Israeli Website Speaks to Arab World in Its Own Language

[Jerusalem Post] Sheera Claire Frenkel - Hours after Hizbullah terrorist mastermind Imad Mughniyeh was killed in Damascus, the responses of Israeli officials and other voices from the Western world were quickly translated into Arabic and offered, for the first time, by an Israeli-run website speaking to the Arab world. "To communicate and reach the Arab world, it is important to communicate in their own language. We translate materials from progressive and democratic voices in the West into Arabic and make them available to Arab people in the Middle East who otherwise cannot access the material," said Zvi Mazel, a former Israeli ambassador to Egypt and head of the new site - Mazel, whose project falls under the auspices of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs think tank, has a history of involvement with similar projects. He has already created a section on the center's Hebrew website which translates Arabic texts into Hebrew, to allow Israelis better insight into emerging thinking from the Arab-speaking world. "We are already getting feedback and hope to grow and establish a broader audience," said Mazel of the new site launched three months ago. He recounts an e-mail received this week from a reader in Yemen who wanted to find ways to work "in cooperation with the site to stop" extremist Muslim voices that are dominating the region. Other readers, however, blast the site as a "Zionist enterprise." "Of course, I know we cannot reach everyone - and we won't appeal to everyone. At least now this information is out there and available in Arabic," said Mazel.

2008-02-15 01:00:00

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