Second Draft examines another Pallywood Production: Gaza Beach Tragedy: Exploiting Grief

We have just put up a ten-minute documentary on the Gaza Beach explosion that killed seven of the Ghalia family on June 9, 2006.

Gaza Beach Tragedy: Exploiting Grief

We hope, in the near future to put up the documentation for the movie in the same manner as we did with both Pallywood and Al Durah, including some of the footage we cut (for example a focus on the behavior of Ayham Ghalia the surviving brother).

At the time it happened, I posted several items on it:

At first I expressed doubt that the incident had even happened at the beach. Too little blood on and too little damage to family possessions led me to speculate that the accident happened elsewhere and the bodies had been brought to the beach.

But since then, Danny Seaman of the Government Press Office gave me the rushes provided to him by Rammattan (which we will post shortly). After careful examination, I have changed my opinion, and in the film suggest that the family did die at the beach (considerable, but localized blood), and that it was most likely from a Palestinian land mine.

This is Pallywood not in the sense of pure staging, as I think in the case of al Durah and many of the ambulance evacuations, but of a genuine tragedy — the family were killed on the beach — in which the Pallywood producers were able to create a story that accused the Israelis of killing them when they were most probably killed as a result of Palestinian actions.

There is much to speculate on here:

  • Was the cameraman aware that this was — or may have been — from a Palestinian mine, rather than from an Israeli shell?
  • Just how dishonest was Marc Garlasco, the Human Rights Watch specialist, whose testimony pegs him either as one of the great useful idiots of all time, or a dishonest advocate and propagandist?
  • When did the media realize the problem but chose either not to mention their mistakes, or to present the counter-case as minimally as possible?
  • What’s wrong with the Rory Peck Award Committee that, despite all the evidence of foul play, they gave the cameraman an award?

In preparation for the dossier at the Second Draft, we welcome any references to articles or material that we can include in the dossier, including material that may contradict our thesis.

35 Responses to Second Draft examines another Pallywood Production: Gaza Beach Tragedy: Exploiting Grief

  1. Solomonia says:

    New Pallywood Film at Second Draft: Gaza Beach Tragedy

    Richard Landes has just released a new major production at Second Draft: Gaza Beach Tragedy. Direct download or stream, here. The film runs about 10 minutes. This is bold material. It’s difficult to look at. There is a personal tragedy…

  2. Michael B says:

    Exploiting grief, manipulating emotions, etc.; ideological war as theater blends perfectly with theater and fantasy in general as ideological bravado and boosterism, evident in Hollywood and Broadway and beyond. The triumph of pomo and late modern iconography? I don’t know, but regardless as to how it all might be better conceived, what suffers is the word, the incisiveness and the illuminating potential of the word; rightly conceived, as presently it too is in a profoundly debased and devolved state. People are “educated” and know how to use words, the word, to elide, elude and obfuscate, but much less so to convey content and depth and presence.

  3. Bloody Liars

    Scott Johnson, of Powerline, goes into surgery on the photos spread around the world in the MSM of Arafat donating blood in sympathy with the victims of 9/11. Non-surprise: a bloody lie. Richard Landes goes to the Gaza beach…

  4. SE says:

    Richard, you need to clarify something. You say that the reason the media was duped in the Gaza Beach episode is because the media weren’t on the spot. Yet when Hamas (accidentally) killed 15 of their own and tried to blame this on Israel Hamas couldn’t because the media was right there the whole time. But in the al Dura affair wasn’t the media there the whole time?
    Maybe what is going on is that the Western media are dupes for a story, but not (necessarily) anti-Israel. Hence, when a Palestinian gives them a story — al Dura, Gaza Beach — they swallow it whole. But when the Western media film it themselves there is some sense of honesty. Don’t know.
    Do you have any idea what happened to Garlasco? Did he apologize, was he censured? That would be interesting, to see the HRW criticize their own.

    Relatedly, see for a staged photo from Reuters of the Gaza Parliament operating in the dark.

