These are the folks advising Arab leaders. This is the stuff that regularly trots across the front pages and editorial columns of Arab-language newspapers in Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and far too many other places in which a man in a minaret acts as a morning alarm. This is what they really believe.
Anyone who thinks Israelis are not anywhere near as innocent as they make themselves out to be or that Islamic militants and Palestinian militants are not necessarily the same thing should take a very long, very hard look at the entire MEMRI archive.
I took a stand for Israel for many reasons. MEMRI is definitely one of them.