Arabic News Service Sanitizes English Translations

A popular Arab news site has been caught ‘sanitizing’ Arabic hate terminology in its English translations.

Ezra HaLevi,

A popular Arab news site has been caught ‘sanitizing’ Arabic hate terminology in its English translations.

The Ma’an News Service publishes several articles a day in Arabic that it then translates and releases in English. Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) released a report Tuesday noting that Ma'an’s Arabic-language articles include the hate ideology espoused by Islamic terrorist groups - greatly watered down in English.

“The releases deny Israel’s right to exist, express reverence for suicide terrorists and justify terrorist murder as ‘resistance,’” PMW Director Itamar Marcus said. “But when translated into English, the same stories go through a sterilization process to hide from the English readers the terrorist ideology Ma'an is helping to propagate.”

Marcus says that the Netherlands and Denmark may be specific targets for the deceptive pieces, as the PA does not wish to risk losing those countries' funding to the Ma’an News Service.

One example noted by the PMW report was Ma’an’s article following the January 29 suicide bombing that killed three Israelis in Eilat. The Arabic version included the language of the terror organizations, while the English was cleansed with changes and omissions, including changes to the language of direct quotes.

In English Ma'an accurately reported that the event happened "in the southern Israeli resort of Eilat." But in the original Arabic, Eilat was described as a Palestinian city occupied by Israel ("Eilat, located in the south of occupied Palestine" and "…carried out a brave deed and for the first time in occupied Eilat”) – reflecting the assertion that all of Israel is “occupied Palestine.”

In the English, the mother of the terrorist was referred to only by her name and age: "Ruwaida Siksik, 42," but in Arabic, it read: "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,” Marcus and Barbara Crook write in the PMW report.

“The act of suicide bombing itself is reported differently in the English and the Arabic," the report states. "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 an Ishtish'hadi - a Shahada-seeker, who becomes after his death a Shahid – a revered holy Martyr.”

In English: "Family of Eilat bomber"
In Arabic: "mother of the Shahada-seeker"

The fact that the terrorist’s brother knew that his brother was leaving to carry out a terror attack is written openly in Arabic, but omitted altogether from the English version.

In another Ma’an report, recent terrorist victim 42-year-old father-of-three Erez Levanon, who was murdered this week while unarmed and praying in the forest near his home in Gush Etzion, was described - in Arabic - as a legitimate military target.  In addition, the Arabic report stated that the murder was perpetrated by "Palestinian resistance men" - while in English, the murderers were called "armed Palestinian men."

“This is not just semantics,” Marcus and Crook say. “In choosing to categorize murder as ‘resistance,’ Ma'an is choosing the language used by terror organizations to justify murder.”






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