December 18, 2009 Special Dispatch No. 2705

Egyptian-Based NGO 'Arabs Against Discrimination' – Created 'To Respond to MEMRI's Efforts' – Announces It Has Failed and Is Ceasing Operations

December 18, 2009
Egypt | Special Dispatch No. 2705

In 2003, a group of Arab journalists and activists joined together to create an NGO named Arabs Against Discrimination (AAD). According to the Egyptian English-language Al-Ahram Weekly,[1] its founders claimed that the new organization would be devoted "to respond[ing] to MEMRI's efforts."

One of its founders was Ibrahim Nafi', the former editor of the Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram and chairman of the Arab Press Association, Nafi' had previously been indicted in France for inciting hatred for publishing an article spreading the blood libel, after MEMRI translated and distributed the article.[2]

Since its establishment, AAD has been almost entirely ignored by the media and political public of both the West and the Middle East. Virtually the only media who gave it coverage were the Egyptian media, as many AAD activists were also Egyptian journalists.

In an interview which aired on Faraeen TV on December 11, 2009, AAD announced that it was closing. Dr. Mansour Abd Al-Wahab, a researcher at Ain Shams University in Cairo, said that AAD could not match the impact that MEMRI has had.

It should be noted that most of his other statements about MEMRI in the interview are inaccurate.

The following are excerpts from the interview announcing the closure of AAD. To view the clip of this interview, visit

"An Organization Called MEMRI... Monitors Everything That Appears in the Egyptian Media… And Distributes It Among the Intellectuals in Europe"

Dr. Mansour Abd Al-Wahab: "There is an organization called MEMRI, which monitors everything that appears in the Egyptian media – whether on TV channels, in the electronic or printed press, or in sermons in mosques – and distributes it among the intellectuals in Europe..."

Interviewer: "This organization has monitored us right from the start."

Dr. Mansour Abd Al-Wahab: "Tomorrow morning, you'll be at the top of its list."

Interviewer: "We've been at the top of its list ever since the show began."

AAD "Was Closed Due to Lack of Arab Funding"

Dr. Mansour Abd Al-Wahab: "I'd like to say something."

Interviewer: "Yes."

Dr. Mansour Abd Al-Wahab: "We founded an organization in Egypt, called the Arab Anti-Discrimination Organization, which operated from January 2004 to January 2009. This organization was shut down due to lack of Arab funding. I had the privilege of heading the organization's translation department. In the course of six years, I collected 6,000... not just me, it was a joint effort of brothers and colleagues in the media. We collected 6,000 reliable excerpts from Israeli newspapers and websites, and 1,000 excerpts from the broadcast media, which served to denounce Israel. There was a possibility that we would attend a congressional hearing, in which [we would present] the material denouncing Israel, but in the end... "

Interviewer: "Could we obtain a copy for the show?"

Dr. Mansour Abd Al-Wahab: "I'm afraid I don't have them. It is with the management of the organization – Dr. Ibrahim Nafi', the chairman, and Dr. 'Imad Gad, the secretary-general. They definitely have the material.

"The organization was closed due to lack of Arab funding, especially from the Arab League. [Arab League secretary-general] Amr Moussa refused to finance it, and I take full responsibility for what I say. The Arab League refused to finance it, and so did all the Arab brothers – Egyptian and Arab businessmen who initially financed it refused [to continue] to do so. The annual budget of this organization did not exceed $200,000, whereas the annual budget of MEMRI, which comes from rich Jews, is $40 million. Let's return to the main issue..."

"By Means of MEMRI and the Jewish and Zionist Lobby in the U.S. and Europe, Israel is Managing to Convince the Western World, and the U.S., that Its Narrative is True – And It is Managing to Portray Itself as a Victim"

Interviewer: "First let me tell you why we'd like a copy [of the organization's materials]. We are expecting to face a very large lawsuit soon..."

Dr. Mansour Abd Al-Wahab: "I will defend you and be a witness..."

Interviewer: "... filed by the Jews, although, by God, we love them."

Dr. Mansour Abd Al-Wahab: "Let me tell you something – you are not doing anything wrong on this show. First of all, the reliable material you presented came from the Israeli press. You did not fabricate material from the media."

Interviewer: "God forbid."

Dr. Mansour Abd Al-Wahab: "You bring news items and reports from the press, TV, and websites, so you don't have to be afraid, because you take a proper scientific approach. I would like to reassure your TV channel that you take a proper scientific approach, and they can sue you as much as they like, but they cannot harm you."

Interviewer: "My God!"

Dr. Mansour Abd Al-Wahab: "Another thing – to round off the issue of MEMRI and the Arab Anti-Discrimination Organization. By means of MEMRI and the Jewish and Zionist lobby in the U.S. and Europe, Israel is managing to convince the Western world, and the U.S., that its narrative is true, and it is managing to portray itself as a victim, facing the Palestinian hangman. In the war in Gaza, they portrayed the Palestinians as the hangman, and Israel as the victim. This is a media game, and Israel excels in it."


[1] Al-Ahram Weekly (Egypt), January 1-7, 2004.

[2] See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 107, "French Legal Authorities Investigating Editor of Major Egyptian Daily for Antisemitism," September 6, 2002, French Legal Authorities Investigating Editor of Major Egyptian Daily for Antisemitism .

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