CO: MEMRI's Systematic Distortions

[Rima Barakat is a Denver-area Muslim activist.]

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.


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