A video captured on Friday in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh unintentionally unmasked the way some Palestinians manipulate the media to broadcast unflattering images of Israeli soldiers. A young girl along with two other children spent many long minutes screaming and pushing IDF soldiers in an apparent attempt to provoke them into responding violently.
Disturbingly, they were egged on by two older teenage girls and, according to Israel’s Channel 2, were encouraged by one girl’s mother who filmed the entire episode even while she was inciting the kids.
The girl shouts at the soldiers in Arabic: “You're a traitor! I know you speak Arabic. Our soldiers are stronger than you! I'll smash your head." Continuing her tirade until she’s practically hoarse, she screams: "I spit in your face. Go watch your mother instead of fighting little children. You're a traitor. You kill people to get money from dogs."
The staging of events or “fauxtography” is such a commonly used tactic by the Palestinians and their supporters, it’s earned the nickname “Pallywood” in the Israeli press. Pictures are often posted on various blogs and Facebook with no context or reality check provided. As TheBlaze reported in February, a photo alleging to show an Israeli soldier brutally pointing his weapon at and placing his foot on the chest of a little Palestinian girl turned out to be actors in a street theater performance in Bahrain. These photos can have enormous impact on the public’s views about Israel.
Case in point: as of this writing, the latest video has been viewed by more than 60,000.
On Friday, the soldiers stood calmly and let the kids vent at them and push then, even smiling in response. Present were numerous photographers along with other protesters. At one point, solders appear to fire a smoke grenade to disperse them, but it didn’t seem to make much of an impression on the gathered and all remained on site.
The video provided such a clear example of media manipulation, IDF Spokeswoman Avital Leibovich even posted it on her Twitter feed, describing the scene as “Using Palestinian kids for provocations.”
A senior IDF official told Ynet News that pro-Palestinian activists pay Palestinian children to confront Israeli soldiers.
In response, Abir Kubati, a protest organizer, told Ynet: "I don't understand what the army wants – they send soldiers into a Palestinian village and then dare to depict themselves as victims because the residents don't welcome them.”
Kubati says the girl was upset because her brother had been “detained by the soldiers, very violently, only minutes before.”
There’s more to this story. Pro-Israel blogger Aussie Dave of the site Israelly Cool who calls the girl “Pallywood Blondie” found that she’s been the star of other videos and photos like this one a few months ago:
And despite the fact there is no proof the soldier hurt or injured the girl, the photo elicits bonus sympathy points for her since she is wearing a “love” t-shirt and looks like a westerner.
Fast forward a few months, and blondie makes a reappearance.
Notice she’s wearing the same “love” t-shirt, but seems to be sporting for a fight. She hardly seems scarred by her previous experience.
Arutz 7 quotes an IDF source who says: "We make every effort not to fall for such traps, to exercise restraint and to use only crowd-control measures to disperse such protests."
Watch the video here: