Author Topic: The Persistence of MEMRI  (Read 1274 times)

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Offline dominique

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The Persistence of MEMRI
« on: March 12, 2006, 05:04:10 PM »
The Persistence of MEMRI

For many of you here at NOLAJBS what I'm about to describe will not be new information. However, I thought it might be constructive to put together a compilation of damning sources of evidence against what has become one of the most damaging pro-Zionism, anti-Arab news providers in the English-speaking world today---the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). This isn't so much meant to be new news as it is a compilation of information that's already been out there for some time.

MEMRI ( http://www.memri.org ) claims to be an impartial, non-partisan source of translated Arab media. As I'm sure many people here know, it is anything but. Yet their influence remains mighty for most of America, because they are obscured behind the MSM's bluster. Even if they are cited at all as a source, how many in the MSM's general audience ever bother to check their sources? Especially when it comes to tracking down what MEMRI really is? Combine that with the dearth of other sources that have made it a mission to accurately and IMPARTIALLY translate Arab media, and you have a recipe for racketeering of information in the English-speaking media.

I have seen MEMRI mentioned or critiqued in bits and pieces here and on LF for some time, but I thought it might be helpful and timely to centralize all of the information I have found so far that proves the utter Zionist partisanship and lack of credibility of this organization, and welcome others to add to it. Other reasons for my inspiration include the unusually numerous citations I have seen lately both in the American MSM and on other fora, so I assume that many of you have suffered this frustration as well. I'm sure plenty of us have those well-intentioned but uninformed friends, family members, or acquaintances who will sometimes send us an email or refer to an article, and lo and behold, the source is MEMRI. And then, of course, there is our opposition's use of it as a credible resource.

MEMRI's insidiousness as an anonymous but extremely dangerous puppeteer in the shadows controlling the MSM, is absolutely infuriating to me. Therefore, I wish to wage an all-out war against Zionism's sinister campaign of disinformation in the media, and I would like to make it easier for others to do this as well. For those not familiar with MEMRI, the links below will tell the story. IMHO the battle against MEMRI is one of the most important in the information wars today.

Every time someone comes at me with an article or link that points back to MEMRI, I reply with any of the following links. Not much in life satisfies me more than exposing the bias and ineptitude---outright lack of credibility, actually---of the sources quoted by those under the spell of the PTB's spin, and one such tool known as MEMRI. In this way I at least hope to play my small part in countering the guerrilla attempts of the Zionists in their continuing quest to control the media, and therefore, our minds.

Hope you all find this information useful and/or enjoyable.
_____________________

General articles that dissect and destroy MEMRI's background and raison d'etre:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/elsewhere/journalist/story/0,,773258,00.html (this was posted awhile back on LF, but is the only article I remember seeing there about MEMRI)

http://www.antiwar.com/cole/?articleid=4047
This article is also posted by Mr Cole here:
http://www.juancole.com/2004/11/intimidation-by-israeli-linked.html

http://www.simpleton.com/

This web page is a wonderful hub of links pointing to other sources about MEMRI, many of which I've cited in turn here in this post:
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Middle_East_Media_Research_Institute

http://mondediplo.com/2005/10/15propaganda (This is a paid subscription, and I haven't read it yet.)

http://www.utne.com/web_special/web_specials_archives/articles/2534-1.html

Who started and runs MEMRI?

Memri claims to be an impartial translator of Arab media, but we all know they are not. If they were, why would they hide behind anonymity?

On their current "About" page (http://www.memri.org/aboutus.html) there is no personal mention, only business address information. No officers or board of directors. Strange, eh?

If we look back to an earlier version of MEMRI's site though, we'll find out who they are:
http://web.archive.org/web/19991111031424/www.memri.org/about.html

According to some of the sources cited throughout my post, they removed their roster citing "bomb threats." (I have yet to see the original story or press release that cites this, if any, BTW.)

But there is quite a lot of info out there on MEMRI's founders. Such as what is embedded in the following article (which also provides more impartial alternatives to MEMRI):
http://www.guardian.co.uk/elsewhere/journalist/story/0,,1580217,00.html

Quote
Though Memri claims to be "independent", its founders were Yigal Carmon, a former colonel in Israeli military intelligence - who is currently its director - and Meyrav Wurmser, an ardent Zionist who helped to draft the now-famous 1996 Clean Break document proposing the overthrow of Saddam Hussein as a step towards reshaping Israel's strategic environment.

And this, from a pro-Israeli site:
Quote
Founded in 1998 by Yigal Carmon and Meyrav Wurmser, both of whom were early critics of the Oslo accords...
http://www.forward.com/issues/2003/03.01.24/news9.html

Who funds and supports MEMRI?

