Palestinian Media Watch

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Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) (not to be confused with Palestine Media Watch (PMWATCH)) is an Israeli NGO founded by 'counter terrorism analyst' Itamar Marcus. [1] According to the website organizations.co.il, it was registered on 10 February 2002 under corporation number 580399400. The organisation's website claims that "Palestinian Media Watch was established in 1996 to gain an understanding of Palestinian society through the monitoring of the Palestinian Arabic language media and schoolbooks. Palestinian Media Watch analyzes Palestinian Authority culture and society from numerous perspectives, including studies on summer camps, poetry, schoolbooks, religious ideology, crossword puzzles, and more." [2] The banner on PMW's website, 'A Self Portrait of Palestinian Society' [emphasis added], appears to be a misnomer as it belies the organisation's Israeli credentials. [3]

Beyond the moderate rhetoric of its official remit of 'gain[ing] an understanding' and 'analyz[ing]...culture and society from numerous perspectives', [4] PMW's recent extra-curricular activities include alleging that Norwegian aid money is used to fund Palestinian childrens' television programmes, the purpose of which, according to Marcus, 'is to get hold of children while they are young and shape them in the way they [the Palestinian Authority/Fatah] want.' Marcus continues, 'No, it does not seem like Jonas Gahr Støre [Norwegian Foreign Minister] knows what he helps financing' [sic]. [5]

Contents

Criticism

While at the helm of the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace (1998-2000), Marcus was criticised by Ha'aretz journalist, Akiva Eldar, who reported that:

"In recent years Marcus has been making a living translating and disseminating defamatory communications against Israel, extracted by his staff from Palestinian publications. Marcus, a settler, used to work for David Bar Illan, Benjamin Netanyahu's PR chief, and served on the Joint Israeli Palestinian Anti-Incitement Committee. Marcus's center routinely feeds the media with excerpts from "Palestinian" textbooks that call for Israel's annihilation. He doesn't bother to point out that the texts quoted in fact come from Egypt and Jordan.[6]

Users of PMW materials

In response to Toronto newspaper The Globe & Mail's 'See Hamas for What It Is' [7] of 15 February, 2006, Samah Sabawi wrote that:

"the Globe & Mail's editorial relied on Palestinian Media Watch - a well-known right-wing propaganda site run by Itamar Marcus, an Israeli settler notorious for his jaundiced views of the Palestinians. In fact, much of the wording (the translation) printed in the editorial came directly from the PMW website. Thus, the Globe has relied entirely on a scurrilous anti-Palestinian screed without referencing that source; I believe the correct word for this is plagiarism." [8]

Haaretz reported in January 2012 that the Israeli Prime Minister's Bureau and other government offices were increasing relying on Palestinian Media Watch and MEMRI because of a shortfall in coverage of Arab media by Unit Hatzav..[9]

People

Itamar Marcus - Founder and Director [10] Barbara Crook - Associate Director and North American representative [11]

Affiliations

Funding

The Lewis Family Charitable Trust donated £15,000 to PMW in 2007[15] and again in 2008[16].

Notes

  1. 'Itamar Marcus', International Analyst Network website, accessed 28 April, 2009.
  2. 'About Us', PMW website, accessed 26 April, 2009.
  3. PMW website, accessed 26 April, 2009.
  4. 'About Us', PMW website, accessed 26 April, 2009.
  5. 'Norway finances Israel-hate', PMW website, September 2008. (Accessed 28 April, 2009)
  6. Akiva Eldar, 'What Did You Study In School Today, Palestinian Child?', Ha'aretz, 2 January, 2001. (Accessed 28 April, 2009)
  7. 'See Hamas for What It Is', The Globe & Mail, 15 February, 2006. (Accessed 28 April, 2009)
  8. Samah Sabawi, 'Hamas and the Missing Video', CounterPunch, 23 February, 2006.
  9. Barak Ravid, Officials: Israel outsources monitoring of Palestinian media after IDF lapse, Haaretz, 31 January 2012.
  10. 'Itamar Marcus', International Analyst Network website, accessed 28 April, 2009.
  11. 'Barbara Crook', JCPA website, accessed 28 April, 2009.
  12. 'Itamar Marcus', International Analyst Network website, accessed 28 April, 2009.
  13. 'Barbara Crook', JCPA website, accessed 28 April, 2009.
  14. 'About Us', PMW website, accessed 26 April, 2009.
  15. Trustees' Report and Financial Statements 2007, Lewis Family Charitable Trust via the Charity Commission, accessed 13 August 2012
  16. Trustees' Report and Financial Statements 2008, Lewis Family Charitable Trust via the Charity Commission, accessed 13 August 2012
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