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New Arabic site provides Israeli news by Jewish, Arab reporters

In an interview, Shimrit Meir, editor of Al-Masdar, talks about the recently launched website backed by the Israel Project in which Jewish and Arab reporters attempt to reveal Israel's complex reality.
Israelis waving national flags are reflected in a coffee shop window as a man reads the newspaper during the annual Jerusalem Day parade in Jerusalem May 25, 2006. Jerusalem Day marks Israel's annual celebration of its capture of all of Arab East Jerusalem 39 years ago. REUTERS/Yonathan Weitzman - RTR1DREF
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Around the desk of Shimrit Meir, editor of Al-Masdar (The Source) website, daily discussions are held on terminology for describing events from the chronicles of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For example, it was decided to use “amalya,” the Arabic word for “act,” in reporting on and describing terrorist actions against Jews, because “terror attack” would offend a great number of Palestinian readers. After deliberations, Meir had decided on a neutral term, which was used to describe the murderous synagogue attack in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood on Nov. 18, so Palestinian readers would not abandon the site.

Meir, a 35-year-old resident of Tel Aviv and former Arab affairs correspondent for Israel Army Radio, heads a web-based journalism initiative that targets the large audience of Arabic speakers. The goal is to bring reporting and voices from Israel into the Arab world without censorship and to become a source of credible, up-to-the-minute and direct information about the complex and stormy reality of Israel. Al-Masdar is part of the Israel Project, a pro-Israel public diplomacy organization founded in the United States at the height of the second intifada.

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