Israeli Public Exposes Facebook Photo Hoax

This photo was posted to Facebook with a caption that indicated that the soldier was Israeli and the child, Palestinian.

The Israeli newspaper, Haaretz is reporting that in a calculated effort to give the State of Israel a proverbial black-eye, a Facebook user, Wesley Muhammad, elected to post this picture to his page with a misleading caption. In the photo, a soldier is pressing his boot against the chest of child laying on the ground; the soldiers gun is pointed at the frightened child’s head.

In the caption, Muhammed intentionally misidentified the soldier as a member the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the small child as being Palestinian.  The photo instantly went viral.  People the world over expressed outrage and demanded to know more about the incident and the status of the two subjects.

Lot’s of people in Israel were also angered by the photo:  angry and sure that the caption wasn’t telling the truth. It didn’t take much detective work to figure out that Muhammed had lied about what the picture was actually showing. Israelis quickly identified a number of problems: the uniform of the soldier is not the kind issued by the IDF; the gun the soldier is holding is not used by Israeli soldiers. Many Israelis also pointed out that the crowd watching the incident is making no effort to help the girl. Palestinians would never, ever, let an Israeli soldier do what this soldier is doing to a child without trying to interfere.

With all this evidence piling up, it didn’t take long for someone to find the original picture and determine the real-story: An Arab blogger, wanting to expose the inhumanity of Bahrain monarchy which has been confronting in it own version of the “Arab Spring,” posted the picture to his blog following demonstrations in that Gulf nation.

When advised of the hoax, Facebook did have the photo removed. But the damage was done.  Muhammed’s cropped version and deceitful caption remain a viral sensation in the Arab blogosphere. Once again, “truth” has been sacrificed on the altar of hate and political propaganda.
Some of the “problems” with the photo that were quickly identified.
The actual, un-cropped photo showing a Bahrainian soldier tormenting a Bahrainian little girl.

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