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Wednesday, September 22nd, 2007

Palestijns Ma'an nieuws: twee talen, twee verhalen

De Palestijnse news-service Ma'an, die onder andere door Nederland en Denemarken wordt gesubsidieerd, is nogal creatief met de vertaling van hun artikelen in het Engels. Een paar voorbeelden, uit een artikel over de zelfmoordaanslag in Eilat op 29 januari:

Ma'an English: "Öin the southern Israeli resort of Eilat."
Ma'an Arabic in first reference [to Eilat]: "Ö in Eilat located in the south of occupied Palestine."
Ma'an Arabic in second reference: "Öcarried out a brave deed and for the first time in occupied Eilat.Ē

In the English the mother is referred to simply by her name and age: "Ruwaida Siksik, 42."
In Arabic Ma'an adds: " Ruwaida Siksik, 42, whose family originated from the occupied city of Jaffa."

Ma'an English: Family of Eilat bomber speak to Ma'anÖ
Ma'an in Arabic: Mother of Shahada-seeker [Shahada is martelaar] and his wife speakÖ

Ma'an English: She heard the news on Monday morning that he had blown himself up
Ma'an Arabic: She heard on Monday morning that he died as a shahid


Dit heeft echter allemaal niks met politiek of strategie te maken, aldus Ma'an, maar men moet nou eenmaal wel een beetje rekening houden met de verschillende doelgroepen, en hoe een boodschap het beste te verwoorden:

Ma'an's editor-in-chief, Nasser Al-Lahham responded to the Israeli accusations as saying that several Israeli journalists object to Ma'an, especially the English version which has begun to spread across the world. He ascribed the reason for the difference between the Arabic and the English versions as being merely professional rather than political. There is a difference between editing English and Arabic news, he said, and there is no connection to any wish to conceal any secrets from the Danish and Dutch donors. He also added that the assumption that the donors monitor the English version and neglect the Arabic site is "stupid", since the Danish and Dutch embassies possess the ability to read Arabic-language media.

Philippa N., chief English editor, said: "We have never tried to hide the fact that we cater to a different audience and therefore need to employ a different language. The most important thing for us is to deliver the facts and to portray the full extent of the harsh reality of life for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation, without causing incitement. The coverage is more important than the language. In regards to our choice of terminology, we aim to stick as close as possible to UN-accepted terms, while maintaining our Palestinian perspective."

Is het door de VN geaccepteerde terminologie om Eilat en Jaffa bezet Palestina te noemen?! Is dat 'delivering the facts'?! Is het goedpraten van een zelfmoordoperatie als 'martelarendom' geen opruiing? Valt dat onder het 'verschaffen van feiten over de harde realiteit van de bezetting'?

De woordvoerder van Ma'an schat de Nederlandse en Deense ambassades wellicht wat te hoog in: ik geloof niet dat die de tijd en menskracht hebben om berichten in Arabische media die men sponsort te screenen op dit soort 'vrije vertalingen'. Als men dit wel zou doen, blijft de vraag of het veel effect zou hebben, aangezien Nederland ook Palestijnse schoolboeken sponsort ondanks veelvuldige klachten over opruiing, en ontwikkelingsorganisaties met geld van de overheid conferenties organiseren waar wordt gepleit voor geweld tegen IsraŽl en tegen onderhandelingen. En daarvoor hebben we de SP niet eens nodig, dat kan blijkbaar ook prima onder een CDA/VVD kabinet. Je snapt soms niet waarom Dries van Agt zich bij zijn partij niet thuis voelt waar het IsraŽl/Palestina betreft. Dat men de subsidie aan Novib of Cordaid niet onmiddellijk stopzet nadat zij op een 'anti-oorlogsconferentie' (lees anti-IsraŽl conferentie) Abu Jahjah als speciale gast hebben uitgenodigd kan ik me overigens wel voorstellen aangezien zij vele ontwikkelingsprojecten steunen, al zou een kritischer benadering zeker op zijn plaats zijn, maar wat voor positieve bijdrage levert Ma'an aan vrede of ontwikkeling? Waarom heeft het Łberhaupt subsidie nodig? Haaretz of the Jerusalem Post worden ook niet gesubsidieerd. Begrijp me niet verkeerd: ik ben niet tegen subsidies, en ook niet tegen subsidies voor Palestijnse organisaties of projecten, maar zij moeten wel bijdragen aan vrede en verzoening tussen beide partijen. Helaas zijn er niet zo veel Palestijnse organisaties die een twee-statenoplossing bepleiten, het geweld aan beide kanten veroordelen en zich ook kritisch opstellen wat betreft het eigen aandeel in het conflict. Toch subsidieert de EU vele Palestijnse NGO's die zeggen voor vrede te zijn maar vooral anti-IsraŽl activiteiten ontplooien en Palestijns geweld goedpraten.

