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As Long as We Remember...

January 7, 2009

Pallywood When Pictures Lie

Kevin E. Dayhoff

After Hamas, the terrorist organization that has controlled the Gaza Strip since June 2007, unilaterally broke a cease-fire on December 19 and resumed shelling southern Israel, Israeli warplanes sprang to Israel’s defense December 27 by attacking Hamas throughout Gaza. Hamas responded immediately with “Pallywood.”


Two of the more notorious tactics used by Hamas has been the firing of rockets into the populated areas of southern Israel and the use of “Pallywood.”


The term Pallywood is credited by Jerusalem Post writer Ruthie Blum to be a neologism invented by Richard Landis in a 2005 investigative report. It claimed that the use of events staged and choreographed by the Palestinians and disguised as “news” goes back to 1982.


It did not go unnoticed by Hamas that “Operation Grapes of Wrath” – April 11 to April 27, 1996 – ended shortly after widespread condemnation of Israel for the “Qana massacre” of April 18, 1996, in which Israel shelled a United Nations compound located near Qana, where Lebanese civilians had sought shelter.


Ever resourceful, Hezbollah had used the presence of the civilians as cover and choose to fire Katyusha rockets at the Israelis from positions less than football field away from the U.N. compound. When Israel fired back, innocent civilians were killed and Hezbollah rolled out the red carpet for the news media to pour-in to document the “atrocity.”


It quickly became a public relations nightmare for Israel and it was left with little choice than to acquiesce to a ceasefire.


The ceasefire that was put into place spared Hezbollah from a definitive military set back.


Militant Palestinians, who have demonstrated little regard for human life, were beside themselves in disbelief – and learned definitively that the liberal media was their friend.


The militant Palestinians have raised the use of the media as a form of military ordnance to a high art form. The Jerusalem Post noted in an October 12, 2007, article “Between the lines: Caught in the Mohammed al-Dura crossfire:


“… But pro-Israel media-watchdog advocates have gone further, arguing that the (Mohammed al-Dura incident) is a prime example of what has been dubbed ‘Pallywood’ – media manipulation, distortion and outright fraud by the Palestinians (and other Arabs, such as the Reuters photographer caught faking photos during the Second Lebanon War), designed to win the public relations war against Israel.”


Examples abound and vie for the mantle of the most notorious. The incident that has come to be known as “Mohammad al-Dura,” stands out.


The Jerusalem Post article describes the event: “The TV footage from September 30, 2000, showing al-Dura and his father cowering beside a wall on a Gaza street as bullets fly over their heads – one of which apparently kills the Palestinian child – was perhaps the most indelible image to come out of the second intifadah, and surely the one that did Israel's public standing the most harm…


“Even when it happened, though, questions were raised about the conclusion of the original France 2 news report that Israeli troops were responsible for the shooting.”


The incident in which the Palestinian child is killed in his father’s arms, has since been documented to have been staged and-or manipulated by the Palestinians. The death was not the result of actions by the Israeli Defense Forces.


In an article in Israel’s daily newsmagazine, Israel Insider, on July 31, 2006, in reference to the “2006 Lebanon War,” (from July 12 – August 14), Reuven Koret wryly observed that “it was to be a perfect Hollywood ending for Hezbollah. Just as the Israeli bombing of the village of Qana in 1996 brought a premature end to Israel's Operation "Grapes of Wrath," so too a sequel of Qana II could change, once and for all, the direction of Israel's current summer blockbuster…”


It was déjà vu all over again when a building in Qana mysteriously collapsed on July 30, 2006, almost eight hours after a helicopter attack in the area. The Israel Insider reports: “What we do know is that sometime after dawn a call went out to journalists and rescue workers to come to the scene.  And come they did, in droves…


“Lebanese rescue teams did not start evacuating the building until the morning and only after the camera crews came. The absence of a real rescue effort was explained by saying that equipment was lacking. There were no scenes of live or injured people being extracted.


“…But the accumulating evidence suggests another explanation for what happened at (Qana.) The scenario would be a setup in which the time between the initial Israeli bombing near the building and morning reports of its collapse would have been used to "plant" bodies killed in previous fighting – reports in previous days indicated that nearby Tyre was used as a temporary morgue – place them in the basement, and then engineer a "controlled demolition" to fake another Israeli attack.


The well-documented use by Palestinians of this kind of faked footage – from the alleged shooting of Mohammed Dura in Gaza, scenes from Jenin of ‘dead’ victims falling off gurneys and then climbing back on – have merited the creation of a new film genre called (Pallywood.)”


One thing we can all be sure of is that in order for the world to be a safer place, the Israelis must prevail in eradicating Hamas from Gaza.


Contrary to what the practitioners of Pallywood would have you believe, the Israelis have Hamas in their gun sights and are conducting a door-to-door ground operation to root-out the terrorists as they hide behind women and children and transport military materiel and troops in “ambulances.”


Hamas has little support in the Arab world and the rest of the world is catching-on to “Pallywood.” We can only hope that the BBC, AP, Reuters, and The New York Times also catch-on, and that the operation in Gaza will not be prematurely stopped by weak-kneed politicians and a sycophant media.


Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster: E-mail him at:


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