Irresponsible journalism from the Jerusalem Post

Nas drew my attention to the fact that The Jerusalem Post ran a story today about the on-line reactions to Jordan’s upcoming Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts (RSICA). First of all, the title of the Post’s article — Arab bloggers upset Jordanian school open to Israelis — is completely inaccurate. It was not Arab bloggers who were upset. In fact, both Amin, Laith and myself were absolutely thrilled about the project. It was on-line commenters, most of whom were anonymous, that expressed dissatisfaction with the project. Obviously, the journalist who wrote this piece does not know the difference between a blogger and a commenter.

I also noticed that the journalist — Ruth Eglash — decided to highlight the exact same comments that I highlighted on my blog last week without mentioning the fact that I, the blogger, was excited about the project and without making any reference to my blog. It is obvious here that the journalist did not do a fair and forthright job, as she focused only on the negative comments and reported inaccurate information by referring to commenters as bloggers. What irresponsible journalism!

36 thoughts on “Irresponsible journalism from the Jerusalem Post”

  1. Let’s get the JP blogging community to flood the Jerusalem Post with the truth. Yella, ya shabaab!

  2. I don’t know if they’ll have the fortitude to print this, but in the “Talkback” section of the article I left a comment. I would encourage others to do the same, the link is right after the title on the right. Let’s see that Ruth Eglash is made to answer for her action. Her intent seems clear. My comment in whole is as follows, on the JP site it is spread across several entries, as they don’t allow more than about 100 words per comment:

    You really have misrepresented this story. As any reader can and should in this day and age, I investigated your sources. What you present here is that the bloggers in Jordan are upset with the idea of Israelis and Jordanians mixing. The three bloggers that chose to write about this actually indicate they are ecstatic about the idea, that they think it is a fantastic idea, so much so that they chose to blog about it to highlight it for their readers.

    Those that spoke out against it are, in fact, those commenting on the post. They are the “others” out there in the blogosphere that often “lurk” and comment anonymously. Can you call on these opinions as something to base an article on? I really don’t think you can? How can you when their identities are murky at best and at worst, their intentions are purely provocative.

    And that begs the more obvious question here? What is your motive with this article? It too seems highly provocative and certainly lacking in journalistic integrity. First, you take comments from unverifiable, unknowable sources and attribute them incorrectly as “blogger” opinions, which they are not. Commenting on a post does not a blogger make. Then you completely ignore the positive commentary delivered by three Jordanian bloggers that are interested and involved in media and cinematic arts.

    But worse, you chose to steal a huge portion of your article from one of the blogs, Mental Mayhem, and present the research and idea as if it were your own. That’s not just shameful, that’s yellow. You steal it from this blog and then provide no attribution whatsoever. You are only interested in culling these few negative comments from there and then crafting something that must fit your own political interests. It’s not just shameful but disgusting. The Post should print a correction, perhaps a retraction with a full explanation of what really is the blogger opinion, and punish this writer Ruth Eglash to the fullest extent. She is perpetrating a lie.

  3. I posted the following talkback on that story:

    This story is making a mountain out of a molehill. The source of the story is two blogs of two very close Jordanian friends who both share the same passion for cinematic arts. The discussion that ensued can hardly be described as a controversy that is worth writing about, and most Arab bloggers who commented supported the RSICA. Most of the negative comments were from anonymous users and I’m interested how the author of this story concluded that they are Arab bloggers.

  4. I feel that you’re upset only because your blog wasn’t mentioned! I mean, who said it’s inaccurate to say that Arabs or Arab bloggers are not upset with the fact that there’s an institute inside Jordan that accepts Israelis freely! You, Laith, and Amin are not all the bloggers in the Arab world, you might be the only ones who mentioned it, but it absolutely doesn’t mean that Arab bloggers are not upset! I’d be more than happy (and I’m too sure that I’m not alone) to protest against and reject this kind of project.

    You might be “thrilled” about accepting Israelis inside Jordan (it’s the same as saying that you’re thrilled about the project!), but there’s at least 99% of Jordan that is not! I see that you got a poll on your blog, why don’t you check that! But, you must mention that the project involves accepting Israelis inside Jordan sitting next to Palestinians, Lebanese, and Jordanians, and then see if Eglash was that accurate…

  5. Omar (and Hassan) that’s simply unfair and inaccurate. The point here is that this story was based upon a blog post and that post was not cited. That’s simply irresponsible journalism. It has nothing to do with pride. You cite or take from a source, as a journalist you have to cite that source. That’s how it works, you don’t sell it as your own, or worse, take it and manipulate it for your own purposes, though if you did, you could see why you’d want to hide it.

