MEMRI IS 'PROPAGANDA MACHINE,' EXPERT SAYS
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) provides daily English translations of film and print media stories originating in Arabic, Iranian and Turkish media.
It also furnishes original analysis of cultural, political and religious trends in the Middle East.
It sends its daily postings to every news outlet in the United States and Europe, in addition to politicians and cultural leaders.
And it's free, which makes it a Godsend for journalists, editors and policy analysts.
But according to its critics, it is also a dangerous, highly sophisticated propaganda operation, disseminating hate and disinformation on an unprecedented worldwide basis.
"They use the same sort of propaganda techniques as the Nazis," Professor Norman G. Finkelstein, a well-known scholar on Israel/Palestine, told InFocus. "They take things out of context in order to do personal and political harm to people they don't like."
Take the case of Professor Halim Barakat, a novelist and scholar associated with the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University.
In 2002, he published an article on Zionism in London's Al-Hayat Daily, but says that in certain instances, MEMRI selectively edited what he wrote.
"I know how to make a distinction between Judaism and Zionism, but they distorted the article," Barakat told InFocus. "They left out certain things and tried to make it look anti-Semitic."
Shortly afterward, Campus Watch, the brainchild of notorious Islamophobe Daniel Pipes, used the allegedly doctored translation in an effort to smear Georgetown University.