Arab-Israeli Writer Dr. Salman Masalha Discusses Arab Media's Dissemination Of Fabrications, Conspiracy Theories
In an article titled "Why Do The Arabs Prefer Lies Over Truth?," Arab-Israeli writer Dr. Salman Masalha slammed the Arab media for spreading ridiculous fabrications and conspiracy theories instead of presenting its readers with true facts.
The following are excerpts from the article, which was posted November 26, 2012 on the website Elaph.com.
"Everybody doubtless remembers how, a few years ago, some Arab media spread stories about a bizarre Israeli plot, namely that the Mossad had sent trained sharks to attack tourists on the beaches of Sinai. Here is what the papers said: 'After repeated [shark] attacks, the local authorities in southern Sinai broke their silence, and the governor announced that the sharks were attacking the tourists under orders from the Israeli Mossad.' Some high officials from the tourism authorities in Cairo likewise announced that the [shark attacks] were part of an Israeli plot aimed at harming tourism in Egypt.
"Earlier, Egyptian media had published exciting news of a different sort, but also pertaining to a conspiracy by the Mossad. They claimed that the Mossad had inserted into the Egyptian markets large quantities of drugs that stimulate sexual desire in women, in order to undermine the foundations of the Egyptian society and family. In this context, it should be mentioned that periodic reports on Internet statistics indicate that Arabs take first place in the world in searching for the term 'sex' and its derivatives on the Internet. These statistics are the best reflection of the Arabic obsession with anything related to sex.
"This Arab condition merits research by specialists in the fields of sociology and psychology, and I admit that I do not have the professional tools to address the subject in a scientific way. All I can do is point to this chronic disease that is eating away at the bones of Arab societies. Suffice us to mention some fatwas that reflect this chronic disease, such as a recently published fatwa permitting sex with a corpse. These fatwas are known to Arabs and non-Arabs, in the East and the West, so we do not need to say any more on this necrophilia.
"These stories came to my mind because of some new fabrications that have recently emerged in the Arabic press, [this time] about a heavyweight sex conspiracy. As usual, the hero of the story is the Mossad, but this time there is also a heroine, namely Tsipi Livni, the former Israeli foreign minister. The Egyptian paper Al-Masri Al-Yawm published a story allegedly based on a 2009 interview with Livni that was published in the London Times and also in the Israeli paper Yediot Aharonot. [In this interview, Livni allegedly] revealed that she had slept with Arab figures in order to blackmail them politically. The title of the article in the Egyptian paper was 'She Had Sex with Arabs in Exchange for Political Concessions.'
"Since the Arabs are generally obsessed with conspiracy theories, especially with stories about sex, this fabricated report spread like wildfire in the Arabic media, both in the printed press and on websites, which all reported it as the unvarnished truth. Furthermore, Arab journalists, analysts, and intellectuals rushed to discuss and analyze it...
"Not one of these experts, including those who write on this website [Elaph], bothered to check the veracity of the original report. For example, one of the writers here [on Elaph], Khales Jalabi, composed an article titled 'She Has Sex and Murders for the Sake of Israel.' That's what this genius, Najm 'Abd Al-Karim, came up with! His article was also cited by another writer on Elaph who wrote that, according to 'Abd Al-Karim's report, 'the Zionist Tsipi (the daughter of the founder of the Haganah gangs) admitted her willingness to offer her body to anyone who wants it, if this benefits the Zionist cause, and, in fact, did so without any shame.' Jalabi called his article 'The Zionist Cancer: A Socio-Biological Approach' – thus revealing his own mentality.
"It seems that truth is of no concern to the Arabic press and to many Arab journalists. [They believe that] as long as false news and reports conform to the Arab mentality, they require no checking, because the Arab reader will accept them as they are, as a proven truth that cannot be doubted.
"After this journalistic Arab horse bolted [from its stable] and this lie spread all over the Arab world, and after this sex conspiracy theory excited the [readers'] emotions, which are always fully ready to accept such fabricated reports, Al-Masri Al-Yawm [bothered to] apologize to its readers for what it published without checking. Here is the apology as published on the [paper's] website: 'It has become clear to Al-Masri Al-Yawm that these statements did not [actually] appear in the [London] Times or in Yediot Aharonot, but were been copied from unreliable sources which had invented them, and this news was then copied and circulated by popular Arab sites. Therefore, an apology and clarification to the readers is appropriate.'
"Now, what about an apology by the writers?... I think it behooves all those journalists, analysts, and thinkers, or whatever they like to call themselves, to apologize in writing to the Arab reader for all the writings and analyses and thoughts which they spread among the Arab readers... Those who concoct lies and then spread them as truth are an integral part of the tragedy of the Arabs in our age. They prefer a serene [existence] that does not require effort in confronting the reality of the ever-changing world around them. Fantasies and bogeymen dominate their minds, and they cannot get rid of them. It is time they had some respect for the journalistic profession, and, above all, for the Arab reader, who, more than any other reader in today's world, needs to be given true facts without any embellishments..."
 Elaph.com, November 26, 2012.