    While you may think that these bloggers don’t represent the majority of opinion, you seem so certain that you do. You are making the same mistake you suggest these three are making, though, again, these three aren’t suggesting they represent all of Jordan, only that they are three bloggers, the only three, that are writing about this institute and they are happy to see it happening.

    But that misses the point, there’s no evidence that is verifiable here that suggests what you or this JP writer are suggesting. In fact, the posted evidence suggests the opposite of what the JP writer suggests. You may think that what she is saying is true, but she cites Jordanian bloggers as the proof for her theory. And that’s simply not in evidence. If you want to go out and round up a bunch of Jordanian bloggers, write up a negative opinion of the institute to prove her theory, more power to you. But that fact is not in evidence now.

    So her story is inaccurate and irresponsibly sourced. It’s crap journalism plain and simple.

    And you also fail to make note of the fact that there are Arab-Israelis that might attend this institute, not just those you regard as your irreconcilable enemy. An Arab -Israeli makes note of his excitement about the project in the post that precedes this one on this topic. I happen to agree with one commenter from the previous post that I wish that every new and exciting initiative that comes Jordan’s way didn’t have to be another round of political experimentation: Let’s put them together and see what happens. It makes what should be a wholly upbeat occasion have this inevitable down side. But in watching and listening to much of that blowback, I have to wonder if maybe it does serve a valuable purpose.

  6. “And you also fail to make note of the fact that there are Arab-Israelis that might attend this institute”

    How sinister of you. Trying to use the backs of the Arabs as bridge for the Israelis. But that’s what Oslo did. It’s cynical of you to suggest that some how we are depriving Arabs if we shut out Israeli soldiers from the school. But you have always been good at blackmail. Case in point is the palestinian MPs you took as hostages. But I have good news for you. Arab Israeli, are welcome, if I were in charge, but they must not have served in the Israeli military.

    But here is another question for you. If you are so much into fairness, why don’t you open your universities to Gazans? You know why? Because you are a supremacist or teh worse kind, the sort that succedded where the KKK, Afrikaaners, and skinheads failed.

    Nice try, but you only offended instead of narrowed the gap.

  7. Who are you talking to? Certainly not me. And more to the point, who are you that you think you know me and my position on anything other than what I have mentioned here. I think my attitude towards the Arab world and my position on the activities of Israel is well known to those that actually know me, and that certainly does not include you. I remain appalled by the actions of the Jewish state, most recently the needless bloodshed inflicted on the people of Lebanon. I made mention of the fact you highlight because it was made mention of by an Arab-Israeli on this blog. And I think it’s a valid point. But that sidesteps the issue yet again.

    The article in question was a sham. It’s author should be made to answer for her actions.

  8. Jeff, i don’t know you but here is the question: that will quickly tell us whther you are a supremacist jew or not:

    Do support the right of return for jews and expelled non-jews alike? this has one good answer and one racist answer and please spare us your attempt to sugarcoat the second answer.

  9. There is a good reason why posters don’t want to mention their names including but not limited to the possibity of dire consequences such as loss of emplyment and harassment, and, in not so few cases, arrest, and in few documented cases, torture. Fact is many have paid a dear price for their views in this part of the world, so to assume that those who post with fake names are not real people reflects a lack of understanding our reality. but for those who object to takign anonymous quotes seriously, ask them what citizenships they have and then ask them to renounce their citizenships and come and live in the Not So Free World. Then lets see what you think of speaking your mind.

  10. ahahah LOL You have no idea who you are talking to do you? Of course I support the right of return for Jews and expelled non-Jews alike. But I do wonder how everyone will fit.

    And it’s not sugar coating things to point out, again, that the subject of this posting is the bogus nature, the shoddy ethics, the crap nature of the article written in the Jerusalem Post.

  11. Well Natasha I do not recall a previous time where I have a contradictory opinion to yours but why should you be so excited about mixing Jordanians and Israelis? I ,ean, you can say it is “OK” based on your political convictions, but to say “excited” is a little bit provocative as Israel is not providing anything to Arabs than bombs. You have all the right to express your opinion but the way you are defending your “excitement” that was not mentioned by the newspaper is really strange. I hope this comment will not touch on the mutual respect we have for each other since it is more precious for me than this whole subject.

  12. Dear Batir,
    As I said I’m excited “about the project” as it will provide aspiring Jordanian movie makers with the chance to pursue their dreams. The possibility of having Israelis in this institute doesn’t change how I feel about the project as it is very promising. I am someone who believes in co-existence. When I was studying London I had Israeli and Jewish classmates. We all co-existed and formed good relationships.

