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Childish weapon

Op-ed: Palestinians using kids to provoke soldiers realize picture worth a thousand words

Yoaz Hendel
Published: 11.09.12, 14:42 / Israel Opinion

With the conclusion of the second intifada, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict moved to the international community, the UN and public opinion. During Obama's first term, the Palestinians and the Muslim countries failed to pass any significant resolutions in the UN, but with regards to Western European and liberal American public opinion, Israel is on the defensive.


Israel's weak point is its policy in the West Bank. It is difficult to explain to others what we have not been able to explain to ourselves for the past 45 years. The Palestinians realized that in order to convince others – a picture is worth a thousand words. To score points one must fight with stories that are self-explanatory. The weapons are the news agencies and cameras.

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Nine Palestinian news agencies are currently operating in the territories, along with dozens of foreign agencies. The information that makes its way to the international press flows through these agencies. Most of the reports are critical of Israel.


This week a pretty little Palestinian girl was filmed in Nabi Saleh as she was shoving and cursing two IDF officers, trying to provoke a violent response. She did not succeed. The child, the daughter of a well-known anti-Israel activist, went from one officer to the next with a horde of photographers behind her, each of them looking for the photo of the year.



Palestinian girls try to provoke soldiers in Nabi Saleh


Among the photographers were representatives of Tazpit, a non-profit Israeli news agency that aims to bolster the country's public relations efforts. Subjective journalism with a clear agenda. Tazpit's camera documented the photographers' chase after a prize-wining shot and the obvious trap set up for the IDF soldiers. Each side in the struggle has its own camera and its own angle.


Later, when Tazpit volunteers went over the photos from Nabi Saleh, they found that the girl appears in some other Palestinian protest videos. The latest video from Nabi Saleh was uploaded onto YouTube, but it did not cause the IDF any damage because the soldiers remained calm. In other incidents, with less disciplined soldiers, these cameras can cause Israel a great deal of damage.



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