Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Fool them once, fool them twice, fool them every time

I don’t know about you, but if I was a television news producer or a newspaper editor, I would make sure my reporters understood one thing very, very clearly about covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: there is an entire cottage industry among the Palestinians of faking and staging scenes of victimization, and of inventing stories about civilian casualties. Every conflict with Israel in recent memory has been so saturated with such stagecraft and fiction, in fact, that the phenomenon has its own name — Pallywood.

And now, at long last, we have a conspicuous incident of Pallywood in the Gaza War. CNN (who else?) has aired footage of doctors pretending to perform CPR on a pretend dying boy in Gaza. The doctor is the appropriately-named Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian Israel-hater who the Israelis foolishly allowed into Gaza so that he could render medical services. Given the man’s history, they should have know that he would be more involved with acting and directing than healing the sick. Confederate Yankee and LGF have the details. Most entertainingly, CNN has simply removed the footage with no explanation given for its disappearance. CNN should know that the first step toward recovery is admitting you have a problem.

Pallywood should surprise nobody who 1) has been following the Arab-Israeli conflict for a few months and 2) has a basic awareness of, say, sound and light. No talk of Pallywood would be complete without mentioning the short documentary Richard Landes did on the phenomenon a few years ago. It is remarkable that such amateurish play-acting has fooled so many, um, professional journalists. Unless the reason is that they want to be fooled…


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