    And of course you are more than welcome to disagree with me:)

  13. I did not make my self clear about what I meant by the Not So Free World. I meant the USA, where poeple with anti-israeli views are charged with bogus accusations then shipped to some backward East or central European or 3rd world countries where thugs torture them for ca$h. The Not So Free world is a vast dark evil empire.

  14. The reason for any excitement is simple: This sounds like a world-class school with the backing of one of the most well regarded filmmakers in the world. Anyone involved in film would be interested and the fact that it is coming to Jordan, where avenues for filmmaking and filmmakers are woefully few, would make most any filmmaker or filmmaker-want-to-be a bit excited. Of course, the downside is that it has to contain this political component. But as most surely know, that is often the case. Free trade agreements and so many others came with a cost and so does this. It’s a bitter pill to have to continually swallow but there are issues that need addressing in some form or another. Those wiser than we seem to think this is the best way to address them. Who can be sure until this is history behind us.

    But I think the issue here, as spelled out by others before me, is simply that this writer for a fairly esteemed publication came out into the blogosphere and picked up this story broken by this blogger and manipulated it for titillation’s sake. Here it was noted that the institute was a welcome initiative, as it was on the other blogs that chose to highlight it. But here too, perhaps in the interest of full disclosure, it was noted that there were some who were dismayed by the mixing of Israelis into this. I took that observation to mean it was being left open for we, the commenters, to address. And of course, that’s where things got ugly, as the writer for the newspaper chose to pick and choose things to craft her own reality. That created problem number one. Then that writer chose to completely detach herself from a source and decontexualize a story. The blog that writer took it from and others she mentioned were actually supportive of the idea. When that writer was finished with her article that was not the truth presented.

  15. Natasha, I am glad you can co-exist with israelis. do you think you can co-exist with Neonazis, Afrikanners, KKK, Alqaeda if there were nice to you and polite. What’s your criteria for people worthy of co-existance?

    Would you accept to co-exist with an American who belives blacks and latinos are a demographic threat and that its morally acceptable to expell or coerce blacks out of the US to maintain a white majority? We call those KKK in the US. In Palestine, we call them Zionists.

    We have no problem with jews who don’t belive they have Super Human Rights.

  16. I wonder Hi if you think all jews feel that way. I’d suggest they don’t and that you shouldn’t tar anyone who has found a few that are non believers in super human rights as decent people. You seem to accept it is possible, so you should accept that she might have found a few.

  17. Natasha,I luv your blog and know that you are really a moderate and person of goodwill.

    This fuss is ridiculous because Israel has diplomatic relations with Jordan,,close intellegence co-operation .. Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin meets regularly in Aqaba with Jordanian and Egyptian Intelligence chiefs …there’s good trade relations and QIZ’s between Jordan /Israel and one has Jordanian students who are enrolled at Israeli universities and at Arava Institute for Environmental Studies

  18. “I’d suggest they don’t and that you shouldn’t tar anyone who has found a few that are non believers in super human rights”

    And how can you tell? Israel is a democracy and since its founding its citizens voted for leaders to wage war, built jewish-only towns, expell non-jews, turn down arab offers for peace, kill non-jewish civilians with impunity, all of these things were CHOSEN by Israelis who ELECTED there leaders. I don’t belive in touch feely measures of who is nice and who is not. This is how Arabs got screwed over and over. We need substance, if not action, we need statements made in the open that leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that this jew setting before us is not some supremacist scum. And nothing flushes those scum out than an unambigious declations endorsing the right of return for non-jews to their homes without ifs thens of buts. Other than that, we deal with no KKKs or Zionazies. Supremacy is evil that must be fought no matter what and no matter who.

  19. Do you want something creepy just right from the hebrew oven? Here is this horrific article about the use of scinece to study race. Rings a bell? remember Nazi and Japanese studies in genetics? yet here is Israel, out in the open, at a time when its waging a racial war, engages in a racial study to detemine the jewish gene. How scarey. The things the jewish state gets away with. Do you think Germans today can get away with such a study? The Israelis are sick racist people.


    A revolution in Jewish genealogy


    They are coming from all over the world to claim their royal heritage.

    First, on October 19, they will meet in New York City at the inaugural dinner of the Davidic Dynasty organization. Then, in May, a mass reunion is planned for Jerusalem.

    They say they are descendants of King David. They have the oral family traditions, rabbinic texts and historical research to back up their claims. And the way Jewish genealogy is thriving, their ranks may swell in the coming years.