Vrede in het Midden-Oosten komt niet dichterbij door maar allerlei organisaties te subsidiŽren die zeggen voor vrede te zijn. Vrede komt anderzijds ook niet dichterbij door van subsidie af te zien en het beide partijen maar zelf uit te laten zoeken. We moeten op zoek naar alternatieven, en als die er niet zijn meehelpen ze op te richten en mensen aan te moedigen om de dialoog te zoeken. Niet een paar IsraŽlische vredesactivisten die het met de Palestijnen eens zijn dat de bezetting de oorzaak van alle problemen is, maar een dialoog tussen Zionisten die hun recht op een staat en op veiligheid bepleiten tegenover Palestijnen die voor hun vrijheid en onafhankelijkheid opkomen. Als zij met elkaar tot overeenstemming kunnen komen over de toekomst van het gebied hebben we echt wat bereikt. Ma'an heeft hiermee echter niks te maken.

Zie hieronder de beschuldigingen van het IsraŽlische Palestinian Media Watch en de reactie van Ma'an.

Ratna Pelle

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Hate terminology in Arabic sanitized in English translations by Palestinian news service
http://pmw.org.il/bulletins_feb2007.htm#b270207

by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, Feb 27, 2007

The Maían News Service publishes numerous daily announcements in Arabic, which it subsequently translates and releases in English. In recent stories, PMW has noted that the Ma'an releases in Arabic include the hate ideology espoused by the terror organizations that deny Israel's right to exist, express reverence for suicide terrorists and justify terrorist murder as "resistance." But when translated into English, the same stories go through a sterilization process to hide from the English readers Ė and possibly from the two Western countries, the Netherlands and Denmark, who give them funding Ė the terrorist ideology Ma'an is helping to propagate.

The following are two examples:

1 Ė On Jan. 29, 2007, a suicide terrorist killed three Israelis in the city of Eilat. The Ma'an Arabic report included the language of the terror organizations, while the English was cleansed with changes and omissions, including changes to the language of direct quotes. The differences are striking:

Denial of Israel's right to exist
In English Ma'an accurately reports that the event happened "in the southern Israeli resort of Eilat." But in the original Arabic, Eilat is changed from an Israeli city to a Palestinian city occupied by Israel Ė reflecting the terrorist assertion that all of Israel is ďoccupied Palestine.

Ma'an English: "Öin the southern Israeli resort of Eilat."
Ma'an Arabic in first reference: "Ö in Eilat located in the south of occupied Palestine."
Ma'an Arabic in second reference: "Öcarried out a brave deed and for the first time in occupied Eilat.Ē

In the English the mother is referred to simply by her name and age: "Ruwaida Siksik, 42."
In Arabic Ma'an adds: " Ruwaida Siksik, 42, whose family originated from the occupied city of Jaffa."

The routine definition in a news story of Jaffa, a part of southern Tel Aviv, as "occupied" and Eilat as "occupied Palestine" is a way to linguistically express denial of Israel's right to exist, and is the terminology used by the terror organizations.

Glorifying suicide terror as Shahada Ė revered Martyrdom
The act of the suicide bombing is likewise reported differently in the English and the Arabic. The English refers to a "bombing," while the Arabic gives it an idyllic Islamic categorization of an "Amaliyyah Ishtish'hadyyah" - a Shahada-seeking action. This is not merely a positive categorization, but is defining the suicide bombing as an honored Islamic action. The perpetrator is given the status of a Ishtish'hadi- Shahada-seeker, who becomes after his death a Shahid Ė a revered holy Martyr.

In Arabic: "She heard the news on Monday morning that he died as a Shahid Ö
In English: "Family of Eilat bomber"
In Arabic: "mother of the Shahada-seeker"

Another interesting difference is that in the Arabic, the brother of the bomber admits to knowing that his brother was leaving on a terror operation. This is omitted from the English version.

