Following yesterday’s post on Ma’an News’ pushing of a genocidal video, they have pulled the video & article and gone on the defensive to deny this is what they were doing. I believe this was at least partly because of my post, which they were aware of after I tweeted it to them, and they did so afraid of the consequences this exposure would have on their foreign funding – something I specifically raised in my post.
Far-right Israelis denounced Ma’an news agency on social media on Wednesday for publishing an article about a song advocating for violence against Israelis, erroneously claiming that the song itself was written and produced by Ma’an.
On Tuesday, Ma’an’s Arabic-language site posted an article entitled “A song in Hebrew for the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” reporting that a Hebrew-language video clip called “Defending Al-Aqsa” was being shared on social media, and clarifying that neither the singer nor the songwriter were identified.
The song threatened the use of violence against Jewish Israelis, with lyrics such as “Intelligence, soldier, settler, and police/ I’ll attack, stab, and smash you,” and calls to “cleanse Palestine of Jews.”
Ma’an General Director Raed Othman has confirmed that Ma’an did not produce the video, but had only written about its existence.
Both the article and the video have since been removed from Ma’an online platforms.
However, a number of Israel supporters shared a link to one of Ma’an’s Youtube accounts — on which the news agency uploads all videos it links to on its website — showing the video out of context and claiming that it was created and condoned by Ma’an.
Ma’an has long been accused by far-right pro-Israeli groups such as NGO Monitor and PalWatch of “tendentious anti-Israel statements,” and of “presenting an entirely biased and distorted view of the conflict” for reporting on Israeli war crimes and human rights violations.
To be clear, I never suggested Ma’an wrote or and produced the song, but rather that they were pushing it. I still hold by that.
Let’s look at the tone of the article they pulled, brought to us by the magic of Google Web Cache and Google Translate.
A song in Al-A’bari in defense of Al-Aqsa Mosque
Bethlehem – together – spread on social networking sites, a song in Hebrew, defending the Aqsa Mosque, and threatening the Israelis with unprecedented acts for the Aqsa Mosque.
The song, which is not known for its richness or melody, promises to cleanse Palestine of the Jews and expresses its defiance of Israeli security measures with its intelligence, army and police.
Israel has caused the situation in Al-Aqsa Mosque to deteriorate following the publication of electronic gates at the gates of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, prompting Muslims to reject these measures and pray behind the gates, sparking a wave of incidents and clashes between citizens and occupation forces.
This is not merely writing about the song’s existence, as Ma’an claims. The headline suggests the video is “In defense of Al Aqsa Mosque”, not, say “Promoting the murder of Jews and Israelis” – clearly a condoning of its message. Mention of the song’s “richness of melody” as well as blaming the Al-Aqsa Mosque situation on Israel reaffirms my opinion.
Add to all of this the fact Ma’an went ahead and uploaded the song, as well as their history of biased reporting showing a real disdain for Israel, I have little doubt they are lying when they claim they were not promoting the video and its message, and are now merely engaging in damage control.