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Tuesday, December 4, 2012
MEMRI: Arab-Israeli Writer Dr. Salman Masalha Discusses Arab Media Dissemination Of Fabrications, Conspiracy Theories

MEMRI December 4, 2012 Special Dispatch No.5076

Arab-Israeli Writer Dr. Salman Masalha Discusses Arab Media's Dissemination
Of Fabrications, Conspiracy Theories

In an article titled "Why Do The Arabs Prefer Lies Over Truth?,"
Arab-Israeli writer Dr. Salman Masalha slammed the Arab media for spreading
ridiculous fabrications and conspiracy theories instead of presenting its
readers with true facts.

The following are excerpts from the article, which was posted November 26,
2012 on the website Elaph.com.[1]

"Everybody doubtless remembers how, a few years ago, some Arab media spread
stories about a bizarre Israeli plot, namely that the Mossad had sent
trained sharks to attack tourists on the beaches of Sinai. Here is what the
papers said: 'After repeated [shark] attacks, the local authorities in
southern Sinai broke their silence, and the governor announced that the
sharks were attacking the tourists under orders from the Israeli Mossad.'
Some high officials from the tourism authorities in Cairo likewise announced
that the [shark attacks] were part of an Israeli plot aimed at harming
tourism in Egypt.

"Earlier, Egyptian media had published exciting news of a different sort,
but also pertaining to a conspiracy by the Mossad. They claimed that the
Mossad had inserted into the Egyptian markets large quantities of drugs that
stimulate sexual desire in women, in order to undermine the foundations of
the Egyptian society and family. In this context, it should be mentioned
that periodic reports on Internet statistics indicate that Arabs take first
place in the world in searching for the term 'sex' and its derivatives on
the Internet. These statistics are the best reflection of the Arabic
obsession with anything related to sex.

"This Arab condition merits research by specialists in the fields of
sociology and psychology, and I admit that I do not have the professional
tools to address the subject in a scientific way. All I can do is point to
this chronic disease that is eating away at the bones of Arab societies.
Suffice us to mention some fatwas that reflect this chronic disease, such as
a recently published fatwa permitting sex with a corpse. These fatwas are
known to Arabs and non-Arabs, in the East and the West, so we do not need to
say any more on this necrophilia.

"These stories came to my mind because of some new fabrications that have
recently emerged in the Arabic press, [this time] about a heavyweight sex
conspiracy. As usual, the hero of the story is the Mossad, but this time
there is also a heroine, namely Tsipi Livni, the former Israeli foreign
minister. The Egyptian paper Al-Masri Al-Yawm published a story allegedly
based on a 2009 interview with Livni that was published in the London Times
and also in the Israeli paper Yediot Aharonot. [In this interview, Livni
allegedly] revealed that she had slept with Arab figures in order to
blackmail them politically. The title of the article in the Egyptian paper
was 'She Had Sex with Arabs in Exchange for Political Concessions.'

"Since the Arabs are generally obsessed with conspiracy theories, especially
with stories about sex, this fabricated report spread like wildfire in the
Arabic media, both in the printed press and on websites, which all reported
it as the unvarnished truth. Furthermore, Arab journalists, analysts, and
intellectuals rushed to discuss and analyze it...

"Not one of these experts, including those who write on this website
[Elaph], bothered to check the veracity of the original report. For example,
one of the writers here [on Elaph], Khales Jalabi, composed an article
titled 'She Has Sex and Murders for the Sake of Israel.' That's what this
genius, Najm 'Abd Al-Karim, came up with! His article was also cited by
another writer on Elaph who wrote that, according to 'Abd Al-Karim's
report, 'the Zionist Tsipi (the daughter of the founder of the Haganah
gangs) admitted her willingness to offer her body to anyone who wants it, if
this benefits the Zionist cause, and, in fact, did so without any shame.'
Jalabi called his article 'The Zionist Cancer: A Socio-Biological
Approach' thus revealing his own mentality.

"It seems that truth is of no concern to the Arabic press and to many Arab
journalists. [They believe that] as long as false news and reports conform
to the Arab mentality, they require no checking, because the Arab reader
will accept them as they are, as a proven truth that cannot be doubted.

"After this journalistic Arab horse bolted [from its stable] and this lie
spread all over the Arab world, and after this sex conspiracy theory excited
the [readers'] emotions, which are always fully ready to accept such
fabricated reports, Al-Masri Al-Yawm [bothered to] apologize to its readers
for what it published without checking. Here is the apology as published on
the [paper's] website: 'It has become clear to Al-Masri Al-Yawm that these
statements did not [actually] appear in the [London] Times or in Yediot
Aharonot, but were been copied from unreliable sources which had invented
them, and this news was then copied and circulated by popular Arab sites.
Therefore, an apology and clarification to the readers is appropriate.'

"Now, what about an apology by the writers?... I think it behooves all those
journalists, analysts, and thinkers, or whatever they like to call
themselves, to apologize in writing to the Arab reader for all the writings
and analyses and thoughts which they spread among the Arab readers... Those
who concoct lies and then spread them as truth are an integral part of the
tragedy of the Arabs in our age. They prefer a serene [existence] that does
not require effort in confronting the reality of the ever-changing world
around them. Fantasies and bogeymen dominate their minds, and they cannot
get rid of them. It is time they had some respect for the journalistic
profession, and, above all, for the Arab reader, who, more than any other
reader in today's world, needs to be given true facts without any


[1] Elaph.com, November 26, 2012.

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Materials may only be cited with proper attribution.

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