  5. […] Landes goes to the Gaza beach to further expose the bloody lie carried by the MSM around the world that Israel was at fault for a […]

  6. fp says:

    What happens is that they cannot check on what the arab side says and are afraid to question it. while the israelis let them check and do not do anything to them if they are criticized.


  7. Jerry Gordon says:

    June 15, 2006
    The Incredible Marc Garlasco
    by Jerry Gordon

    You have probably read about the former Pentagon military analyst, Marc Garlasco who was given great credibility by the mainstream press over his allegations about who or what caused the death of eight hapless Palestinians on the Gaza beach last week. Yesterday’s New York Times had another front page article by Messrs. Steven Erlanger and Ian Fisher of their Jerusalem Bureau in which Garlasco is given virtually equal standing to the IDF investigating team whose spokesperson said that “chances are close to zero” that an IDF 155MM round caused the deaths among the picnicking Ghalia family leaving unfortunate 12 year old Hulda bereft screaming for her father.

    So there was Garlasco part of the purported Human Rights Watch (HRW) “investigating team” as its senior military analyst in full glory in front of the media stating that he was “certain it was caused by a 155MM round,” the IDF forensic, operational damage assessment and intelligence information to the contrary.

    After all if you read the HRW news releases, they had done what they deemed the requisite GPS studies and besides, “they were there in Gaza and the IDF wasn’t” so as their headline bleated the IDF “Artillery Strike Probably Killed Palestinian Family.”

    Judy Klinghoffer in her posting on Tuesday on her History News Network weblog addressed Garlasco’s previous work on the Haditha episode in Iraq and likened him to the role of U.N. Rep.Ter-Larsen during the infamous Jerin “massacre” allegations-subsequently denied by a UN investigation.

    Honest reporting in its report entitled “Unbiased Advice” posted today takes Garlasco to task for his Rafah Gaza reports on Housing destruction by the IDF during its campaign to uncover smuggling tunnels under the border with Egypt, prior to the unilateral withdrawal of last summer.

    Yesterday, before I did my weekly stint on Alan Nathan’s Battlle Line World Debate on Radio America I played out a hunch and spoke with a close friend and military intelligence buddy, whose name for the moment will not be disclosed. Later on-air I told the Battle Line World Debate listener audience what I had found out about Garlasco from my discussions with my friend. You can go to the Radio America Battle Line website and hear my archived ex cathedra remarks about the Gaza beach killings and Garlasco’s lack of credibility as a technically qualified expert.

    I knew that my buddy had been involved with doing targeting in the preparation for the bigh push at the outbreak of hostilities in Iraq. I had looked at Marc Garlasco’s resume on line at Mother Jones radio and noted his Irag related stint.

    As it turned out my MILINT buddy worked with Garlasco on pre-war Iraq targeting effort at DIA.

    He noted that Marc had bolted when the war began and the rest became history as Garlasco became the purported senior military analyst for Human Rights Watch with his housing destruction reports in Gaza and such.

    My buddy pointed out to me that Garlasco is not technically qualified to point to a depression in the sand on Gaza beach and state uncategorically that it was caused by an Israeli 155 MM round. Why? he had no scientific training required to do bomb damage assessment-typically a USAF intel function.

    That information and more might take Garlasco and the miscreants at the NYTimes Jerusalem Bureau, their foreign editor and editorial pooh bahs in New York and the BBC/CNN/Reuters news hounds down a peg!!

    It makes Garlasco, incredible, doesn’t it?

    Posted by Jerry Gordon @ 3:48 pm |

  8. Second Draft: Exploiting Grief

    Little Green Footballs

    Second Draft has released a new short video on that mysterious explosion on a Gaza beach in 2006: Second Draft examines another Pallywood Production: Gaza Beach Tragedy: Exploiting Grief.
    URL: Little Green Footballs

  9. […] Gaza: La explotacion del dolor Publicado el Domingo, 27 Enero 2008 por Klovs Richard Landes lanza un documental esclarecedor sobre lo sucedido en la playa de Gaza en junio de 2006, autor de otros documentales que dejaron […]

  10. RR says:

    I showed this to a friend who replied:

    Friend: “someone said “me” and the quotation on the screen said “my” (~8:43) and i was like “what? why would they let that typo get through?”

