In response to communication from CAMERA Arabic, Huffington Post Arabic removed scare quotes which had appeared around a passing reference to Israel. In a March 10 post (“Status of Syrian women ranks worst among area states“), Syrian blogger Ragheb Bakresh discussed the status of women in various countries around the world. CAMERA Arabic flagged Bakresh’s unique treatment of Israel, in which the blogger placed scare quotes only around Israel, stating: “And the occupied Palestinian territories were included in the framework of ‘Israel.'”
It is highly ironic that the blogger originates from a country which, in the last seven years, has been devastated and torn apart by civilian war to such a great degree that it is even questionable as to whether Syria constitutes a sovereign country. Nevertheless, Bakresh, as if dreaming of Israel’s disappearance with a single stroke, tapped into the old Arab refusal to recognize the reality on the ground and used scare quotes to refer to Israel. Moreover, Bakresh’s position is contrary to the current widespread Arab consensus which accepts Israel’s existence.
In response to CAMERA Arabic’s correspondence with Huffington Post Arabic, editors commendably removed the scare quotes from Israel’s name.
Last month, CAMERA Arabic was responsible for Huffington Post Arabic’s removal of material from its site which originated from Hamas’ Shehab News Agency, including a reference to Israel as “the enemy” and “the occupation.”
For a version of this post in Arabic, please see CAMERA Arabic.