As far as funding, MEMRI's benefactor(s) remain anonymous, according to The Jewish Journal:
Quote
While some of MEMRI`s $1.3 million budget comes from what Carmon refers to as "foundations," with some money donated by non-Jews, MEMRI`s main funder is an anonymous Los Angeles philanthropist, whose international business interests "make him want to be circumspect" about his connection to the organization, Carmon said.
http://www.jewishjournal.com/home/preview.php?id=7996
(Apparently the Zionists are catching on that many of us are "following the money.")

This article's author also shoots himself in the foot regarding MEMRI's impartiality. He goes from this:
Quote
Carmon insisted that MEMRI`s coverage is "absolutely balanced," not aimed at selectively making the Arabic media look bad. If it does not always seem so, that is because there is "so little material in the Arab press that has a different point of view `” so little that is positive."

Nonprofit and independent, MEMRI has no political agenda, he insisted. "We are not doing propaganda," Carmon said. "We are not hired by anyone. Our aim is to provide information."
. . . to this . . . in the VERY NEXT PARAGRAPH:
Quote
Moreover, beyond accurate translation, it offers analyses and interpretations `” that is, opinions. Occasionally, to make its pro-Israel point, it goes beyond the Arabic media.

Other articles that cite the flaws of MEMRI:

http://globalecho.org/view_article.php?aid=1464 (This article also appears elsewhere here at NOLAJBS)

http://www.antiwar.com/cole/?articleid=3898

http://www.juancole.com/2005/01/israeli-arab-news-cycle-i-found-this.html

http://lawrenceofcyberia.blogs.com/news/2006/01/jewish_criminal.html

http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2005/09/academics-for-bush-and-his-wars-fouad.html

http://www.counterpunch.org/harris01152003.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4593445,00.html

http://abuaardvark.typepad.com/abuaardvark/2005/02/pollock_in_turk_2.html

This pro-MEMRI article does a good job of exposing MEMRI's motives all on its own, for those who read critically:
http://www.forward.com/issues/2003/03.01.24/news9.html

A radio debate on the Guardian's "Selective MEMRI" article (the first link posted here):
http://archive.webactive.com/pacifica/demnow/dn20020815.html

MEMRI's wide-ranging impact on the English-speaking, particularly American, MSM

Take a look at this roll call, from MEMRI's own site, of who gives kudos to MEMRI. This pretty much sums up their influence and explains a lot about why the American MSM is so lopsided.

http://www.memri.org/aboutus.html#quotes
http://www.memri.org/bin/medialist.cgi

More of the rah-rah crowd:
http://www.nationalreview.com/maserati/maserati111402.asp
http://www.nationalreview.com/nordlinger/nordlinger200409132124.asp

Plenty more cheerleaders can be linked to from MEMRI's link above.

Alternatives to MEMRI

I don't believe any contest has been made to the accuracy of MEMRI's translations. . . but if someone knows of any, please post them.

Rather, MEMRI's bias is less tangible, and expressed in their selectivity of content. When is the last time you ever heard any POSITIVE reviews of Arabic people or culture from MEMRI?

Part of the reason MEMRI has such a powerful influence on English-speaking MSM is because our culture is so hopelessly illiterate when it comes to Arabic, and those who wish to control the flow of information have discovered this weakness and are exploiting it for all it's worth. This does nothing constructive, and of course only serves to further destroy relations between Arab-Muslim peoples and English-speaking non-Muslims. There is a dire need for more (and more influential) sources of accurate Arabic translation.

As cited in one of the Guardian links above, here are some Arab-news-translation altermatives that are said to be much more impartial than MEMRI. That is, they cover a wider-ranging perspective than the aptly-nicknamed "Selective MEMRI" does.

http://www.asharqalawsat.com/english/

http://www.mideastwire.com/index.php

http://www.iwpr.net/index.php?iraq_ipm_index.html

I also wonder if possibly Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is less biased ( http://www.rferl.org/ ) but I haven't examined it enough to weigh in with an opinion.

At any rate, it may be helpful for those who are criticizing MEMRI to be able to supply these as alternatives.

Finally, DROP A NOTE to MEMRI and tell'em how ya feel:

http://www.pmwatch.org/pmw/cast/memri.asp

I hope that posting this here in the private part of this forum helps to keep these resources intact and alive. I've had my reservations about doing so, but am overcome by the feeling that it's more important to pave the way to TRUE freedom of information and thought, than to stand by and watch the evildoers wreck it. I'm just fed up, finally.

Peace.



« Last Edit: May 16, 2006, 09:13:27 PM by dominique »
"Divert, distort, denigrate, disrupt or destroy any discussion of the corruption of American liberty by the organized lobby of a foreign power."  ~ WindRiverShoshoni

Offline Shaman

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Re: The Persistence of MEMRI
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2006, 10:51:01 AM »
Agree.  MEMRI is a threat to world peace and global security as they promote the interests of one group to the detriment of others. 

