Home / Middle East / Arab Media Vow Better Balance Of Vermin In Descriptions Of Jews

Arab Media Vow Better Balance Of Vermin In Descriptions Of Jews

“We apologize to our viewers and readers for the insensitivity displayed to date in our reporting and analysis vis-à-vis the depiction of Jews as scum-sucking vermin.”

Credit: Cory Doctorow via Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Cory Doctorow via Wikimedia Commons

Doha, August 29 – Responding to concerns of viewers and activists over discrimination, Al Jazeera and other media operations in the Arab and Muslim world have promised to achieve a more equitable distribution of entomological and zoological terms for use in referring to Jews, spokesmen for several such outlets announced today.

Audiences and critics have criticized the networks and publication in recent months for what they have called blatant bias in favor of certain classes of unpleasant creatures over others as derogatory metaphors for Jews, leading the organizations to examine their editing practices and style policies in an effort to achieve better representation of all types of vermin in their rhetoric.

Representatives of major Arabic networks and organizations issued statements today in which they declared their intention to undertake a revamping of procedures aimed at comparing Jews to a more balanced variety of blood-sucking, unsanitary, scavenging, or disease-spreading creatures, and to correct the situation that has pertained heretofore, in which apes, pigs, rats, cockroaches, snakes, dogs, and mosquitoes have been comparatively over-represented, while gnats, maggots, flies, bats, jackals, and other animals rarely feature.

“We apologize to our viewers and readers for the insensitivity displayed to date in our reporting and analysis vis-à-vis the depiction of Jews as scum-sucking vermin,” read Al Jazeera’s statement. “Al Jazeera hereby commits to ensuring a variety of pests, predators, and parasites to which to compare Jews and their schemes, and henceforth not to shortchange the termite, the locust, the mouse, the vulture, and the fox, for example. That is a random list; please do not yell at us for not including your favorite disgusting creature in this apology.”

Al Arabiya expressed similar sentiments. “We would like to thank our loyal and dedicated audience for calling our attention to our unconscious discrimination,” declared the network. “We promise to include greater comparison of the evil Jew to frogs, aphids, ants, sharks, and dust mites, among others, for the noble sake of diversity.”

Al Hayyat, a paper and website published in London, went further, and announced the creation of an ombudsman position for purposes of addressing imbalances in the frequency of appearance of certain creatures in analogies to Jews. “We invite our readers to suggest filth-ridden, rabid, sneaky, or other species we have neglected to invoke in connection with Jews, and to report instances in which our readers perceive we have relied too heavily on existing metaphors, thereby depriving other worthy vermin, scavengers, or predators, of mention in such a context.”

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