  20. “there’s good trade relations and QIZ’s between Jordan /Israel”

    QIZ? Isn’t this the place were most of the negative international attention for Jordan is coming from? isnt the QIZ where workers are being exploited and where jordanian workers learn nothing but menial work that pays dirt wages? Isn’t this the place where there is NOT ONE HIGH TECH venture but low-tech industries for businesmen who don’t want to be bothered by their county’s labour laws so they pile their shit on poor Asian and Jordanian workers,many of whom are desperate females (where are you silly Jordanian feminsts who never championed their cause, isn’t this a fashionable cause for you?) Isn’t this the place where investors don’t pay taxes (but pay kick backs to officials that never make it to the jordanian economy) And you are proud of this cooperation? We are not proud of it.

  21. Probably not even done by a real journalist. Anyone can get on here and thrash their fingers about, typing whatever they want.

  22. While we’re at the subject (and sorry for deviating from the main discussion Natasha) I want to point out the Spielberg donated during the last “Israeli”-Lebanese war 1M USD to support “underserved communities in the North” (i.e.: Settlements, ceased Palestinian land, u name it…) to “Israel”. Spielberg is one of the sponsors of RSICA…

    Which leads me to the thought that prior to the announcement of this project, talks were up and healthy with this donor during war time.

    This saddens me…

  23. Why does this sadden you Hassan? According to the article, Spielberg donated money to children in the North who were evacuated during the war and some hospitals in Haifa which I assume serves Arabs as well. Isn’t that his right to donate to whatever and whom ever he feels like? Or is it only OK when people donate to causes that YOU feel are worthy.

    In fact there’s part of me that feels like he should just pull out of his part in this film insitute. After reading some of the hateful posts about Israelis, Jews and about this project I don’t know why the hell he should even bother.

    But then I realize that it’s precisely because of the hate that he needs to still be involved. Because despite the negativity on here, I’m sure there are some Israelis and Arabs who might benefit from this project and who will be able to put aside their hate.

  24. Skye,

    What about donations by the international community to the Palestinians ? Isn’t that as worthy ? Wouldn’t that money be used to pay payrolls and stop evily-sought Palestinian inter-bloodshed ? Wouldn’t that make it easier for families put food on the table for their dependents?

    Spielberg’s donations (amongst others) nurtures the roots of terrorism if you ask me.

    As for hate, who am I to speak?? I’m posting from the comfort of the UK! Maybe you should try and ask people like Huda Ali Ghalieh, random besieged Gazans, etc…

  25. @ Skye,

    Hassan said he was saddened, he did not say that Speilcrap should not are must not donate to whatever cause he deems worthy, then in a very arrogant tone you declare that you dont know why you bunch should bother to come, do you thing it is something that most Jordanians give a crap about? do you think it is a privelage for us if you came? wake up, and look around you, the so called hate against jews that you feel has its sources, do you think after israel has bombed the living daylights out of lebanon the people of the middle east should fall head over heals in love with your cute romantic state? Its very arrogant and hypocritical of you to try to suppress hassan from simply being saddened, yes he is saddened and I am too, and I am even more saddened because some of us think that it is more important to set up a Cinema institue with the enemies of the state and humanity than to take a dignified stand against these same people who are murdering your brothers and sisters in Lebanon, Palestine and are robbing your own country blind of its resources. Indeed I am saddened.

  26. Actually Markus, my post was not coming arrogance. I think it’s coming more from anger and sadness after reading some of the posts on here. And yes, I’m aware that many of you Jordanians don’t want anything, Israeli or Jewish as part of that project so am I that far off for wondering why anyone Israeli or Jewish would want to take part in something like that? I mean you just said that most Jordanians don’t give a crap meaning you don’t want it.Or at least you don’t want Spielberg’s participation or any Israelis to attend. So you pretty much validated what I was trying to say.

    But I was also trying to say that despite or maybe because of the hate that the insitute might be a good idea becasue some Jordanians might be able to put their hate aside. You’re obviously not one of them.

    And BTW, I’m not from Israel and I also don’t agree with a lot of their policies. Go figure.

  27. Hassan,

    I think the international community was wrong to have stopped donations to Palestinians because of Hamas not agreeing to recognize Israel. So yes, I would say that’s also a worthy cause. Because you shouldn’t punish the peoeple becsaue of the policies their government. Right?

    Just like Spielberg’s donations to the children and hospitals in Northern Israel. Why should every day Israeli children be punished for what their government does?

  • “Spielberg’s donations (amongst others) nurtures the roots of terrorism if you ask me.”

    That’s true.

    As long as Jews are alive in Palestine, terrorism against Jews will continue.