Your choice of format is interesting.  I've been thinking of using something similar for the Library category here at NOLAJBS.  Collections of links on a specific subject in order to create a reading file for those interested in researching a subject.  This would be a good start for a MEMRI reading file in the Library.  After establishing a basic file for a given subject (plenty here to start with) posts can be added to enhance the range of information available to the forum.

Offline dominique

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Re: The Persistence of MEMRI
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2006, 01:17:54 PM »
Agree.  MEMRI is a threat to world peace and global security as they promote the interests of one group to the detriment of others. 
Thanks for your comments.

I believe that regardless of one's opinion of Zionism (which just happens to be the guiding ideology of MEMRI), we can all agree that any biased media coverage only serves to further global disharmony. It only further obscures the path to that most important golden ring, the TRUTH.

Quote
Your choice of format is interesting.
It is designed to systematically refute, point by point and subject by subject, those who will inevitably challenge the deconstruction of MEMRI. My OP is only a rough draft at such. This can or will hopefully be expanded upon further by participation in citing and quoting sources far beyond anything I have done so far.

It may sound like a dumbed-down primer for those on this forum who already fully understand what MEMRI is about; but will hopefully serve as an effective "disinformation-combatting" resource, when the freedom-fighters here need to call upon it.

That is the primary purpose of my OP. I expect that most readers here already understand the agenda of MEMRI; this is to facilitate their access to the tools to fight it. Easily and thoroughly.

Quote
I've been thinking of using something similar for the Library category here at NOLAJBS.  Collections of links on a specific subject in order to create a reading file for those interested in researching a subject.  This would be a good start for a MEMRI reading file in the Library.  After establishing a basic file for a given subject (plenty here to start with) posts can be added to enhance the range of information available to the forum.

My thoughts exactly. I was actually going to include in my flag to NOLAJBS on this topic, the invitation to move this thread to the "Library Section". . . but alas, I ran out of room in my flag.

I think that forming a section on "Media Literacy" or a "Disinformation Database" or whatever division would be appropriate in the Library section, could serve as an effective database and weapon for all or us in the information wars of today. Then hopefully, it can be referred to in the introductory information of NOLAJBS as a database section in which those committed to the pursuit of the truth can go to find not only enlightenment and answers, but weapons in the War of Information.

NOLAJBS's post on the CFR media inspired this thought initially. There is also some great information on CFR posted here by DJoyce I believe (do a search on CFR here to see what exists). It would be wonderful to consolidate a thread or group of threads on CFR, and then go from there, with such things as MEMRI and et cetera.

I am working on another project such as this concerning Ha'aretz, which is believed by many English-speakers to be a "somewhat" reliable source of Israeli information and/or bias. That topic will be far more concise, considering MEMRI's intentional mysteriousness that needed to be broken down first.
"Divert, distort, denigrate, disrupt or destroy any discussion of the corruption of American liberty by the organized lobby of a foreign power."  ~ WindRiverShoshoni

Offline dominique

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Re: The Persistence of MEMRI
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2006, 05:55:11 PM »
Thanks to america for posting this in the Guest area...am re-posting it here just to add to the thread.

Great case in point to show MEMRI's lack of transparency, to say the least.

Speakout: MEMRI's systematic distortions

By Rima Barakat
March 27, 2006

As soon as the word came out regarding the upcoming visit to Denver of Dr. Ekrima Sabri, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine, the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League sprang into action to disrupt the visit. Both groups immediately sent letters accusing the Grand Mufti of being anti-Semitic and asking co-sponsors to withdraw their support. A press release was sent to the media denouncing the visit. The finishing touches were in News columns by Vincent Carroll (March 7) and Dave Kopel (March 11) that simply seconded the pro-Israeli lobby sentiment. All of their "evidence" seemed to be a regurgitation of the same quotes and accusations. This leads me to suppose that the critics either carbon-copied each other's statements or that they acquired most of their "translation" from one special source: The Middle East Media Research Institute.

MEMRI claims to be an independent nonpartisan research institution. One of the co-founders of the organization, Yigal Carmon, is a retired Israeli military intelligence Colonel. Checking the MEMRI website, I found it served up blatant, unbalanced propaganda and was littered with inflammatory articles aimed to incite hate and bigotry toward any person whom MEMRI considers anti-Israeli or anti-Zionist.

Academics as well as professional journalists have repeatedly censured the organization's quality and integrity. Brian Whitaker of the Guardian questioned the honesty of some "translations" posted by MEMRI. Whitaker, specifically, referred to an interview with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Ekrima Sabri by Al-Ahram Al-Arabi in Oct. 2000 - the same interview quoted by the ADL, the AJC and Carroll.