    Me: “Oh interesting. Did it affect anything? The meaning or something?”

    Friend: “Well, kinda. Because at first I had to go “now.. they’re presenting a good point and seem to be backing it up well” but then that made me doubt the quality of production and through it the credibility, so yeah”

    Just an FYI.


  11. Paliwood at its finest, ladies and gents.

    I don’t see any sign of any sort of explosion at all. So where did the bodies come from?

  12. Its too late, the damage is done. Once the pictures are around the world and the grievance theater erupts, there is little that can be done in the way of damage control. The same with the abominable ‘Al Doura’ affair.
    If you hang an innocent man and later on it turns out that he really was innocent its no good to him, is it?

    Israel is doing a terrible job in the propaganda war.

  13. Joe Example says:

    I remember that there was also a question about some guy on the beach with a rifle who was supposedly dead and then all of a sudden moved. Do you remember anything like that?

  14. Joanne says:

    This is crazy. But if you want to read about more Hamas shenanigans, look at the Sandmonkey blog ( This is a liberal Egyptian blogger, and he’s often funny and brilliant.

    Specifically, I’m referring to his entry for today (Saturday, 1/26), called “Gaza Lessons and Facts.” It’s a hoot. It’s about the tricks Hamas has been playing regarding the border crossing with Egypt. Here are a few tidbits:

    “Hamas has been cutting the wall for a month now, preparing for it to come down on the eve of the Palestinian factions conference hosted by Hamas in Syria. This was done in order to maximize the media attention to Khaled Meshel and his gang of Syrian-Iranian-backed cronies, thus giving them more of the spotlight than they would’ve ever received. This is a PR stunt…”

    “No one, and I mean no one, have the ability to manipulate the media like the Palestinian authorities…I mean, did you see that picture of Haniyah having a cabinet meeting lit by candle-light? Or the way the women and children looked like, as they crossed the border as the wall fell down? Or the “People Power” branding they gave the entire thing? Yes, cause I am sure the Palestinian government did not store enough fuel for itself in case of emergency…”

    “A Palestinian-American friend of mine just came back from visiting his grandparents in Gaza (just jumped over the fence and back he said, no one is controlling the borders apparently), and he was telling me how the entire “they are hungry people looking for food” headline story is a crock of shit. He laughingly told me that they are buying motorcycles, mattresses and TV’s and other such basic survival needs.”

    “The world is still filled with useful idiots: Nothing makes my heart warmer than American leftist hippies chanting slogans in 4X4 beat or declaring Support for Hamas. Yes, yes, Viva Viva Intifada, indeed.”


  15. Joanne says:

    Just as an extra point: With the Al Durrah affair, the Gaza beach affair, and now this Gaza border stuff going on…I can only ask one question: Do these people have no shame?

    It’s as if Hamas were run by nothing but a bunch of con artists. Wait a minute… “as if”?

  16. Joanne says:

    Oh yeah, and don’t forget the candles lit at daylight conferences, with the curtains drawn to create darkness. Except that everyone knew it wasn’t nighttime. It’s been suggested that this was a symbolic act (acts, it was done at least twice), not meant to fool anyone but just to show “solidarity” with the Palestinians being deprived of electricity by the Israelis. Uh huh. Whatever.

  17. fp says:


    no, the pals have no shame except the one of israel existing and thriving.

    but they are not the problem. to a knowledgeable, able to reason person their shenanigans are transparent and pretty obvious. the problem is the ignorant, unable to think independently and critical west which is a consequence of the collapse of education.

    it’s not amazing. its a logical conclusion. it would be amazing if it were otherwise.

  18. Harry Reis says:

    I never cease to be stunned at the lack of Palestinian shame, and downright disregard for honesty and human dignity. It really erodes any trust in Palestinian goodwill. Recent events in Gaza including Hamas premeditated ‘breakout’ and the exacerbation of power shortages and maneuvering for the media continue to demonstrate Hamas exploitation of Palestinian suffering. And the world does not care to think otherwise.
    Thank you for your careful analysis and vigilance. The truth does not come easily, nor is it always the easiest to believe.