2- The second article demonstrating the terror support by Ma'an is its release yesterday about the murder of Erez Levanon, a 42-year-old Israeli musician and father of three children, who was attacked and stabbed to death by two Palestinians while praying in a field.

The Ma'an English: "Palestinian sources told Ma'an that armed Palestinian men ambushed an Israeli Ö"
The Ma'an Arabic: "Palestinian sources told Ma'an that Palestinian resistance men ambushed an Israeli Ö"

This is not just semantics. In choosing to categorize murder as "resistance," Ma'an is choosing the language used by terror organizations to justify murder.

The following is the [list] of the changes in the translation of the suicide bombing story [...].

Maían in English: " Family of Eilat bomber speak to Ma'an.."
Maían in Arabic: " Mother of the Shahada-seeker [Martrydom Seeker - Islamic term of honor for suicide bomber] and his wife speak Ö"
[PMW translation to English]

Maían in English: " She heard the news on Monday morning that he had blown himself up"
Maían in Arabic: " She heard the news on Monday morning that he died as a shahid [Islamic term for revered Martyr]"

Maían in English: " in an unprecedented operation in the southern Israeli resort of EilatÖ"
Maían in Arabic: " in an unprecedented operation in Eilat located in the south of occupied PalestineÖ"

Maían in English: " Did his mother, Ruwaida Siksik, 42,"
Maían in Arabic: " Did his mother, Ruwaida Siksik, 42, whose family originated from the occupied city of Jaffa,"

Maían in English: " know about her fourth son's intention to operate in Israel?"
Maían in Arabic: " know about her fourth son's intention to carry out a Shahada Ė Seeking operation in Israel?"

Maían in English: " She said: "I knew he wished for Shahada ÖĒ"
Maían in Arabic: " She said: "I knew he wished for Shahada -Seeking and for ShahadaÖ""

Maían in English: " On Monday 29th January, the son's identity was reported as being the bomber of Eilat."
Maían in Arabic: " On Monday, was reported the death as a Shahid of (her) son, and"

Maían in English: " The mother prayed that it may send a message to the fighting brothers in Hamas and Fatah, to stop and direct their weapons against the Israeli occupation."
Maían in Arabic: " the mother prayed that Allah will receive her son as a ShahidÖ"

Maían in English: " She added that she is ready to sacrifice all of her nine sons and daughters for Palestine and Al-Aqsa mosqueÖ"
Maían in Arabic: " She added that she is ready to sacrifice all of her nine sons and daughters for Palestine and Al-Aqsa mosque, and that she will not be stingy with themÖ"

Maían in English: " Muhammad's brother, Na'im, 26, said: "What my brother has done is dignifying for all of usÖĒ"
Maían in Arabic: " Muhammad's brother, Na'im, 26, said: "I knew he was leaving and I wished him that he would achieve Shahada as he wants. When I heard the news about his Shahada-seeking, I prayed for him, that Allah will receive him. What my brother has done is dignifying for all of usÖĒ"

Maían in English: " Nadia Siksik, wife of the deceased bomber, expressed pride over her husband's operation. She said: ďÖ after what he has done for Palestine, I am proudÖ""
Maían in Arabic: " Nadia Siksik, wife of the Shahada-seeker expressed pride over her husband's operation. She said: ďÖ after I was informed of his death as a Shahid today, I am proudÖ""

Maían in English: " The bomber's little sister, Dalia, 13, burst into tears while she expressed
her pride over her brother, "who refused to be a victim of the clash of brothers.""
Maían in Arabic: " His youngest sister, Dalia, 13, burst into tears while she said: I am proud of my brother Muhammad, "for he died a death of honor and refused to be a victim of the bullets of brothers. He chose Shahada among his enemies and carried out a brave deed and for the first time in occupied Eilat.""

Ma'an Arabic: "Palestinian resistance men"
Ma'an English: "armed Palestinian men"

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Israeli media watchdog accuses Ma'an of 'sterilizing' their 'hate terminology' in an attempt to please the donors
Date: 28 / 02 / 2007 Time: 16:16
http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=19938

Bethlehem - Ma'an - An Israeli website has published an article in English accusing Ma'an News Agency of using "hate terminology" in their Arabic-language news and then 'sterilizing' the same news as part of the translation process into English.

