Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Syria's latest accusation: Israel created the Avian Flu to destroy Arab genes

This one is so off the wall that it hardly needs comment. In fact, when I first saw the headline I thought it was the work of someone who was contributing to the Israeli antisemitic cartoon contest.

In short, according to a Syrian newspaper, [as reported by MEMRI] Israel created the avian bird flu as a means of destroying Arab genes. It is part of their "race bomb."

This is something worthy of Jon Stewart and the Daily Show. Problem is there will be a lot of guys and gals in the Arab/Muslim world who will believe it.


Angry Anarchist said...

Dear Dr. Lipstadt,

This claim was first initiated by Yediot Ahronot, which, despite my demands, failed to substantiate the claim by providing either a link or a scanned copy of the newspaper in question. A few days later Arutz Sheva carried the same story with less detail (even misspelling the name of the newspaper, calling it Al-Tura instead of Al-Thawra). The latter also provided no proof that this article actually ran on the Syrian newspaper.

But just to double-check, I visited the website of Al-Thawra newspaper and found no such article (I also ran a search in the archives, but again came up with nothing).

I would appreciate it if you could provide me with a scanned copy of the paper; a link would be fine too. Just because I am not a fan of unbased accusations that border on hysteria (similar to the claims made in the alleged article, actually).

Thank you.

A concerned anarchist (who would be as disgusted with this article if proven to be true as she is with the Israeli denial of the Armenian Holocaust)

Beirut, Lebanon

Deborah Lipstadt said...

You conveniently ignore the link in my post. Click on that [or don't you know how to do that?] and you will get to the MEMRI post with all the relevant information on the original article.

If you discover MEMRI got it wrong -- which I doubt -- be sure to let me know

Angry Anarchist said...

Dr. Lipstadt,

I clicked on the link you provided, and I was directed to a website (by no means maintained by god) that posted a translation of the article in text format, without providing a link (unless I somehow missed that link - in which case I stand corrected) to the original article (even if in Arabic) that appeared in the paper. Did I miss something, or is a "transcript" of the translation of an original article that is nowhere to be seen now taken as absolute, undeniable proof?

In solidarity against all types of racism and xenophobia,

An anarchist

Deborah Lipstadt said...

This is my final response on this issue:

1. MEMRI does one thing and one thing only: translate from original Arabic/ Mulsim sources. It does not rely on second hand reports.

2. MEMRI is used by responsible journalists world wide.

3. Were this report false don't you think that both the paper and the columnist cited would protests mightily at having such an absurd and laughable report associated with them.

4. In short, it makes them look like fools and if it were incorrect, I would assume that they would object in the strongest of terms.

5. They have not, to the best of my knowledge, done so.