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Thursday, August 3, 2017

On Tuesday, I was the first one to report on a music video, produced in Hebrew, that glorified killing Jews. I pointed out that Ma'an News Agency was pushing this video on its Arabic website.

Now Ma'an has responded on its English website:

Far-right Israelis denounced Ma’an news agency on social media on Wednesday for publishing an article about a song advocating for violence against Israelis, erroneously claiming that the song itself was written and produced by Ma’an.
On Tuesday, Ma’an’s Arabic-language site posted an article entitled “A song in Hebrew for the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” reporting that a Hebrew-language video clip called “Defending Al-Aqsa” was being shared on social media, and clarifying that neither the singer nor the songwriter were identified.
The song threatened the use of violence against Jewish Israelis, with lyrics such as “Intelligence, soldier, settler, and police/ I’ll attack, stab, and smash you,” and calls to “cleanse Palestine of Jews.”
Ma’an General Director Raed Othman has confirmed that Ma’an did not produce the video, but had only written about its existence.
Both the article and the video have since been removed from Ma'an online platforms.
However, a number of Israel supporters shared a link to one of Ma’an’s Youtube accounts -- on which the news agency uploads all videos it links to on its website -- showing the video out of context and claiming that it was created and condoned by Ma’an.
I certainly didn't claim that Ma'an was behind the video. As far as I can tell, neither did anyone else. But there is no doubt that Ma'an publicized it, without a negative word about its violent, pro-terror and antisemitic content.

It acted as a marketing partner for a video that incites violence without the least moral qualm.

Every single other Arabic site I could find, that mentions the video, links to Ma'an's (now removed) YouTube post of the video, not the original, indicating that if it wasn't for Ma'an, no one would have heard of it.  It was difficult to track down the original on YouTube. That video only had a few thousand views - hardly evidence of it going viral considering the hundreds of thousands of views we've seen other videos get.

Moreover, as far as I can tell, Ma'an only mentioned the video being removed on its English website. It didn't publish this denial on its Arabic website. The reason is because Ma'an's Arabic website is the one that routinely calls any dead terrorist a "martyr" and that indeed tacitly celebrates terror attacks. In Arabic, Ma'an was clearly linking itself with the video, although not explicitly. It only denies such linkage for its Western donors who don't bother to read the Arabic site.

Ma'an didn't seem to try too hard to find out who the originator of the video was, which seems strange for a news organization that pretends that it only published the video because it was newsworthy. Without any background, any indication of how popular it is, any quotes from anyone about the video, Ma'an wasn't reporting about a newsworthy video - it was simply advertising it.

Putting all of these together, Ma'an is acting disingenuously by denying something that no one really accused it of (as far as I can tell) and by only distancing itself from the video in English, not in Arabic.

 I found another Hebrew-language music video that celebrates murdering Jews even more explicitly with similar graphics and a similar theme that was released in February, that also did not achieve any real fame. I'm not sure who created this one either, though.








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