Israeli Diplomat Busted Spreading Blatant Disinfo About Palestinians
The Israeli diplomat Ofir Gendelman was flamed on Thursday after he tried to pass off behind-the-scenes footage from a Lebanese short film as proof that Palestinians were faking injuries sustained in Israel’s month-long barrage of airstrikes in Gaza.
Gendelman, a spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, posted the misleading clip on social media around noon on Thursday. It remained online and unedited by 10 p.m. local time, despite a Twitter community note, hundreds of commenters, a BBC report, and the film’s director confirming the post was a fake.
In the post, Gendelman shared a video that supposedly proved Palestinians were faking injuries, death, and destruction on camera to garner international support. As he’s done previously, he included the word “Pallywood” to describe what he implied were injuries and evacuations staged to make Israel look bad.
“The Palestinians are fooling the international media and public opinion,” he posted to X, formerly Twitter. “DON’T FALL FOR IT. See for yourselves how they fake injuries and evacuating “injured’ civilians, all in front of thr (sic) cameras. Pallywood gets busted again.”
In reality, the video was a behind-the-scenes clip from a short film that was shot in Lebanon last month. It was produced as a tribute to the struggle of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who’ve had their lives uprooted—our outright taken—after a month of fighting between Israel and Hamas, film director Mahmoud Ramzi shared to his Instagram Story on Thursday.
By Thursday evening, Gendelman’s post had received more than 7,000 likes—a number that paled in comparison to the 22,000 likes received by its top comment, which bluntly said, “It’s from a Lebanese short film you trashbag.”
Gendelman is a repeat offender when it comes to peddling misinformation about Palestinians. Just last weekend he shared what he called a “must watch” video of Israeli Defense Force dogs chasing Hamas in tunnels under Gaza—a statement that was quickly disproven by an Israeli journalist, who said the video came from an IDF training session that preceded Israel’s latest war with Hamas.
Gendelman was also fact-checked by international media in 2021 when he shared a video and incorrectly stated that it depicted Palestinians launching rockets from a civilian area in Gaza. That video was actually recorded in Syria in 2018, Reuters reported.
The video in Gendelman’s Thursday post showed a young Arab girl having fake blood and other makeup applied while on a film set. At one point, the child smiles and flashes a peace sign at the camera. Actors dressed as emergency workers tend to the girl as she appears to bleed in the street after an airstrike.
One of the first people to shoot Gendelman’s claims down was Shayan Sardarizadeh, a BBC journalist who reports on disinformation. “The viral claim by Mr. Gendelman and others that this video is evidence of Palestinians faking inuries [sic] is totally false,” he tweeted.
The child actor shown in the clip, Rami Jardali, also posted a rebuttal on Instagram to address Gendelman’s claims, Sardarizadeh reported.
Israel’s war with Hamas is now mmore than a month old, with casualty figures more than five times higher in Gaza than in Israel. The onslaught is unlikely to end anytime soon, as Israeli officials emphasized this week that it won’t relent until Hamas is fully rooted out of Gaza and all hostages are released.
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