The debate (well, monologue really) continues on the existence of the alleged article that numerous Israeli and pro-Israeli sources are so hysterical about. I reported on this issue a few days ago – you can find it here. The heart of the debate, err, monologue, is that the allegations are not backed up by any material that traces back to Al-Thawra newspaper (print or online version).
Syria’s latest accusation: Israel created the Avian Flu to destroy Arab genes
This one is so off the wall that it hardly needs comment. In fact, when I first saw the headline I thought it was the work of someone who was contributing to the Israeli antisemitic cartoon contest.
In short, according to a Syrian newspaper, [as reported by MEMRI] Israel created the avian bird flu as a means of destroying Arab genes. It is part of their “race bomb.”
This is something worthy of Jon Stewart and the Daily Show. Problem is there will be a lot of guys and gals in the Arab/Muslim world who will believe it.
See, unlike Dr. Lipstadt and the sham press she seems keen on defending (just for the sake of scoring some cheap shots at the existent problem of rampant anti-Semitism in the Arab world; would someone please tell Dr. Lipstadt that she really does not need this incident to prove that the Arab world has some serious issues?), I actually back up my claims with a link to the website of the person who said that.
I left the following comment on her blog:
Dear Dr. Lipstadt,
This claim was first initiated by Yediot Ahronot, which, despite my demands, failed to substantiate the claim by providing either a link or a scanned copy of the newspaper in question. A few days later Arutz Sheva carried the same story with less detail (even misspelling the name of the newspaper, calling it Al-Tura instead of Al-Thawra). The latter also provided no proof that this article actually ran on the Syrian newspaper.
But just to double-check, I visited the website of Al-Thawra newspaper and found no such article (I also ran a search in the archives, but again came up with nothing).
I would appreciate it if you could provide me with a scanned copy of the paper; a link would be fine too. Just because I am not a fan of unbased accusations that border on hysteria (similar to the claims made in the alleged article, actually).
Dr. Lipstadt promptly replied:
You conveniently ignore the link in my post. Click on that [or don’t you know how to do that?] and you will get to the MEMRI post with all the relevant information on the original article.
If you discover MEMRI got it wrong — which I doubt — be sure to let me know
And I of course replied (but the comment has not yet appeared on the blog – hopefully it will be – because moderation is enabled):
I clicked on the link you provided, and I was directed to a website (by no means maintained by god) that posted a translation of the article in text format, without providing a link (unless I somehow missed that link – in which case I stand corrected) to the original article (even if in Arabic) that appeared in the paper. Did I miss something, or is a “transcript” of the translation of an original article that is nowhere to be seen now taken as absolute, undeniable proof?
The point is, Dr. Lipstadt, that you cannot assume guilty until proven innocent (even if the Syrian government has initiated or provided full support for similar anti-Semitic campaigns in the past). Furthermore, you seem to believe that MEMRI has the last word on this; I ask you, why? What makes MEMRI so god-sent that it cannot be fallible or have bad intentions? Moreover, if MEMRI is so professional, how come Yediot Ahronot reported this more than a week before MEMRI came to realize this? And what took Yediot Ahronot so long (10 days) to report this, given that MEMRI claims that the article appeared on January 31, 2006?
Is Dr. Lipstadt the new torch-bearer of the Israeli sham press?