Sunday, September 28, 2008

From Pallywood to the Hollycaust

The Reuters picture above was at the center of a scandal during the war Israel unleashed on Lebanon in 2006, killing 1,191 civilians to avenge a border incident in which exactly zero civilians were killed. The photo was digitally edited, and smoke was added to it to increase the dramatic effect of the Israeli bombing of Beirut. As can be seen, the image would appear tu suggest that, as a result of the Israeli bombs, several buildings in the Lebanese capital burned.

And burn they did, since the picture is the original, not the doctored, one (to compare both, see here; I personally find the undoctored one more impressive). That is, the original photo, on its own, already conveyed a high level of destruction, and the edited image doesn't actually add much dramatism to the scene, which may be indicative of the photo editor's incompetence, but may also indicate the magnitude of the destruction perpetrated by Israel (which was so extensive it was difficult to "enhance").

That notwithstanding, the picture has been widely circulated by the Zionists, who try to establish that if this photo was doctored (even when the "value added" of the edition was irrelevant), all the Israel-inculpating graphic material coming from the Middle East is suspect.

In fact, this is part of a strategy of "denouncing" what they call Pallywood, a name taken from a video by Richard Landes (see it here), which exposes Palestinian journalists and other sources who doctored graphic material, faked war actions that didn't take place, simulated death or injury, etc.

The first thing that strikes one on watching Pallywood is how unimpressive the dramatizations are. Chaotic scenes are shown with people who pretend to have been hit by bullets, persons dragged away from the scene like they were severely injured, etc.; but nothing abnormal in a state of war. The distortion lies in the fact that the actions shown didn't happen, not in any particularly atrocious Israeli behavior being shown. No indictment of the Israeli war conduct could be made based on scenes from Pallywood. This contrasts strongly with the CERTIFIED scenes of Israeli atrocities, like shooting a handcuffed and blindfolded prisoner (video), using a 13-year-old boy as a human shield (photo), punching a student at a checkpoint (video), blowing up the door of a house injuring a woman and leaving her to die while the soldiers tear apart the house's rooms (video), or, in the case of the settlers, brutally clubbing elderly Palestinians, wearing masks that are distrubingly reminiscent of the Ku Klux Klan (story and video).

That said, it's undoubtedly wrong for pictures and videos to be doctored, and we agree with Hasbara that such journalistic behavior is unacceptable.

But we don't agree at all with the conclusion they reach: that if the Palestinians lied in the scenes of Pallywood, then they may have lied in all other videos indicting the Israelis. Drawing general conclusions from a careful selection of facts is a well-known rhetorical trick that does not confer any validity on those conclusions.

Unfortunately, Zionists are not alone in using that trick. They are in the dishonorable company of Holocaust deniers, who have pointed to inconsistencies and lies regarding that genocide, and therefore "conclude" that there was no Holocaust.

For instance, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, one of the bulwarks of Holocaust memory preservation, was adding smoke to photographs well before Reuters entered the business.

We can check out that reprehensible behavior using Wayback Machine, an archive that keeps webpages for further use by researchers, even if the page is taken down. Let's see what happened with a SWC page whose history is here. As can be seen, the page was up for the first time in 1999, and was taken down in 2006.

If we access the 18 Nov 1999 version, we see this image:

With the dramatic caption:

As these prisoners were being processed for slave labor, many of their friends and families were being gassed and burned in the ovens in the crematoria. The smoke can be seen in the background.

The smoke is really heart-wrenching. Too bad that, unlike that in Beirut, it was not enhanced: it didn't even exist.

The fraud was noticed by the Holocaust deniers, who in this page denounced the SWC with great sarcasm.

Having been exposed, the Wiesenthal Center replaced the photo with the actual one, as can be seen in the 4 Dec 2000 version:

With the caption:

As these prisoners were being processed for slave labor, many of their friends and families were being gassed and burned in the ovens in the crematoria.

No reference to the former smoke.

In contrast with Reuters, who apologized for their mistake, never did the SWC acknowledge to have doctored the picture, in what we could well term the Hollycaust: edition techniques aimed at making the Holocaust look more spectacular. Of course, the world press did not accord the least importance to this fraud, thus betraying its double standards, since the Beirut doctored photos got an immense and universal coverage (and Zionists don't exercise any control whatsoever over the media!).

But it may be said this picture is anecdotal evidence. There are other examples, however.

All of you know that the Nazis made soap from Jews. For instance, we read in an emotive story about two elderly Holocaust survivors:

Freda was also in Auschwitz, and she spotted David through a wire fence. The women had more food than the men and Freda smuggled soup and bread underneath a wire fence to nourish her starving husband.

"That lasted only a few days," Freda said. "Then David disappeared. I didn't know about him and he didn't know about me."

David was shipped out to another work camp where he was forced to make soap from Jewish bodies.