  19. […] A world captive and blindfolded… Jan28 28 January 2008, Administrator @ 8:01 am Pollywood? SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: “A world captive and blindfolded…”, url: […]

  20. Eliyahu says:

    Harry R, the problem isn’t just that Arabs lie but that much or most of the Western media are eager to be fed these lies.

  21. fp says:


    you just took the words out of my … keyboard.

    hamas would have been long extinct due to suicidal behavior had it not been for the propping up by the west and arab countries.


    don’t be amazed. they are behaving in a way which is being rewarded and it would be irrational for them to do anything else. incidentally, a lot of that is arab culture and religion, not specific to the pals.

  22. davidka says:

    These pallywood producers would be completely out of business were it not for the lust of the western media for the slightest hint of an atrocity perpetrated by the Israelis. It is the simple market economics of supply and demand.
    The Pals will lie till the cows come home and the real problem is with our OWN media.

  23. waif says:

    Re:#4 “But in the al Dura affair wasn’t the media there the whole time?”

    Other journalists were there, but only one other service has the al Duras on film, from a different angle. I suspect, since the scene is being staged by Talal Abu Rahma, the Palestinian cameraman, the other services didn’t appreciate the scene’s “significance.”

    See here:

    Palestinian gunmen and Israelis soldiers clash at the Netzarim junction in the Gaza Strip. A large contingent of foreign reporters, photographers and television crews are present, including France 2 cameraman Talal Abu Rahma. Much of the day’s events are filmed by the various (20 or so) television crews, but only Abu Rahma records what he claims to be Mohammed Al Dura’s death by Israeli bullets. (A Reuters clip apparently captures Jamal and Mohammed Al Dura filmed from a different angle.) He records 27 minutes of footage that day. While France 2 Middle East Bureau Chief Charles Enderlin is not at the scene at this time, he later views Abu Rahma’s clips and accepts the cameraman’s account of events.

    Enderlin edits the film and provides the voice-over commentary for that evening’s news broadcast. Only a small portion (55 seconds) of Abu Rahma’s footage is broadcast on the evening news. The footage shows Jamal Al Dura and his son Mohammed huddled behind a thick concrete barrel, gunshots hitting the wall behind them. The footage does not show the child dying.

    Correspondent Charles Enderlin comments on the footage for France 2 :

    3 pm… everything has turned over near the Netzarim settlement in the Gaza Strip…here Jamal and his son Mohammed are the targets of gunshots that have come from the Israeli position…. A new burst of gunfire, Mohammed is dead and his father seriously wounded.

  24. Eliyahu says:

    Another lie connected with Gaza is that it was under an Israeli blockade. But Egypt too has a frontier with Gaza, so there could not be a blockade of Gaza if Egypt too did not take part. Watching BBC & France24 over the past few weeks of the Gaza-Sderot-Qassam rocket crisis, I have noted that they assert an Israeli blockade, NEVER mentioning that Gaza could only be blockaded if Egypt too took part. This became even more absurd when the fence was wrecked last week and the viewing audience could see clearly that Egypt too had a frontier with Gaza and that Egypt had goods that the Gaza population wanted. Nevertheless, the MSM continued asserting only an Israeli blockade. France24, however, was more likely to admit that Israel had a reason to blockade Gaza because of the rockets on Gaza, and France24 even presented a story on the rockets coming down in Sderot and vicinity. It also seems that Egypt is renewing its blockade of Gaza and trying to make sure nobody leaves there to emigrate somewhere else. Maybe Mubarak is acting under US and/or UK pressure. Anyhow, it wouldn’t do to let Gazans emigrate for places with better, more peaceful, less Shari`ah-ridden opportunities. It wouldn’t do to allow the exhibits in anti-Israel propaganda escape. Here’s my view of the Gaza blockade story:

    Fiamma Nirenstein’s blog [in Italian] has some first hand reports on Sderot.

