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Industry of Lies

Industry of Lies

Media manipulation has become strategic Arab weapon against Israel.


A French court has acquitted Philippe Karsenty of libel charges over his claim that TV network France 2's news report from the Netzarim junction in September 2000 was staged. The ruling constitutes an achievement in the effort to expose the truth around the incident that has become known as the Muhammad al-Dura affair. However, this is just the first stage in the struggle against international media coverage of the Middle East, which has been biased for many years now.

The revelations of the deceit in the al-Dura affair are a result of intense work by physicist Nahum Shahaf. He was followed by many good people from academia and the world of journalism who exposed the methods used by the Palestinian industry of lies to produce images that are etched in the collective memory via global media. This was succinctly defined by American Professor Richard Landes as "Pallywood."

The al-Dura affair is the most conspicuous and blatant of the phenomenon of media manipulation undertaken by Palestinian workers employed by international media outlets. These employees stage, produce, and edit events and photos in a bid to slander Israel in the world. Media reports and photos such as the al-Dura case affect global public opinion and governments. The stages events undermine Israel's ability to conduct itself within the conflict and affect our ability to maneuver and secure targets in times of emergency.

Media manipulation has in fact turned into an strategic Arab weapon used against the State of Israel. It is used as an equalizer vis-a-vis Israel's military advantages while boosting the Arabs' global status vis-a-vis Israel. During the Second Lebanon War, international media personnel on the ground reported of an "IDF massacre in Qfar Qana," while bloggers at homes around the world quickly and without much effort revealed that the incident was in fact a Hizbullah production.

Yet this did not prevent the international community from pressing Israel to end the war. Several weeks before that we saw the photos of a Palestinian girl on the Gaza beach – later revealed to be the reenactment by a Palestinian photographer of an event the IDF was not involved in. Just recently, a mother and her four children in Gaza were hit by an explosive device carried by Hamas men, an incident that was immediately attributed to the IDF by the media.

'Credible' sources

Foreign networks do not do the minimum they should be doing – verifying sources and crosschecking information.

The bias is not only reserved for times of emergency. Often we see reports about some kind of harm done to the Palestinians by Israel that immediately make headlines worldwide. In many cases, the charges turn out to be false, yet the damage to Israel is already done. This stems from the fact that foreign networks do not do the minimum they should be doing – verifying sources and crosschecking information. After all, they always attribute reports to Palestinian reporters and always find "credible" sources that would confirm the charges.

This may be forgiven the first and possibly second time. Yet once these revelations emerge time and again, we could expect foreign media outlets to be stricter and exhibit proper professional conduct before again leveling false charges at the State of Israel.

Therefore, exposing the truth behind the Muhammad al-Dura events is vital for the elimination of the phenomenon of staged media reports and for undermining the natural manner with which this phenomenon is accepted by global media outlets and the leniency they show to it. This tolerance sometimes stem from reasons of political sympathy, but mostly for reasons of financial profitability. Israel must make clear to global media outlets that they bear responsibility for the reports of their employees and must insist on adherence to journalistic ethics and accurate reporting, even when dealing with the State of Israel.

The establishment of a public relations office in the Prime Minister's Office could be an important factor in this struggle. In order to truly succeed in the media war, a structural bureaucratic change and additional funds are not enough. It is vital to internalize the essence of the struggle which the state contends with in the media. Members of the office must be willing to dedicate the required effort, while displaying public courage at times, in order to disprove and thwart the blood libels formulated by the Palestinians and to force global media outlets to adhere to professional standards.

In addition, as proven by Karsenty, Shahaf, Landes, journalists Gérard Huber and Stéphane Juffa, and others, the state can and should enlist the assistance of private professionals who are willing to fight for the State of Israel's good name and for the truth.

This article originally appeared on

May 31, 2008

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Visitor Comments: 7

(7) Shimon BenTzion, January 5, 2009 5:59 AM

Counteract evil reporting by BBC

Danny, why is it that when everything reported by the BBC only draws remarks from us to the contrary hours if not days after these reporters have perpetrated their cause of reporting despicable nauseas slandering bias, often spat into our faces? I do believe that we can launch an accurate report to counteract at the same time as they launch their supportive Hamas backed reporting.

(6) Anonymous, June 2, 2008 12:01 AM


I have noticed a lot of anti-Israel
propoganda inserted on message boards
lately saying the war in Iraq is to
protect Jews. Others say the Jewish Lobby runs Washington. Even
sent out a petition under the guise of peace talks. Reporters must be stopped and it''s up to you to do it.
If they are not there, they can''t write.

(5) Rachel Garber, June 1, 2008 4:10 PM

Oh, please...

Do we really expect the people who brought us the Dreyfuss Affair to have changed any. The media stirred up anti-Jewish sentiment from the get go. Dreyfuss was cleared of charges twice before he was let off Devil''s Island. Who stirred up the anit-Jewish sentiment in that case? I read recently that the American public pro-Israel sentiment is 3rd behind the Brits and the French. I guess this is an effort to change the public opinion. After all the press can''t have the public being pro-Israel, when they are so determined to demonize Israel.

(4) Bob (UK), June 1, 2008 3:12 PM

incompetent action

I despair at what I have seen over many years. It seems that Israel''s government has no idea of what public relations is. The Arabs always seem to have the upper hands. I accept that the international media is anti-semitic, but that is no excuse for what seems to be inactivity.
When faced with the highest levels of condemnation by foreign government ministers and media, why aren''t the ambassadors used to demand retraction and to challenge the slander. Why do we not see the Israeli leaders damning the lies of the British and EU leaders. It seems to me that the Israeli government is just passive. If they were not then why do we not hear their responses.

(3) Daniela, June 1, 2008 2:46 PM

the title

The title of this article strikes me as strange - this has been going on since 1987 ! I remember footage on TV for reports on the first "intifada" that reminded me of footage from the ''82 war in Lebanon, and sure enough, I later found out I was right. They were using footage from that war to show "devastation" in Pal. territories at the hands of the Israelis.

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