We must exercise caution. We have already seen such footage which turned out to be "Pallywood," as Prof. Richard Landes defined it in the past. Landes revealed staged scenes of Palestinian propaganda, which were presented in the world as crimes made in Israel.
The short video segment, less than a minute, about Muhammad al-Durrah turned into one of the inalienable assets of the anti-Israel propaganda. It took years before the full film was exposed, and before it turned out that it was a libel.
The footage from Nakba Day should also be treated with caution and suspicion. The problem is that the days go by, and the IDF has all the time in the world. Journalists have obtained the material way before the investigators.
So before the Nakba Day killing turns into another al-Durrah affair, a serious investigation must be conducted. Not in a week's time. It should have happened immediately.
The US State Department has already turned to Israel, demanding an investigation. The scrupulousness of senior American administration officials is noteworthy. They have already been in this situation. When civilians were killed in a serious incident in Baghdad by US soldiers, Lieutenant Colonel Scott Bleichwehl said it was a conflict with "hostile forces." Soldier Bradley Manning, as part of a huge leak to WikiLeaks, revealed a video of that incident, among other things. Apache pilots were seen targeting and killing civilians, including two journalists. They may have mistaken them for fighters, but they continued shooting even at those who arrived to collect the wounded and the bodies. Manning was sent to 35 years in prison. The shooters were not indicted.
There have been countless incidents of this kind, mistakes, deviations. Crimes were committed too. In the US and Britain it somehow ends in nothing or an almost nothing. Israel must act differently. Check. Investigate. Draw conclusions. Not because others demand that we do it. After all, they are the last ones entitled to preach us. We owe it to ourselves.
The Lag Ba'Omer 'pogrom'
A Jewish friend from the US called me last week to inquire about a pogrom committed by Jews against Palestinians. A pogrom? He had irrefutable proof. Peter Beinart, one of the heads of the Jewish left in the US, wrote the words "A Lag Ba'Omer pogrom" on his Twitter page, with a link to a report on Haaretz newspaper's English-language website. The report's headline read, "Settlers torch Palestinian orchard."
Torching an orchard is a serious matter, but how exactly did Beinart get to a pogrom? The Presspectiva website, which looked into the issue, found that the original report, in Haaretz's Hebrew-language website, said that "settlers lit a bonfire in an olive grove."
So what we are talking about three stages. It began with a report in Hebrew about a bonfire in an olive grove. Not a single tree was torched. There are such bonfires all over the country. It continued with a distorted translation to English, about an orchard being torched. And it evolved into a pogrom, no less, by the master and teacher of the Jewish left in the US.
Following an appeal from Presspectiva, the newspaper published a small correction. Beinart, until now, has not taken back his choice of words.
If we wanted to know how the industry of lies works, we received another small example this week.
Why is Israel judged by a different standard?
For more than a year now, the massacre committed by Boko Haram activists against residents of their own country, Nigeria, is growing into terrifying proportions. The world usually keeps quiet.
In the past two weeks, something changed. The abduction of hundreds of girls, 234 of whom have yet to be found, sparked a worldwide campaign under the banner "Bring back our girls." Even first lady Michelle Obama posed for a photograph with the leading sign. So did Hollywood stars – including Sylvester Stallone, Harrison Ford and Mel Gibson – who posed for a festive photograph with the sign at the Cannes Film Festival. It's unclear whether there will be a release, but who knows, perhaps someone is already plotting a role for the stars in the film about the bold release operation.
On the day the stars posed for the photo, the jihadists slaughtered another 69 innocent civilians in Nigeria.
In the Free World's attitude index, Africans who kill Africans, Muslims who kill Muslims or Muslims who kill Africans are located at the bottom. Syria has been pushed off the headlines too, unless we are talking about a mass slaughter. And Somalia, like Yemen, is out of the cameras' reach. So they slaughter. But Christian girls kidnapped by jihadists? That's enough.
When we are not talking about hundreds of girls, a video segment with a crying Palestinian child makes journalists in Israel write that the Israelis are Nazis, and a bonfire near an orchard turns into a pogrom. That's what "progressive" journalists write. But whoever dares raise the argument about Islamic Nazism immediately turns into a despicable fascist.
Beinart himself claimed once that Israel is being judged by a different standard before it is Western and not because it is Jewish. Is that so? Well, in 2011, for example, 115 Palestinians were killed, most of them terrorists, compared to 7,000 civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq. That same year saw the killing of 48 British soldiers, who were involved in the killing of more than 400 people. But that same year, the Guardian, for example, dealt with Israel much more.
The question remains: Why? Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish once said, "The world's interest is not in us, the Palestinians, but in you, the Jews. Thanks to you, we have a global reputation." Beinart was wrong, Darwish was right. It even happened to him sometimes.