  25. Eliyahu says:

    It wouldn’t do to allow exhibits in anti-Israel propaganda TO escape.

  26. Eliyahu says:

    Michael B, you’re exactly right that ideological war today is theater, exploiting & manipulating emotions, etc. Let’s go further and say that media “news” broadcasts are theater and psywar. I’d like to add that the media have several paradigms/themes/motifs that they use for different situations. For instance, the attacks on Iraq in 1991 & 2003 –which were justified to a great extent– were often presented as the Cavalry Rides to the Rescue [at least in American media]. Meanwhile, French broadcasts in 2003 in the time around the war presented Bush as Attila the Hun.

    On the other hand, reporting on Israel is usually of the passion play paradigm: The Jews [= Israel] are constantly crucifying Jesus [= “palestinians”] over and over. This trend is especially noticeable on the BBC.

    So MSM “news” and current events features have to be seen as theater, as you say, & as ideological war or psywar.

  27. fp says:

    it’s been systematically the case that muslims/arabs oppressing or murdering each other is usually not news, only israel’s self-defensive acts are oppression and atrocities and, therefore, news. what is more even when the muslims/arabs do it to each other, even then the jews are responsible somehow.

    the reality that the games the pals play are pathetically obvious. they are effective only because the west and its MSM has lost its faculties.

  28. davidka says:

    yes it is the 2000 year age old condition.
    Jews have no right to act in their own self defence.
    They have rights to defence only when these are actioned by “responsible” non Jews.
    They reason that to bestow such rights to Jews would open a Pandora’s box of retaliations for the massacres perpetrated upon them. Furthermore it must continually be asserted how powerful and dangerous Jews are, so that any attacks on them are seen as means to control this “power” and not as vicious acts against a victim minority, which would engender feelings of Sympathy and solidarity in the populace.

  29. fp says:


    i don’t think there is any concern that the jews will take revenge. the issue is one of moral guilt and envy: on the one hand the west does not want to feel responsible for what happened to the jews and if the jews can be painted now as nazis, well, the west can take itself off the hook; and on the other hand, they know pretty well that they would not be able to behave
    as morally as the israelis if they were in their circumstances, so they must be in denial about that, to convince themselves that the jews are as bad as they know they would have been.

    these two reinforce themselves.

  30. Eliyahu says:

    fp, from what you and I have written, it turns out that the West –or most of it– is the main problem, not the Arabs. After all, if a European state sent assassins to kill political leaders in a neighboring country that it coveted, would it be allowed to get away with it today?

    Maybe it would. After all, hitler sent assassins to kill troublesome persons abroad, including a Jew, originally from Austria I think, who wrote a book outlining the Geman order of battle, and fled to Czechoslovakia after the Anschluss [if I have all the details right]. He was murdered in Czechoslovakia, as I recall. Anyhow, hitler got away with such acts and such behavior did not stop the British-sponsored Munich Pact.

  31. Eliyahu says:

    if it wasn’t clear to everybody, I was referring to Assad’s Syria that has had about ten political leaders and military and police officials and journalists murdered in Lebanon just starting with the Hariri murder in 2005. Actually, Syrian murders of Lebanese opposed to Syrian control there go back to the 1970s.

    Nevertheless, there’s a whole school of “realists” and friends of “American interests” in foreign policy that advocate “engaging” with Syria and Iran. Are they so different from Chamberlain??

  32. […] killed most of the family members and badly wounded others who came to Israel for treatment. I have written much and put out a video on the “Gaza Beach Massacre” and even produced a short documentary […]

  33. […] the family, while relaxing on the beach, was shelled by Israeli naval ships. Classic Pallywood. Evidence piled up that the Israelis had not been firing there, that the hole caused by the ordnance did not accord […]

  34. […] the family, while relaxing on the beach, was shelled by Israeli naval ships. Classic Pallywood. Evidence piled up that the Israelis had not been firing there, that the hole caused by the ordnance did not accord […]

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