Well: David lied (although, arguably, unaware of it). Never did the Nazis make soap from the Jews. In 1991 Israeli historian Yehuda Bauer concluded beyond reasonable doubt that it was an unfounded myth. In his eloquent words:

One has to fight wrong perceptions of the Holocaust, even if large numbers of survivors accept them as true. It is not as though the Nazis were not capable of this atrocity [i.e. making soap from Jewish bodies] -- they certainly were -- but they, factually, did not do it.

Holocaust deniers hold on to this to claim that, if the most-often repeated Holocaust anecdote is false, then doubt may be cast on the whole Holocaust concept.

Zionists copycat that technique, and claim that if the actions shown in Pallywood are false, then there's no oppression of the Palestinians, or apartheid in Palestine.

It is true that, as they say in French politics, extremes touch.


Yitzchak Goodman said...

Zionists copycat that technique

Your reasoning seems to be that if a parallel can be drawn between A and B, then A must be an imitation of B. And why no mention of the Al Dura affair, speaking of French politics? I think "Zionists" have frequently pointed to uncritical use of Pallywood materials as evidence of media bias or laziness more than they have tried to argue that Pallywood materials prove all criticism of Israel is false. What "Hasbara" exactly are you "busting" here? LGF? Snapped Shut?

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

We live in an era in which the image reigns supreme. No matter how much evidence we have that Israeli soldiers shoot civilians for no reason at all (soldiers' testimonies, physicians' reports, Palestinian witnesses), if we don't actually see a video of an Israeli soldier shooting a kid we won't believe it.

My take, however, is that such a video is not important. It's childish to refuse to believe in something that is very difficult to catch on tape until you see a video, when the forensic evidence available is conclusive.

That's why I shrugged when the Dura video was released, and I shrugged again when its truthfulness was disputed. It may have a great symbolic value, but in terms of information it doesn't fundamentally change the picture.

Anonymous said...

Nice referral site you have used, non other than David Irving.

He's a discredited non-entity for your information.

It's always a pleasure to manage to make you and your accolites wake up and smell the coffee.


Anonymous said...

Either you differentiate between Lebanese civilians and Hezbollah combatants, or you concede that Israeli soldiers were killed (and body parts kept in a fridge) and civilian centres shelled with shrapnel dipped in rat poison during the border raid.

andrew r said...

Did I miss something? I checked the links and URLs for the photos and none of them were fpp.

andrew r said...

Either you differentiate between Lebanese civilians and Hezbollah combatants

Better yet, maybe we can acknowledge that Hezbollah have a right to resist invasion, but Israel doesn't have a right to invade Lebanon.

JR said...

Hasbara Buster, you didn't answer my question on HP; you made the same statement here so I'll try again.

You said "In 2006, after a border incident in which exactly zero civilians died, Israel carpet-bombed Lebanon killing 1,191 civilians."
Buster: where do you get the figure from? How many Lebanese civilians killed were armed members of Hezbollah? Are they included in the total? How many Iranians were killed?

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

My figure comes from here.

Anonymous said...

Ibrahim, are you Alberto José Miyara, an argentinean half-jew?

JR said...

Ibrahim, your link doesn't work and you haven't answered my questions. Like to try again? I see that you're back on HP so I'll try again there as well. Cheers.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Jr, just right-click on the link with your mouse and download the file to your computer. It works. Cheers.

JR said...

Ah! its the UNHRC! What a marvelous sense of humour you have, Ibrahim:

6. A fundamental point in relation to the conflict and the Commission’s mandate as defined
by the Council is the conduct of Hezbollah. The Commission considers that any independent,
impartial and objective investigation into a particular conduct during the course of hostilities
must of necessity be with reference to all the belligerents involved. Thus an inquiry into the
conformity with international humanitarian law of the specific acts of the Israel Defense Forces
(IDF) in Lebanon requires that account also be taken of the conduct of the opponent.
7. That said, taking into consideration the express limitations of its mandate, the
Commission is not entitled, even if it had wished, to construe it as equally authorizing the
investigation of the actions by Hezbollah in Israel. To do so would exceed the Commission’s
interpretative function and would be to usurp the Council’s powers.

So are you going to answer my questions? (Third request).

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

I don't get your point, JR. What do you mean, I have a marvelous sense of humor? And just what is proved by the 2 paragraphs you quote?

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My Blog said...

The first thing that strikes one on watching Pallywood is how unimpressive the dramatizations are. said...

Goodness, there's so much effective info above! said...

Well, I do not actually imagine it is likely to have success.

Mooser said...

"Ibrahim, are you Alberto José Miyara, an argentinean half-jew?"

This is absurd! We Jews are mostly thoroughly modern, up-to-date, wide-awake, and hip to the latest scientific and mathematical progressions. But still we use crude fractions like "half-Jew". There is no excuse for that! There is no reason why, using modern techniques, we cannot determine a person's Jewish content down to a fraction of a percent! This will also help transmute the "Jewish-bodies-into-soap" tropes into something more pleasant. Those who are 99 and 44/100% pure Jew will be known as 'Ivory soap Jews' a coveted appellation.