A button on the homepage of the JMI website links to a related website where the work-product of JMI’s own cadre of young journalists is published. Naturally, it’s in Arabic only; these contents are not meant for the Western sponsors and international partners. But intentionally or not, it is these pages – along with the invaluable help of Google Translate’s Arabic-to-English service – that shine a revealing light for non-Arabic speakers like us on what all that NGO money and European inspiration is enabling for this “unparalleled centre of excellence in the Middle East”.
If you visit it today, as we did, you will notice that on every page of the site, under the headline “Success Models”, a journalist called Tamimi is profiled. She is the murderer of my daughter Malki.
Duplicitous talk has been always thematic in the middle east where “sweet words” often mask evil intentions (or the Jews most certainly would not have left Gaza in 2005).
While past need not be prelude, and one hopes that one day it will not be so in the middle east, a bad rap sheet — as bad as it gets — does not pretty up without proof of sea change conversion, reformation, transformation. Writers know the bad girl isn’t always bad and the good one not always good, but for purposes of the plot, the evil bitch is going to play out her script — the one programmed most deeply in her head — more likely than not.
Still, and beyond track records, there remains the matter of what is opined and reported today.
The accolade given a convicted terrorist, a mass murdering personality incapable of discerning innocents or noncombatants from military, may indicate detente, inclusion, or solidarity with a large force within Jordanian society. The insight provided by Arnold Roth, the writer of the quotation presented at the top of this post, indeed may indicate how far Arab attitudes and beliefs about others and general contempt may be from global standards.
A few major difficult languages — Arabic, Chinese, Russian — have by being so defended their ethnolinguistic communities with a strength greater than mountains: democratic high-integrity ideas and news cannot obtain mass access without state-based approval, and despotic nefarious designs may be protected by the restriction of access to them by multilingual communities, often with vested interests either in business or defense.
That may change as the expansion of social relationships online necessarily add to machine translation human bilingual pairs and multilingual virtual communities.
Wildcard: within the context of a progressing open society, one that encourages freedom of expression, civic and civil responsibility, and an open discourse free of intimidation and one prizing “ethos, logos, and pathos” together in adversarial exchange, a community or state may start hearing what it does not wish to hear and either tolerate it and struggle with challenges presented, or, as has been true of Iran and Russia, it may revert to state-controlled media and the throttling of democracy.
The term “illiberal democracy” — there is no such thing — belies fascism beneath the banners of autocratic moral entrepreneurs, starting with the Muslim Brotherhood (who in Egypt made plain their agenda in that state and thereby inspired an extraordinary, deeply populated, and widespread revolt). Wherever that kind of “putsch” takes place, reassertion of the military state may be welcomed, but over time, by and large, a good people, one inclined to promote the “humanity of humanity” and include themselves within rather than above it, may congregate and argue around central and familiar near universal ideals and values.
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