At first blush, the news stories of tweeted Palestinian and Israeli photos could be seen as two examples of the same dishonesty. But it doesn’t take much digging to realize these two things are not the same at all, despite how it’s presented in the press.
What happened, evidently, is that an Israeli government official and a so-called Palestinian activist (who happens to work for the United Nations) “tweeted heart-wrenching photos meant to show the suffering of innocents” on their particular sides of the conflict.
It turned out, however, that the photos were of scenes several years old.
And here is where the similarity ends.
The Israeli photo, sent officially by a government employee, shows an Israeli woman trying to protect her two children as they duck for cover from an incoming Gaza rocket heading for their house. The other depicts a Palestinian father carrying his dead daughter.
But the Israeli photo, which was taken in 2009, actually shows what it’s said to show while the Palestinian girl in that photo, actually died in an accident — “not in an Israeli attack, as the tweeter claimed,” Associated Press reports.
“Challenged by Twitter followers, Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said he meant his photo as an illustration of Israeli suffering under Palestinian rocket fire — a situation which is ongoing. The Palestinian activist, Khulood Badawi, declined comment,” refusing even to acknowledge “her erroneous description of what her photo showed,” let alone apologize for the heinous impression it leaves, the story notes.
So, what we see is an attempt to illustrate an ongoing problem on Israel’s side, verses an attempt to create a totally false impression based entirely on lies on the Palestinian side.
The story says that both tweets were sent during the recent four-day flare-up in which Gaza terrorists fired more than 100 rockets into Israeli cities and Israel retaliated with airstrikes aimed at the terrorists.
And Gendelman sent his photo a day after Badawi sent hers of the Gaza man carrying a dead, bloodied child, with which she wrote, “Another child killed by Israel. Another father carrying his child to a grave in Gaza.”
The tweet was reposted at least 450 times, A.P. reports. There is no telling how many people accepted that lie. Because the 2006 photo is actually of 5-year-old Raja Abu Shaban, who A.P. says, was killed in a fall from a swing. There have been so many such photographic and “journalistic” lies — like the Jenin massacre that never was, the doctored Reuters photos in both Lebanon and the Gaza-bound Turkish flotilla, and the photo of an Israeli soldier protecting a student bloodied by Arab attackers that was billed as exactly the opposite — that it’s impossible to believe anything coming out of that side of the conflict. At least for me.
Possibly more disturbing even than one more blatant anti-Israel Pallywood attack, is the fact that this Badawi is a U.N. employee, posting on a page she calls “Long live Palestine,” making it abundantly clear to me, despite an official disclaimer, that there is not even an attempt at the appearance of objectivity at the United Nations, any more.
The woman’s U.N. boss describes as “regrettable that a U.N. staff member” posted a hideous lie meant to reinforce anti-Semitic sentiment and that it in no way “reflects the views or opinions of the United Nations, nor it has been sanctioned by the organization.”
But, like the eventually-disproved 2000 Mohammed al Dura shooting, the damage is done.
One might recall the horrible images that appeared to depict 12-year-old al Dura and his father caught in the cross-fire of a Palestinian /Israeli firefight. The French “news” footage, which was later proven in a French court to have been staged, is believed to have been directly responsible for inflaming anti-Semitic passions, leading to years of violence against Israelis and heaven knows how many deaths and injuries.
I think we can expect a similar response from this latest intentional incitement, coming from UN, which evidently employs inciters to violence, since we can be pretty sure no one is going to tweet to the world that the message was a bald-faced lie. And, even if they did, a too-large percentage of the world’s population just seems to want to believe the worst about the Jews and prefers not to be bothered with the facts.
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