Role of the Media

An affordable translation service from the Arabic language press

Until recently, there has been no affordable and timely translation source for non-Arabic-speaking diaspora Arabs or Westerners to read the Arabic press. was launched on June 15th, 2005. The service (currently free to subscribers) provides a daily email newsletter with the days headlines (translated and summarized) from all the top Arabic and Persian newspapers. Since the service is operated and dispatched from Beirut, Lebanon, the correspondents (who are scattered worldwide)� and editors have the entire workday to get the newletter finished and into the inboxes of American subscribers by midday/late morning in the United States. 

Farewell to All That: Palestine Report comes to a close

Palestine Report, under-funded, understaffed and overworked as it has been simply trying to keep up with the violence of the past few years, nevertheless always tried to present those stories that got lost amid the bombs and bulldozers.” However, due to financial pressures it has simply ceased to be feasible to continue producing the Report to the standards we have tried hard to maintain for so long. Over the years, the PR has enjoyed the contributions of writers and journalists from all over the world, and the following are some contributors’ reactions to PR’s untimely demise. 

Behind the images of children with guns

The event marked forty days since the assassination of the resistance fighter Mohammed Sufwat Al Assi (Nino), the shooting of sixteen-year-old fighter Khalid Mohammed Msyme and the anniversaries of many more killings. The last time the young girls in the traditional Palestinian embroidered dresses performed, Nino himself was on the stage. Then the girls sang in tribute to Nino’s friend Kalil Marshood, marking a year since his assassination by the Israeli occupation forces. Within a month of Kalil’s anniversary ta’been, Nino too was assassinated. Yesterday, the girls were singing again. This time, they had guns. 

Real News: Disengaged in Gaza

PA Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Al Qidwa walked into a side room before his 11am press conference dressed in a dapper navy suit and smelling of aftershave. His sophisticated comportment refined by many years of service as PLO representative to the UN in New York, integrated well with the setting of the Palestinian press center hosting the event. As one of the Palestinians’ most internationally recognized talking heads, Qidwa no doubt had prepared a succinct list of talking points sufficient to provide the necessary sound bites to represent “the Palestinian perspective” for the evening news stories across the world. Too bad he never got a chance to say them though. 

Israeli media: "Quiet, We’re Disengaging!"

On February 8, 2005, at the Sharm e-Sheikh summit, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) declared a ceasefire after more than four years of Intifada. Since the summit, the two sides have exchanged mutual recriminations on intentional and unintentional violations of the understandings that were reached. Keshev examined how the major Israeli media outlets covered the ceasefire, how they interpreted the actions (both positive and negative) of both sides, and how they dealt with each side’s pronouncements concerning violations of the ceasefire by the other side. Keshev concludes that the Israeli media played down Israeli violations and covered criticism of Palestinians profusely. 

Helping Forward move forward

On July 22, E. J. Kessler, deputy managing editor of the oldest and most revered American Jewish weekly, Forward, reported that “a far-left pro-Palestinian group” sought to pass a divestment resolution at the AFL-CIO quadrennial convention, which takes place in Chicago next week. As a co-founder of this “far-left group,” Labor for Palestine — which is not a “group” but a campaign as its Web site’s watermark indicates on every page — I find it worth noting some errors and points of conjecture that my colleague’s article contains. LFP represents one of many organized movements that are dissatisfied with the AFL-CIO’s well-documented complicity with US foreign policy. 

Gross Misinformation: the media in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict gets a disproportionate share of mainstream western media attention, as compared, say, with conflicts in Africa. Yet the public, particularly in the United States, remains grossly misinformed. Even respected outlets like National Public Radio fail to provide objective and consistently fair coverage. EI co-founder Ali Abunimah examines trends in media coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and finds that as news organizations come under increasing pressure from pro-Israel groups, there are fewer places to go for solid, independent coverage. 

Kofi Annan urges media to refrain from myths, hate propaganda in message to international media seminar

Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, Shashi Tharoor, delivered a message from UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East, “Reinvigorating the Peace Process: The Role of International and Regional Actors in Facilitating a Comprehensive, Just and Lasting Peace in the Middle East in Cairo. “The people of the Middle East are now approaching a number of important turning points,” he said. With help from their regional and international partners, they can prevent a slide back into conflict and confrontation. And with help from responsible media — media that refrain from myths, stereotypes and hate propaganda –- they can avoid inflaming an already volatile climate.” 

The three monkeys of the Israeli media

For nearly 40 years, Israelis have known Haim Yavin’s face. Now they also know his opinions. Whether that is leading to any deeper understanding of his message about the functioning of the Israeli media is less certain. “Since 1967, we have been brutal conquerors, occupiers suppressing another people.” It is in such terms Yavin has been expressing his disgust for the Israeli occupation in the five-week series of reports “A Land of Settlers” currently being broadcast on Israeli Channel Two. When Yavin “came out of the closet” and affirmed publicly his political views on the occupation it sent shock waves through his audience. 

"According to security sources": What remains of the Israeli media

In the 1960s, there were many jokes in Israel about the “Voice of the UAR (United Arab Republic) from Cairo”, which broadcasted news in broken Hebrew, written by spokesmen of the Egyptian regime. The absurdity of these broadcasts enhanced the credibility of the IDF spokesmen in our eyes. Today, we are not all that far from the “Voice of the UAR” ourselves, and in fluent IDF Hebrew. Tanya Reinhart reports.