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Saturday, April 15, 2006

That's PR, Not Journalism!

Actually it's more like a Purim joke, but considering that the article appears in the magazine section of The Jerusalem Post , during the Passover Holiday...

I'm talking about the "advertisement" for Dubai. There is neither a bad nor critical word. It really sounds like a great place

If you had to choose one word to describe Dubai, "superlative" definitely would be it. "The highest building on earth," "the most luxurious hotel," "the cleanest city in the region," "the best airline of the year" - Dubai won't settle for second-best. Extravagant and futuristic projects are launched one after another, as if Dubai were seeking to take over the Guinness Book of World Records. And if progress continues at this rate, it just might.

The official religion of the country is Islam and the source of the legislation is the Islamic sharia, but foreign residents are free to practice their own faith and traditions.

After a short tour in Dubai and neighboring Emirates, I found churches, both Greek Orthodox and Catholic, a Russian supermarket and dozens of Indian schools. The Indians and the Pakistanis are the majority of the foreign manpower here in Dubai. The locals even joke that Dubai, in fact, is the best run Indian town.
There are also many Eastern Europeans, especially Russians, and plenty of Iranians, French and Americans (Israelis are not allowed in; I, for example, entered using my Russian passport).

Instead of stressing how wonderful and accepting Dubai is, the truth should have been mentioned much earlier on. The fact that it is anti-Israel, anti-Jewish, refusing those with an Israeli passport, and the fact that Judaism is not one of the religions allowed to be worshiped should not have been slipped in at the end.

Why wasn't that "issue" mentioned from the beginning, showing that Dubai's "tolerance" doesn't extend to Jews and Israelis. How about letting the public know that Dubai is another of the judenrein countries of the world. If there are any Jews there, they are not allowed to practice their religion, in contrast with all others. Writing about the tough stuff is good journalism. This article is just a public relations exercise.

Was the journalist sent of a free junket by the Dubai Ministry of Tourism? Does that mean that she can only write what they tell her to write? I don't buy the newspaper to pay for "advertisements" to tour a country which won't let me in.
Here's the letter I wrote to the paper:

It's too late for Purim, and even April fool's has passed us by. You guys really have a sense of humor. After praising the "unique mix," "tolerant approach," "freedom," "foreign residents are free to practice their own faith and traditions."
Just at the end does the author admit that she was there on her
Russian passport, since despite the "freedom," Israelis aren't allowed in Dubai.
So what kind of article is this? It certainly does its best to present an
entirely false picture. What's the point of getting the Jerusalem Post if this is the type of propaganda you put in. Freedom means no Jews according to you.

1 comment:

lecentre said...

Thankyou, and good post.
If you could drop the scrolling news, it'd be nice; it's kind of annoying, especially in this comment box.
Anyways, the Mediocre Media carnival is up.
Media Criticism carnival