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The Real Story behind the Viral Head-Lock

The Real Story behind the Viral Head-Lock

A Palestinian filmmaker scripts a confrontational scene – again.


When an Israeli soldier put an innocent 12-year-old Palestinian boy in a head-lock, that was bad enough.

Add to this the fact that the poor child had a broken arm in a cast – and a video of the incident rocketed through cyberspace, racking up millions of viral views.

The media jumped all over this story, with CNN posting scary, cropped photos of the event, and the London Daily Mail headline decrying how "an Israeli soldier put a boy with a broken arm into a headlock at gunpoint."

All this led readers to wonder: Why do those brutal Israelis continue to inflict suffering upon innocent Palestinian children who want nothing more than to live in peace?

The Real Story

Bassem Tamimi is a Palestinian filmmaker. His specialty is crafting anti-Israel viral videos.

His methodology:

  1. Send a young "innocent" child to carry out violence against Israeli soldiers.
  2. Provoke a dramatic response from the soldiers.
  3. Film the episode.
  4. Post a craftily-edited version online.
  5. Entice gullible media outlets into this campaign to defame the Jewish State.

Bassem Tamimi's young and adorable children are the "stars" of his shows.

Daughter Ahed Tamimi is well-known as "Shirley Temper" for her over-the-top tantrums against Israeli soldiers. In this video, she is seen grabbing a soldier's gun (while others push a young boy into the confrontation).

This week, Dad the Filmmaker chose 12-year-old son Muhammad. With a broken arm and cast from a recent accident, he'd make better media fodder.

Muhammad was sent out to throw rocks at the soldiers. Large rocks that can kill.

The soldier went to detain the boy, in accordance with Israel's "zero tolerance" policy for rock and firebomb attacks – no matter who the perpetrator.

As the boy tried to flee, the soldier followed standard procedure of subduing the suspect.

Shirley Temper appears on center stage once again, biting the arm of the soldier – thus earning the new moniker "West Bank Freedom Biter."

Another woman, apparently the children's mother, adds to the scene by grabbing the soldier's neck.

The next thing you know, readers of are treated to this high-profile news story:

Images of an armed Israeli soldier trying to arrest an 11-year-old Palestinian boy with a broken arm in the West Bank went viral on social media over the weekend. The images show the soldier putting a headlock on the child while women pull on the soldier's back, trying to free the boy.

Child Abuse

This is not a "news story." This is the latest installment of the "Pallywood" effort to present Palestinians as hapless victims of Israeli aggression.

Is this truly an indictment of Israel? As noted by UK Media Watch: What arguably stands out most about this video is the restraint shown by the Israeli soldier. He was shoved, hit and bitten and yet maintained his discipline throughout the incident until a commander called off the detention, citing the escalating violence.

No matter. The media is content to ignore the facts, instead selecting images that distort reality and support their own anti-Israel bias.

Besides the defamation of Israel, there is another sinister side to this "filmmaking." As analyst Tamar Sternthal notes: Rather than keeping their children at a safe distance from the often-violent clashes, the parents encourage their children to play highly visible roles in the confrontation with the army.

By placing his children in danger to score propaganda points, Bassem Tamimi is guilty of child abuse, pure and simple.

"Palestinian authorities have done nothing to stop children playing with their lives," Sam Kiley once wrote in the London Times. It's a Palestinian PR strategy, where casualties are often encouraged. "Let's face it," Kiley said, "dead kids make great telly."

September 2, 2015

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The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 11

(9) shoshana, September 10, 2015 9:33 PM

tamimi on Rosh Hashana
Did you know that Mr. Tamimi will be presenting his selfserving version of events to Jews in Woodstock and NYC on Rosh HaShana, no less? So many of our people are vulnerable to this kind of propaganda, because they are estranged from their own heritage and people. Heartbreaking.

(8) H.E.Brown, September 4, 2015 3:37 PM


Stinks to High Heaven. God is watching. Every one of us will give an account of all are deads, good and/or bad. All I can say at this point is God help us.

(7) Rafi, September 4, 2015 12:41 PM

Ask the BBC to show this story

Has this story been shared with the BBC, Reuters, CNN, Fox News, The Guardian, The NewYork Tmes, The Washington Post, and liked-minded media? Please, Aish, let us know if you have sent this the global media who are far kor cul

(6) Anonymous, September 4, 2015 4:03 AM

The propaganda machine alive and well

We live in a society that passion sells. The IDF proves everyday they are the most moral military in the world. If I attempted to treat my local police officer in the United States like this mob treated the young soldier my life would be over. Most folks just want sensationalism in the news and trying to pick a fight with a moral man will only in the end prove who was in the wrong. These attempts to vilify the IDF are getting really boring because we can see who is trying to sell their brand of sensationalism.

(5) Alberto Rudich, September 3, 2015 7:32 PM

Israeli justice should indict the parents for children abuse.

Now it comes out that the Tamimi family is specialized in plotting incidents (involving their children). In the film it is clear that the soldier is abused; if he had not restrained he could have injured the boy, who apparently went unscathed........ 2nd: No film no pallywood: why was the film not confiscated and the father not put in jail? Wake up Israelis.

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