Pallywood is the industry of anti-Israel activists who spread fake images, stories and so on meant to portray Israelis in the worst possible light. Often the fakery is by western activists — you don’t have to be Palestinian to engage in Pallywood.

The purpose of the fakery is to push false narratives into the mainstream media, which already is biased against Israel.

Sometimes the fakery, once exposed, is almost humorous, as in our recent post, Gaza Pallywood miracle: “Wounded” man carried on stretcher gets up and walks!

Yet more often than not, the fakery is malicious and meant to dehumanize Israeli Jews as part of a broader international campaign to delegitimize Israel.

In all the dozens of Pallywood instances we have documented, I don’t think any has been as cruel as the claim that dominated headlines recently that a 8-month-old Palestinian infant, Laila Anwar al-Ghandour, was killed by Israeli tear gas during “protests” at the Gaza-Israel border. Those “protests,” as we have documented, were Hamas-led military-style assaults under cover of civilian protests, and almost all of the people killed were Hamas or other terror group members.

Of course, had the story of the infant death by tear gas been true, the logical question would have been why parents would bring an infant to a scene they knew would be dangerous. But that question was lost in the media condemnation of Israel.

Here is just a small sample of the media headlines:

The images run with the stories were dramatic and heartbreaking (see also Featured Image):

Al-Jazeera called the infant the “face of Gaza carnage”:

The Financial Times called her death a symbol of “Gaza’s life and death struggle”:

The story was widely shared on social media:

The narrative was set for celebrities and politicians taking their anti-Trump frustrations out on Israel:

The reporting on the story was almost completely unquestioning, with the notable exception of Associate Press, which reported that a doctor in Gaza had disputed that tear gas was the cause of death:

The IDF also disputed the claim, but that received scant news coverage and was set against “Gaza Health Ministry” claims:

A Gaza health official cast doubt Tuesday on initial claims that an 8-month-old baby died from Israeli tear gas fired during mass protests on the Gaza border with Israel.

A Gazan doctor told the Associated Press that the baby, Layla Ghandour, had a preexisting medical condition and that he did not believe her death was caused by tear gas. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to disclose medical information to the media….

The IDF disputed the Gaza Health Ministry claim, but that also received relatively little coverage:

Jerusalem (AFP) – The Israeli army on Friday disputed Palestinian accounts that a baby had died of tear gas inhalation during protests on the Gaza border.

“This is another instance of Hamas fake news,” said Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, an army spokesman, referring to the Palestinian Islamist movement which runs the Gaza Strip.

“We got reports… from a doctor that said that the baby had a preexisting heart condition and that was most likely the cause of death,” he told AFP, without naming the physician or explaining how the information was obtained.

“We don’t have any additional evidence, the body of that poor baby is in Gaza… There is no way of finding out for sure,” Conricus said.

The Hamas health ministry in Gaza reiterated on Friday that eight-month-old Leila al-Ghandour died after inhaling tear gas along the Israeli border on Monday as protests escalated into the deaths of 60 Palestinians, almost all killed by army gunfire.

But now even the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry has backed off the claim. The Times of Israel reports, Gaza health ministry removes baby from border clash death toll:

Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry said an 8-month-old girl has been taken off a list of Palestinians killed in border clashes with Israeli troops last week, while authorities await results of a pathologist’s report.

Layla al-Ghandour had originally been listed among the 60 Palestinians killed during massive border protests on the Gaza fence on May 14. The infant’s death intensified condemnation of Israel over the violence, though the health ministry has since signaled the child may not have been killed from tear gas inhalation but rather because of a pre-existing condition.

“Layla al-Ghandour is not listed among the martyrs, because we are still waiting for the report,” Dr. Ashraf Al-Qidra, director of public relations for the ministry, told The Guardian newspaper according to a Thursday report.

The Guardian further reported:

A copy of an initial hospital report seen by the Guardian said the infant had “heart defects since birth” and suffered a “severe stop in blood circulation and respiration”. It did not say if teargas inhalation had or had not contributed to her death.

As Arnold and Frimet Roth, parents of Malki Roth who was killed in the 2001 Sbarro Pizzeria bombing, tweeted from their This Ongoing War account, this correction will not change the narrative:

Like most of the Gaza assault narrative, this story/photo needed media skepticism but got heavy news industry promotion. The “correction” will undo little of the #LethalJournalism damage.

This case illustrates better than any the cruel effectiveness of Pallywood.

Exploiting the death of an infant was a “success” for the anti-Israel propaganda industry, even if based on a lie.


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