The website, which is devoted to monitoring Palestinian media (Palestinian Media Watch) claimed that Ma'an uses "hate ideology espoused by the terror organizations" in its Arabic news, while avoiding this incitement when translated into English. PMW claims, "The same stories go through a sterilization process to hide from the English readers - and possibly from the two Western countries, the Netherlands and Denmark, who give them funding - the terrorist ideology Ma'an is helping to propagate."

Two Israeli writers, Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, gave examples to prove their claim, namely with regards to Ma'an's coverage of the bombing operations and in the naming of places which are located within the internationally-recognized borders of Israel, but are also considered to be in pre-1948 historic Palestine.

Ma'an's editor-in-chief, Nasser Al-Lahham responded to the Israeli accusations as saying that several Israeli journalists object to Ma'an, especially the English version which has begun to spread across the world. He ascribed the reason for the difference between the Arabic and the English versions as being merely professional rather than political. There is a difference between editing English and Arabic news, he said, and there is no connection to any wish to conceal any secrets from the Danish and Dutch donors. He also added that the assumption that the donors monitor the English version and neglect the Arabic site is "stupid", since the Danish and Dutch embassies possess the ability to read Arabic-language media.

Lahham added, "Our national identity is well-known and publicly declared because we are proud of that identity and we never conceal it. Our professionalism is acknowledged and distinguished. Ma'an News Agency employs more than 100 journalists, including Muslims, Christians and Jews. Our objective has been set from the very beginning: to be a credible, professional and high quality news agency."

Lahham added that he does not give political directions to the department heads, including the English desk, regarding what they should and should not publish.

When Ma'an was established at the beginning of 2005, Ma'an News Agency hosted media experts from all over the world, including Israel, in order to discuss the terminology. Among the guests were the Israeli journalists, Miron Ropot and Zvika Yehezkely, along with dozens of media professors from Britain, Iran, Europe and the United States. All agreed that each language has its own terminology and special meanings, and that Ma'an will not stop using terms such as "martyr", "resistance" and equivalent terms, in Arabic.

Philippa N., chief English editor, said: "We have never tried to hide the fact that we cater to a different audience and therefore need to employ a different language. The most important thing for us is to deliver the facts and to portray the full extent of the harsh reality of life for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation, without causing incitement. The coverage is more important than the language. In regards to our choice of terminology, we aim to stick as close as possible to UN-accepted terms, while maintaining our Palestinian perspective."

An English news editor, Rashid Shahin, believes that what the Israeli website carried out was just an attempt at "opinion terrorism." He added, "The Israeli website has criticized almost every Arab media outlet. They seem to want to force Ma'an and others to reflect the Israeli point of view. They are indirectly asking the Palestinians and their media to view what is going on in the Palestinian territories through Israeli eyes and to choose terminology that matches the Israeli mood and mind and reflects their own vision about the Israeli- Palestinian conflict."

In regards to the captions of the images used by Ma'an News Agency, Ma'an's chief photographer, Magnus Johansson, said: "MaanImages is following international standards when it comes to the captions for the pictures. Since we supply images to more than 40 agencies around the world, we can't have incitement in the caption. This would immediately force a response from our clients. The caption is there to describe what is in the picture (who, what, why, where and when) without any personal comments or values. For MaanImages the quality of the pictures is the most important thing and it must reflect what was happening on the spot. It is then up to the viewer to make their own judgments on the event."
Ratna Palle on 09.22.07 [link]

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IMO Blog (IsraŽl & Midden-Oosten) bevat mijn opinies over het IsraŽlisch-Palestijnse conflict, het Joodse recht op zelfbeschikking (ook bekend als Zionisme) en het Palestijnse recht op zelfbeschikking. Ik ben een academica uit Nederland. Ik ben actief geweest in diverse linkse bewegingen voor vrede, milieu en derde wereld. Ik ben noch Joods noch Palestijns noch IsraŽlisch noch Arabisch.

© Alle teksten op deze blogs zijn eigendom van de schrijver, en dienen niet zonder toestemming gekopieerd te worden naar andere websites.



IMO Blog contains my thoughts on the Israel - Palestine conflict, the Jewish right to self determination (aka Zionism) and the Palestinian right to self determination, and especially the involvement of Europe with the conflict in the light of it's own history. I am an academic from the Netherlands who has been active in several leftist movements for peace, environment and third world. I am neither Jewish nor Palestinian nor Israeli nor Arab.

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NIET MEER GEUPDATE:
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