September 2, 2015

This phenomenon is not new, but it seems like even nowadays, nine years after the documentary which officially exposed it was released, many people have still never heard of Pallywood.

Pallywood, a portmanteau of “Palestinian” and “Hollywood”, is a coinage that has been used by some pro-Israel media watchdog advocates, among others, to describe alleged “media manipulation, distortion and outright fraud by the Palestinians and other Arabs … Designed to win the public relations war against Israel./ Wikipedia.

In 2005, Professor Richard Landes of Boston University produced an 18-minute online documentary video called Pallywood: According to Palestinian Sources. In this documentary, he exposed an entire film industry, in which the stars are Palestinians, the crew is mostly independent Palestinian video journalists and the fools are we.  It presented a “behind the scenes” glance to carefully staged scenes of Palestinians being attacked by Israeli forces, which are later being presented on the news as “raw footage of the poor reality in Palestinian territories.”

The phenomenon of Pallywood is widely and carefully spread, and wisely planned. News broadcasts are eager to air raw footage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and as a result, they are being too uncritical when examining the authenticity of the footages, and airing complete lies that give the audience the narrative they want to see. Bad guy, good guy, cut, print, moving on.

For many years, video footage and pictures were a symbol of truth and reliability. When someone needed proof of an event's veracity, they'd simply asked for a video or a photograph for proof. With time, technology developed, Photoshop was invented and the film industry became much more sophisticated. We, however, remained the same. Still seeking truth in videos and photographs, and subsequently unable to tell the truth from a lie. With the easiness of understanding a tale of good and bad, and the effort latent in realizing the shades of gray in the actual reality, we listen attentively to the lies of Pallywood, not even considering the possibility that we were all being fooled.

Israel haters will do a lot in the name of the conflict, even stage a complete different reality to feed the audience with. Journalists, on their behalf, love a juicy story, and accept any footage of a Palestinian child being attacked by a vicious Israeli soldier who loves to drink Palestinians' blood. Why not spend time on verifying the authenticity of the footage? Because the fake story looks much better on film than reality. The narrative of little David and giant Goliath never fails. Peace talks? No thank you! Give us blood, stones, and a close up on a screaming woman.

But there is more to the exposure of Pallywood. Has anyone ever paused to think why, in fact, they need fake footage of Palestinians being attacked by IDF soldiers? If their constant claims on every public stage of violence and brutality are true, why stage such encounters?  And if all they want is peace and quiet, why provide journalists with footage of Palestinian victims and Israeli aggressors? Why stimulate a discussion that will lead to words of hate? Is that striving for peace? Are those innocent people?

Unfortunately, I cannot show this post to the entire world. Pallywood will continue filming and faking and people will continue to believe lies. But using this information, we can spread the truth as widely as we can. If each one of us will inform his or her friends and acquaintances, maybe we will be the ones making a difference. 

Watch Pallywood: According to Palestinian Sources


More of Pallywood