It could have been a huge PR disaster when the below images were posted in the mainstream media, including the Daily Mail, and went viral.
And the video:
Ostensibly, it looks like every Israel hater’s wet dream: images of an armed IDF soldier trying to detain a young boy wearing a sling, while having women and children trying to stop him, armed with nothing but their hands.
Of course, there was context.
“The youth in the picture was seen throwing rocks, and as such a decision was made to arrest him. During the arrest, a violent provocation began which included a number of Palestinian women and children. As a result of the violent clash, a decision was made by the regional commander to cease the arrest,” the IDF said in a statement.
Army officials added that: “Two additional Palestinian youths were arrested for throwing stones during the violent clashes. The soldier pictured was lightly wounded as a result of the violent actions against him.”
But the initial Daily Mail report very much reflected the “simple” narrative
And then something amazing happened.
Israellycool readers recognized the biting girl as the Pallywood star “Shirley Temper”, whose exploits I have documented comprehensively on this blog. Exploits which involve deliberately trying to provoke IDF soldiers under the watchful and encouraging eye of her parents, in order to produce great images for propaganda.
And they might have gotten away with it too, had it not been for those meddling yids!
Readers inundated the Daily Mail with links to this blog showing what Shirley Temper and her family have been up to. And Brian of London also contacted an editor over at the paper.
And the Daily Mail responded – by changing the tone of the story entirely, providing context to it and revealing Shirley Temper’s history.
Questions raised over shocking West Bank image of boy with a broken arm being held at gunpoint by an Israeli soldier after girl, 13, seen biting attacker is revealed as prolific ‘Pallywood star’
Questions have been raised over the authenticity of shocking images of a boy with a broken arm being held at gunpoint by an Israeli soldier after a 13-year-old girl seen biting his attacker is said to be a prolific ‘Pallywood star’.
The remarkable images which surfaced online on Friday appeared to show an IDF soldier armed with a machine gun grappling with the little boy as two women make desperate attempts to pull him off following protests in the West Bank.
A young girl is seen ambushing the balaclava-clad soldier by forcing the weapon from his hands and biting him before he flees the scene.
But it is thought the young girl in the photographs is Ahed Tamimi, whose parents Bassem and Nariman – also pictured – are well-known Palestinian activists in their village of Nabi Saleh.
The teenager has appeared in a string of similar videos where she challenges Israeli security forces and rose to prominence after she was filmed confronting one who arrested her brother, which resulted in her being presented with a bravery award.
She was handed the ‘Handala Award for Courage’ by the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, in Istanbul, where she reportedly expressed she would like to live.
Online blogs have dubbed her ‘Shirley Temper’ and accused her of being a ‘Pallywood’ star – a term coined by author Richard Landes, describing the alleged media manipulation by Palestinians to win public relations war against Israel.
Her father, Bassem al-Tamimi, was convicted by an Israeli military court in 2011 for ‘sending people to throw stones, and holding a march without a permit’ – a charge his lawyers deny.
He has been jailed eight times, while his wife has been detained five times. Other family members, including their son Waed, has also been arrested.
Bassem organises weekly protests and it was reportedly at one of these demonstrations that the shocking images are said to have been taken.
An Israeli army spokesman said that Palestinians had been throwing stones at an IDF force which was set up in the area.
An image has emerged on the internet of a boy, said to be the youth that was held at gunpoint, throwing rocks with one arm, while his other remained in plaster and in a sling.
The spokesman added that a decision was made to arrest the boy and it was during the detention that a ‘violent provocation’ began, including a number of Palestinian women and children.
He told Haaretz that there was ‘a violent disturbance of the peace in Nabi Saleh, in which Palestinians threw stones at IDF forces that were in the place.
‘The youth who was photographed was identified by the lookout force as a stone-thrower, and because of this it was decided to detain him.
At the time of the arrest, a violent provocation by a number of Palestinians developed, including women and children. In light of the violent altercation, the commander decided to not to go ahead with the detention.’
He added: ‘Two additional Palestinian youths were arrested for throwing stones during the violent clashes. The soldier pictured was lightly wounded as a result of the violent actions against him.’
Notice the oblique reference to Israellycool as “online blogs” (for the record, I invented the label Shirley Temper).
But I’ll take this as a win. Allowed to go unchecked, this would have been an unmitigated PR disaster for Israel. As it is, I am sure some damage has been done, but not as much as would have been the case had the Daily Mail not been alerted to the Tamimi family’s background in Pallywood productions. Now, Daily Mail readers will see the images, read the article, and might ask “What kind of parents would allow their child – already in a sling – to be placed in harm’s way?”
So thank you dear readers. We really can make a difference.
Update: Ahed Tamimi, Shirley Temper herself, shared on her Facebook page a link to the original Daily Mail story.
She’s in for a rude shock when she discovers it now points to the updated version, which exposes her family’s antics to a larger audience.
Update: It looks like The Telegraph had covered the confrontation, but has now pulled the story.
— Legal Insurrection (@LegInsurrection) August 30, 2015
Update: This photo confirms the IDF account – Shirley Temper’s brother was throwing rocks before his Oscar-winning performance (hat tip: Johnny and other readers).
Update (Brian): The photo of the brother throwing rocks may have been doctored. We have taken it down pending more investigation.