Those familiar with reports of Arab/Iranian leaders inciting hatred against Jews and Christians/Israel may have come across the MEMRI icon on youtube. I was prompted to post this thread when I saw Hitch 22 posting a 'translation' video by MEMRI where Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi supposedly calling the Jews descendents of apes and pigs.
How can we believe MEMRI's translations, given the President and co-founder of the organisation is former IDF Colonel Yigal Carmon? This is how MEMRI is described on wikipedia:Examples of controversial translations by MEMRI include:The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is a United States not for profit press monitoring organization with headquarters located in Washington, DC. MEMRI was co-founded in 1998 by Yigal Carmon, a former colonel in the Israeli military intelligence and Meyrav Wurmser, an Israeli-born, American political scientist. MEMRI states that its goal is to "bridge the language gap that exists between the Middle East and the West." It publishes and distributes free English language translations of material from Arabic, Persian, Urdu-Pashtu, and Turkish media, and publishes analyses and reports. MEMRI offers specialized content for a fee. Critics charge that it aims to portray the Arab and Muslim world in a negative light, through the production and dissemination of inaccurate translations and through selectivity in choosing extreme views to publicize.Originally Posted by wikipediaIn an e-mail debate with Carmon, Whitaker asked about MEMRI's November 2000 translation of an interview given by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem to al-Ahram al-Arabi. One question asked by the interviewer was: "How do you deal with the Jews who are besieging al-Aqsa and are scattered around it?" which was translated as: "How do you feel about the Jews?". MEMRI cut out the first part of the reply and combined it with the answer to the next question which, Whitaker claimed, made "Arabs look more anti-semitic than they are". Carmon admitted this was an error in translation but defended combining the two replies as both questions referred to the same subject. Carmon rejected other claims of distortion by Whitaker, saying: "it is perhaps reassuring that you had to go back so far to find a mistake ... You accused us of distortion by omission but when asked to provide examples of trends and views we have missed, you have failed to answer." Carmon also accused Whitaker of "using insults rather than evidence" in his criticism of MEMRI.
Whitaker claims that although Memri's translations are usually accurate, they are selective and often out of context. He stated: "When errors do occur, it's difficult to attribute them to incompetence or accidental lapses ... there appears to be a political motive."So we have already established that MEMRI's translations involved:Halim Barakat described MEMRI as a "a propaganda organization dedicated to representing Arabs and Muslims as anti-semites." Barakat claims an essay he wrote for the Al-Hayat Daily of London titled The Wild Beast that Zionism Created: Self-Destruction, was mistranslated by MEMRI and retitled as Jews Have Lost Their Humanity. Barakat further stated "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". According to Barakat, he was subject to widespread condemnation from faculty and his office was "flooded with hatemail." Fellow Georgetown faculty member Aviel Roshwald accused Barakat in an article he published of promoting a "demonization of Israel and of Jews". Supported by Georgetown colleagues, Barakat denied the claim which Roshwald had based on MEMRI's translation of Barakat's essay.
- replacing the word "Zionists" with "Jews".
- inserting words that aren't there e.g. translating "how do you deal with the Jews who are besieging Al Aqsa" with "How do you feel about the Jews"?
- replacing "the Jews are killing us" with "We will anhiliate the Jews" i.e. role-reversal.
- translating "There are fighters and non-fighters. Islam is against the killing of innocents. The innocent man cannot be killed according to Islam." as "There is no such term as civilians in the modern western sense. People are either at war or not.".
So in that context, given that as wikipedia says:How can we trust MEMRI or the media that Muslim leaders are actually saying what they say they are saying?The organization's translations are regularly quoted by major international newspapers,
A glance at the board of directors and advisors of MEMRI is an eye-opener too. Many are neocons from the Bush Administration, members of AIPAC, or former/existing Israeli politicians:So the next time you hear of a Muslim leader calling for Israel to be 'wiped off the map' (another MEMRI sourced 'quote' from Ahmadinjad), remember not to necessarily take it at face value.Originally Posted by wikipedia