Al-Ahram: Q: How do you deal with the Jews who are besieging al-Aqsa and are scattered around it?

A: I enter the mosque of Al-Aqsa with my head up. . .I have never greeted them when I came near one. I never will.

MEMRI's version: Q: How do you feel about the Jews?

A: I have never greeted a Jew when I came near one. I never will. They cannot even dream that I will. The Jews do not dare to bother me.


It is worthy to note that Carmon has admitted this "translation" mistake. Still, it remains uncorrected on his website.

In another instance, Halim Barakat (no relation), a professor at Georgetown University, published an article in Al-Hayat Daily of London titled "The wild beast that Zionism created: Self-destruction." By the time MEMRI "translated" it, the title was distorted to "Jews have lost their humanity." Barakat objected, "Every time I wrote Zionism, MEMRI replaced the word by Jew or Judaism. They want to give the impression that I'm not criticizing Israeli policy, but that what I'm saying is anti-Semitic." It seems obvious that MEMRI is adamant on stigmatizing anyone who criticizes Israel and/or Zionism as being anti Jewish.

Similar conclusions were echoed in the January 2005 Greater London Authority report. A study was commissioned to investigate the "Islamic conspiracy dossier." This dossier was compiled to defame a renowned Muslim scholar and was presented to British officials in an attempt to prevent a renowned Muslim scholar, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, from entering Britain to participate in a London conference. The report found that "nearly all the distortions came from material produced by the Middle East Research Institute."

Today, the standards of Israeli-Palestinian political and religious discussions have been redefined by pro-Israeli organizations that are working amongst us. If non-Jews voice disagreement with Zionist ideology or expressed moral outrage against Israeli oppressive policies, they are immediately accused of being anti-Semitic and /or anti-Jewish. If one happens to be Jewish, one is branded as being "fringe" or a "self-hating" Jew.

The continuous attempts of the AJC and the ADL to hinder frank academic discussions pertaining to Israeli government policies may further undermine their credibility. Last October, pro-Israeli organizations tried to interfere with the Friends of Sabeel conference in Denver. Priests and academics were, again, accused of being anti-Semitic or "fringe" Jews. Co-sponsors were asked to withdraw. Among the 70-plus co-sponsors, nobody withdrew.

Sabri's visit offered the opportunity for Christians representing many denominations,who gathered recently, alongside their Muslim brethren, to hear his message. He told us that his "Hands are extended with love and peace" and so should ours be.

We pray and hope that political negativity and Islamophobic stands would not cause the local Muslim-Jewish communities to miss future opportunities to foster greater mutual understandings.

Rima Barakat is a Denver-area Muslim activist.

Web: http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/speak_out/article/0,2777,DRMN_23970_4572560,00.html
Print: http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/cda/article_print/0,1983,DRMN_23970_4572560_ARTICLE-DETAIL-PRINT,00.html
"Divert, distort, denigrate, disrupt or destroy any discussion of the corruption of American liberty by the organized lobby of a foreign power."  ~ WindRiverShoshoni

Offline gregor

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Re: The Persistence of MEMRI
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2006, 06:04:24 PM »
MEMRI is to truth as a black hole is to light.

Now truth out of the MidEast goes down the MEMRI hole.
To the web monitors:  You took an oath to the Constitution.  Why are you now subverting it?

Offline dominique

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Re: The Persistence of MEMRI
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2006, 06:39:42 PM »
So true!

Hello, gregor. Hope you've been well!
"Divert, distort, denigrate, disrupt or destroy any discussion of the corruption of American liberty by the organized lobby of a foreign power."  ~ WindRiverShoshoni

Offline dominique

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Re: The Persistence of MEMRI
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2006, 02:45:32 PM »
MEMRI has recently taken to twisting the words of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad.
Do you know that in fact he neither used the phrase "Israel should be wiped off the map," or "the Holocaust is a myth"?

MEMRI made that up.
Talk about starting WWIII.

See the following for clarification:

Does Iran's President Want Israel 'Wiped Off the Map' and Does He Deny the Holocaust? - originally posted by Sept on this thread.

Ahmadinejad: Lost in translation - originally posted by Origin on this thread
"Divert, distort, denigrate, disrupt or destroy any discussion of the corruption of American liberty by the organized lobby of a foreign power."  ~ WindRiverShoshoni

Offline clayman

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Re: The Persistence of MEMRI
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2006, 08:32:07 PM »
Nice piece.

clayman

Offline dominique

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Re: The Persistence of MEMRI
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2006, 10:52:04 AM »
Thank you. :)
"Divert, distort, denigrate, disrupt or destroy any discussion of the corruption of American liberty by the organized lobby of a foreign power."  ~ WindRiverShoshoni