Israeli Center Opened In BaghdadBy Kamel al-Sharqi, IOL Correspondent
A cartoon published by Israeli MEMRI institute
"Israel opened its center on August 1 at a large rented building in Abu Nawaas St. overlooking The Tigris river," they told IslamOnine.net Friday, August 15.
The sources, who requested anonymity, said the center has already started operation, noting that it was the first Israeli center operating publicly in Baghdad since its downfall on April 9.
The heavily-guarded building, they said, obtained work permits from the U.S. occupation authority in Iraq and the Pentagon.
The Iraqis sources said the center is affiliated to the Washington-based MEMRI (short for the Middle East Media Research Institute), an Israeli association set up five years ago, with offshoots in London, Berlin and West Jerusalem.
"Superficially, the center follows up Arab newspapers in the Arab world and Europe, particularly London, translates key articles into Hebrew, English, German, French and Italian and circulate them among subscribers, not to mention state-run Israelis institutions," they clarified.
The sources put at 35,000 the number of subscribers, who receive MEMRI's services on a daily basis, adding that it is a non-profitable organization and employs dozens in its different offshoots.
receives donations from Jewish and Zionist institutions from
all over the world," they averred.
Whitaker, a Guardian writer, has
whether the 'independent' MEMRI is quite what it seems.
wrote on August 12, 2002, that MEMRI is "rather a mysterious
organization. Its website does not give the names of any
people to contact, not even an office address."
attributed "Memri's air of secrecy" to those who run it,
noting that its co-founder, president and registered owner
of its website, "is an Israeli called Yigal Carmon."
- or rather, Colonel - Carmon spent 22 years in Israeli
military intelligence and later served as counter-terrorism
adviser to two Israeli prime ministers, Yitzhak Shamir and
Guardian writer said that based on a retrieved now-deleted
page from MEMRIs website archives, he came across the
names of six people, "three - including Col Carmon - are
described as having worked for Israeli intelligence."
added that another staff "served in the Israeli army's
Northern Command Ordnance Corps."
to Whitaker MEMRIs co-founder is "Meyrav Wurmser, who
is also director of the center for Middle East policy at the
Indianapolis-based Hudson Institute.
He noted, in this respect that the "ubiquitous Richard Perle, (former) chairman of the Pentagon's defense policy board, recently joined Hudson's board of trustees."
from the e-mails he receives from MEMRI, the Guardian writer
concluded that "the stories selected by Memri for
translation follow a familiar pattern: either they reflect
badly on the character of Arabs or they in some way further
the political agenda of Israel. I am not alone in this
recalled that Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on
American-Islamic Relations told the Washington Times:
"Memri's intent is to find the worst possible quotes from
the Muslim world and disseminate them as widely as
also challenged MEMRIs "claims that it does provide
translations from Hebrew media, I can't recall receiving
A sample of Israeli-made products now invading Iraqi markets
"Israel's underground goals in the Middle East are not a secret; this center is, in effect, a façade for intelligence and security bodies orchestrated by the Mossad (Israel's intelligence service)," he stressed.
The academic urged the U.S.-handpicked interim Iraqi Governing Council to immediately shut down the Israeli center in Baghdad "because it will penetrate our security."
For her part, Dr. Soad Bahudin al-Mousli from Al-Rafeden University, said Iraqis have never pronounced the word "Israel" and always referred to it as "the Zionist enemy."
She wondered: "Who would have imagined that Baghdad would someday host a center serving Israeli plots and schemes?"
Before the ouster of Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, Iraq was the only country in the Arab world if not in the entire world to sentence anyone who imported Israeli products to capital punishment.
"This is the product of the U.S. occupation of Iraq and reaffirms out conviction that Israel and the United States are two sides of the same coin," Dr. Mousli underlined.
She further exhorted Iraqis to stand up to this Israeli infiltration, which runs counter to the interests of the Arab nations.
"Arab intelligentsia should expose all hostile Israeli practices," she said, charging that the U.S. occupation is Israel in disguise.
Palestinian journalist Mohammad Samara regretted the
existence of such a center in Baghdad.
is breaking our hearts to see the Israeli Mossad in Bahdad,
the citadel of Arabs," Samara lamented.
some optimism, he said: "We still pin our high hopes on the
brave people of Iraq to resist.
"Iraqis and Palestinians will continue to hold the Arab torch of struggle against powers of evil.
"Israel will never fulfill its much-pursued dream of establishing a (Jewish) state from the Euphrates to the River Nile as long as the Arab nation continues to give birth to heroes every day," Samara said.
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