7amleh - The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media published a report in Arabic about the discrepancies between the Israeli Ministry of Health’s (IMOH) coronavirus awareness raising campaigns in Hebrew and Arabi. The report monitors the content published on the official Israeli Ministry of Health’s (IMOH) webpage and social media accounts during the height of the first wave of coronavirus pandemic from February 2 to May 31, 2020.
The report shows that material in Hebrew was posted three times as often as in Arabic. Furthermore, posts in Arabic are partly a literal translation from Hebrew, which are not grammatically correct and skew the sense of the posts, as well as further spelling and grammatical mistakes. Whereas posts in Hebrew largely rely on professionals such as doctors and epidemiologists to educate the public, Arabic posts to a large degree rely on religious leaders to “educate” the Palestinian public.
The internet is one of the main sources for information - and has become even more important during the coronavirus pandemic, as many people are under quarantine or practicing social distancing. At the same time, misleading and false information about the coronavirus is abound in Arabic, making the lack of reliable and trustworthy information from the Israeli Ministry of Health pose a threat to the health of Palestinian Citizens of Israel and their ability to stay safe and prevent the spread of the virus.
The report raises concerns about the ability of Palestinian Citizens of Israel to access safe, accruate information as well as the Israeli Ministry of Health’s response to the coronavirus. To respond to the knowledge gap created by a lack of reliable information for Palestinian Citizens of Israel, several civil society organizations have been working to produce high quality Arabic content about the corona virus.
To download the report in Arabic click here.
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