  • “yet here is Israel, out in the open, at a time when its waging a racial war, engages in a racial study to detemine the jewish gene. How scarey. The things the jewish state gets away with. Do you think Germans today can get away with such a study? The Israelis are sick racist people.”

    Hm… other countries do research into genetics, including their own people’s genes.

    However, with a non-exclusive ethnic group like the Jews, it doesn’t make much sense, as Jews are not defined by their genes but by the “Jewish mother or converted” rule. They won’t find anything except that Jews have genes from all over the world, because of conversions and inter-marriage. Perhaps you fell for an urban legend.

    Perhaps you are even a little bit racist when you assume that the Jewish state gets away with something while other countries do the same. The sick racist people might be people like you, not an entire group of others that might be genetically related to each other.

    I have met Jewish, Arab, and Druze Israelis. I have been a student of the University of Haifa when it was being attacked by a Lebanese militia.

    I can tell you that I never supported attacks on Lebanese civilians, EXCEPT when such attacks had a possibility to stop the rockets that were meant to kill me. Then I didn’t care, because the Lebanese militia tried to kill me.

    In Europe people draw swastikas on synagogues, in Germany synagogues need police protection.

    Walk in Jewish shoes for a few days before you make claims about them.

    Israel was the only country I have ever been in where synagogues, mosques, and churches stood next to each other in peace. Can you say the same about many Arab countries?

    We can try it out. I can wear a t-shirt with an Arab flag next time I’m in Tel Aviv. You try wearing a t-shirt with an Israeli flag in an Arab city of your choice. He who survives longer can then claim that he was among the less racist people. Deal?

    And if the Jews do anything to me I can blame it on their hatred for the Arabs who wanted to throw them into the sea and who have thrown them out of most middle-eastern countries. But I won’t. I will blame it on JEWISH RACISM. Let’s see which one of us will experience racism in its most aggressive form. I am game.

    Good luck!

    P.S.: Anybody who attacks Israel will be dealt with most violently. That is bad for innocent bystanders, but good for me. Tell me why I should be against the defence rather than against the people who attack me?

  • Andrew,

    Attacking Israel is one thing, and Occupation is a totally different thing that you didnt even mention in your comment my friend, Israel is hated because it is an illigal occupying entity, if you cannot see that then your racist, its really silly that we have to keep hammering this concept down your throats, because you just cannot fathom the idea that you are in the red, you are an outlaw society that has violated every coceivable human rights, moral, and civil standard ever coined by human beings, your jewish state is a racist concept, and yeah im sure they will blow me kisses if I walk in downtown tel aviv with a palestinian flag on my t-shirt, while in dubai the israeli flag is printed on a monument right in front of the world trade center….go figure……
    I have no problem with jews, i have jewish friends, its u israelis that are the cause of problems in the middle east, and as u said as long is there are zionists in palestine there will always be and there must be resistance, you call it terrorism because of your racist brain washed propaganda doctrine.

    I also learned something from talking to zionists, there is no point in talking to them.

  • Elettra Castello

    I felt DEEPLY BORED in seeing that Ruth Eglash (Arab bloggers: Jordan school can’t admit Israelis, The Jerusalem Post Oct. 4, 2006) chose to focus on purported Middle Eastern bloggers’ ‘stir’ about Jordan’s upcoming Institute of Cinematic Arts (RSICA). Why not concentrate on views of bloggers who have welcomed the project? Do we not have ENOUGH conflict as it is? Do we need to fuel further controversies?

    Sadly, this is sensationalist and reckless writing, panders to unhelpful, tired and warned-out stereotypes about what Israelis and Arab people can or cannot do together.

    Imagination, it seems, is in short supply. Incidentally, highlighting the courageous and pioneering aspect of the Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts in Jordan’s endeavour can yield even more powerfully sensationalist headlines – if that is all that Ms Eglash was after. The stunning success of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra – the youth orchestra founded in 1998 by the conductor Daniel Barenboim and close friend and Palestinian intellectual Edward Said, which is made up of musicians from Israel and Arab countries – surely provides a fine example. Let us hope for many more of such and arts and education projects.

    Yours, Elettra

  • SupremacistPeace

    “the courageous and pioneering aspect of the Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts in Jordan’”

    It’s pioneering in the sense jewish IDF militants can learn filmmaking during the week in an arab school then go shoot arabs on weekends. It’s an original concept.

    Since we are at it, I say we advertise the film school on KKK and Skinheads websites too, to sign them up for the jordan film school. This way we bring jews and neonazis together to help promote peace and understanding. There has been too much


    Let us hope for many more of such and arts and education projects. Do we not have ENOUGH conflict as it is? CAN’T WE ALL GET ALONG?


  • Comments are closed.