(/sites/default/files/uploads/2015/05/Mideast-Israel-Palest_Horo2-e1367568298722.jpg)In their ongoing quest to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish State, Palestinian “journalists” and bloggers have resorted to distortion, obfuscation and outright falsehoods to advance their pernicious propaganda. Photos of civilian casualties or property damage are routinely photo-shopped and sometimes copied and pasted from entirely different theaters. Thus, Syrian casualties resulting from Assad’s barrel bomb assaults and other regime inspired atrocities are passed off as Palestinian casualties and “victims of Israeli aggression.”
Often times, these photos go viral on social media and may even filter their way into irresponsible “mainstream” media outlets with poor vetting processes. Independent watchdog groups and bloggers cognizant of the Palestinian proclivity to smear and defame are vigilant and remain constantly on the lookout for these fabrications; shaming those who wittingly play host to these odious calumnies. Thus radical leftist and 9-11 conspiracy wacko Rosie O’Donnell was outed and shamed when she was caught hawking fabricated “artwork” depicting a purported injured Palestinian child from Gaza when in fact, the photo was of a wounded child from Aleppo Syria, injured as a result of action taken by Assad’s enforcers. O’Donnell was unapologetic but promptly removed the fictional “artwork” from her website.
But “Pallywood” – the Palestinian tendency to conjure up sensationalist, anti-Israel fables for media consumption – reached its zenith with a recent Twitter post by “award winning journalist” Mohammed Omer. On May 10, Omer, who has written for the virulently anti-Israel rag Electronic Intifada as well as the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet – the discredited paper that falsely claimed that IDF soldiers were harvesting Palestinian organs – posted a photo along with commentary that was outrageous even by Palestinian standards. In fact, the post can best be described as a modern-day blood libel akin to the often repeated Palestinian claim that Jews use the blood of non-Jews as a key ingredient in Passover Matzah.
The photo was of a young, armless and legless Palestinian child named Mohammed al-Farra accompanied by the following commentary; “One of the last #Gaza war victims #RememberThoseChildren.” It is a gut-wrenching, moving photo that provokes emotion from any viewer and that is precisely what it is designed to do. Except there’s one problem with Omer’s post; it is entirely false.
Omer likely lifted the photo from Israel’s Tel Hashomer hospital website, which is where the photo was taken. Al-Farra was born with a rare genetic disease that required amputation of his limbs. The Palestinian authorities in Gaza refused to cover the cost of his medical care and the stigmatized child was subsequently abandoned by his uncaring parents. Al-Farra’s grandfather assumed the role of parent and managed to get the child to Tel Hashomer hospital where al-Farra received premium medical care covered by Israeli fundraising activity.
Blogger and activist David Ha’ivri challenged Omer on the disingenuous post and Omer responded by blocking him. I too challenged Omer and suffered a similar fate. Omer did eventually remove the post but offered no apology. He has yet to acknowledge any wrong-doing or offer clarification on what site he lifted the photo from. Equally disconcerting is the fact that Omer’s fabrication was not widely covered by “mainstream” media despite the fact that it involved a prominent Gazan journalist and the cynical exploitation of a child (who was actually saved by Israeli medical care) to score cheap propaganda points.
Harvard law professor Alan Dershowits once noted that “a lie makes it all the way around the world and the truth – which is often less interesting than the lie – makes it to the bottom of a Google search.” David Ha’ivri should be lauded for quickly exposing and expunging a budding, anti-Semitic blood libel. But even when the lawyer withdraws his comment after immediate objection by his adversary, the jury has already heard it.
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