Arabic-Language Israeli Web Site Aims to Sway Opinions in the Arab World

[Jerusalem Post] Brenda Gazzar - An Arabic-language "hasbara" (information) Web site edited by former Israeli ambassador to Egypt Zvi Mazel, now a research fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, offers a sampling of news items and perspectives that many Arabs in the Middle East are rarely served. "It is true that in the last six or seven years there has been a kind of a revolution that has happened in the Arabic media," Mazel said. "You have newspapers published in London like al-Hayat, a-Sharq al-Awsat and others that really give much more information about the world than the traditional Arab press,'s far from being enough. I don't think that they cover 80 to 90% of what is being said about them (in the Western press)." The Web site, which Mazel said has a limited budget and garners about 2,000 readers a month, also features historical pieces about the Jewish people's historic connection to the Land of Israel. Many of the letters sent by readers from around the Arab world had been positive toward Israel, Mazel said. Some readers have even asked for political asylum or job opportunities in Israel. "We fight through a war of ideas," Mazel said. "I cannot go to Yemen, to Saudi Arabia and sit with people and talk. So we have now this wonderful tool called the Internet and through the Internet, we transmit to them some of these ideas." The Web site, updated weekly, is located at

2009-02-20 06:00:00

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