Sunday, July 20, 2014

How About Some Palestinian Popular Music?

Here is a song which illustrates the state of Palestinian pop music so well.  It comes from a site called MEMRI,  which follows Arabic TV and provides excerpts with translations.

I found this site through Infidel753, who has a much more frightening excerpt of a speaker at a rally in Gaza.  I urgently encourage you to click on the link and listen to this evil, perverted man- it's only a couple of minutes long, but it should dispel any doubts you should have about who are the bad guys in the Middle East.

Any way, all things considered, when it comes to music, I'll stick with Buddy Guy.

That doesn't have a thing to do with the subject- I just needed it to get the other one out of my mind.  Because after that, I've got the blues too.


Sam240 said...

You really ought to know that MEMRI has a history of providing false subtitles to Palestinian videos. Here's one time when they got caught lying about a children's television show. Simply put, the translations MEMRI provided had nothing to do with what was actually said on the show: (Arabic Under Fire, by Brian Whittaker.)

Whittaker mentions some other times MEMRI used dishonest translations to make Arabs look worse:

Here's one time when MEMRI presented a vulgar joke as a legitimate news story. MEMRI claimed that the video was an actual "sodomy for jihad" sermon. It turned out that the name of the "sheikh" being quoted was actually the Arabic Phrase for "Bloody Butcher," which should have been a tip-off that the story was not real.

Either MEMRI is staffed by gross incompetents, in which case their press releases should be disregarded because there's no reason to believe their translations are any good, or MEMBRI is staffed by dishonest racists, in which case their translations should be disregarded as the lies they are.

If MEMRI were merely incompetent, we would expect their errors to occasionally make Arabs look better than they actually are. This doesn't happen. Therefore, we must conclude MEMRI is full of lying bigots.

Anonymous said...

yes Sam we know the Palestians love the Jews

Sam240 said...

Anonymous --

I never said that. It's a rule that people under a military occupation tend to hate the people who are imposing that occupation on them.

What I did say was that MEMRI has a history of dishonesty, and therefore we should not accept it as a reliable source.

If Green Eagle were to supply a video with English-language subtitles from the BBC, it would have more weight. If Green Eagle were to provide the same video, but with French-language subtitles from the CBC, and the BBC and CBC subtitles both had the same meaning, I would accept the subtitles as reliable.

However, if I can't speak a language, I must depend on the translator. And if a translator has been as dishonest as MEMRI has been for over a decade, I can't accept the translated subtitles as reliable. (Remember the story about the boy who cried wolf?)

All Green Eagle has to do here is find a translator who has demonstrated his/her/its reliability. He ought to know better than to rely on MEMRI.

Green Eagle said...

Infidel said he knows enough Arabic to verify the translation of the truly terrifying clip in his blog post I linked to.

I think we can all figure out that the song I published is not a love song to Allenby Avenue or the Tel Aviv beach.

And your link led me right back to this post. If you can do something about that, I will look at it.

By the way, there is a long history of Palestinians publishing English "translations" of Arabic speeches which eliminated lots of extremely violent speech.

Green Eagle said...

The people of the Gaza Strip are indeed under a military occupation, but not by Israel. They are ruled by the military dictatorship which is Hamas, and which sees them as nothing but pawns in its struggle to see its hate rule the world.

Sam240 said...

Wow. I'm supposed to take the word of an anonymous blogger with an unknown background in Arabic as proof that MEMRI, which has a decade-long record of dishonesty, has provided an accurate translation in this case. At least MEMRI provides the names of the people who's running the show.

Meanwhile, Rabbi Dov Lior has issued a halachic ruling stating that it is morally acceptable to murder civilians and destroy all of Gaza.

It seems that the primary difference between Dov Lior and Green Eagle is that only one of them uses the Torah to back his position that ethnic cleansing is good.

This isn't something new -- back in the 1980s, Lior was instrumental in planning a series of (thankfully prevented) bus bombings to kill hundreds of Palestinians. He was the rabbi for mass murderer Baruch Goldstein. Nevertheless, he has the support of over 100 rabbis funded by the government of Israel.

In what world is someone like Dov Lior the good guy?

Green Eagle said...

So Sam, how do you feel about Buddy Guy?

Green Eagle said...

By the way, I thought I would take some time to check out the allegations against MEMRI. Here is a link to an article from Sourcewatch, which I regard as generally quite reliable:

Sourcewatch details MEMRI's connection to the Israeli government, and details many of the charges against MEMRI, some from people who are (I think) quite reliable, including Juan Cole, whose blog I link to in my very limited list of links. However, you will notice that there is an almost complete absence of actual evidence to back up the claims. Cole, for example, accuses MEMRI of being "selective" in what it publishes, which is hardly surprising, but cites no examples of any actual distortion or manufacturing of what is presented. Arabic is a very difficult language. I have seen some citations of mistranslations by MEMRI, but they could very well be unintentional, and the long history of lying propaganda on the part of Palestinians leave me, as I do not speak Arabic, unable to be convinced.

In summary, a lot of accusations against MEMRI and very little evidence to back it all up. Selective quotation, after all, if the quotes are accurate, is hardly a crime on the level, say, of Palestinians hiding rockets in schools and then claiming they are not endangering civilians.

Infidel753 said...

As a piece of "popular music", it's incredible. Normal societies don't produce pop culture glorifying military aggression (well, there's the barest sliver of country music that qualifies).

I have never caught MEMRI in a translation error. I can't say I would catch everything, but in the case of the clip Green Eagle linked to on my blog, the Hamas man is speaking relatively slowly and very clearly in standard Arabic, which is much easier to understand than pop music or ordinary conversation in dialect. The subtitles on that clip are definitely correct.

Arabic may be a difficult language for Westerners, but it is one of the world's most-spoken languages, with over 300 million native speakers and very widely studied beyond the Arab world. It's not exactly obscure. For MEMRI to give seriously incorrect subtitles on a video where the original Arabic is right there to compare it to would be pointless as it would be instantly spotted.

On the other hand, it's quite true that Palestinian groups have a track record of sanitizing the English translations of their Arabic materials and speeches. In such cases the original Arabic version usually takes some work to find, so the deception is easier to get away with.

Sam240 said...

For MEMRI to give seriously incorrect subtitles on a video where the original Arabic is right there to compare it to would be pointless as it would be instantly spotted. - Infidel753

In the past, MEMRI has been caught giving seriously incorrect subtitles on a video where the original Arabic is right there. (Arabic Under Fire, by Brian Whittaker.)

Green Eagle said...

I'll stand with Juan Cole's position. Some of their work is mistranslated, but Cole never goes so far as to accuse MEMRI of deliberately distorting the truth.