First consider the following photograph:
This was taken at Netzarim Junction on September 30, 2000. The day that Al Durah was shot on film by Talal Abu Rahma. The picture was made public by AP. I use it in lectures to introduce Pallywood.
The closer you look, the less the picture makes sense. Who are these people and what are they doing? Running from what? Ducking from what? Fire? From where? What kind? And why aren’t the people behind them ducking or running?
And what happens when you realize that the building in the upper left shields this entire area from Israeli fire which could only come from their position behind that building, and which they never left that day?
The scene we’re looking at takes place along the road to the bottom left. The building we see in the background is labeled in Hebrew in red (“the factory”), and the Israeli position is behind it, labeled in blue (Magan 3).
In other words, the entire scene is staged, and all these figures are playing for the camera. Indeed, one might phrase it that they are reacting to camera fire.
Now none of that really makes sense to us in the West. When I show this to audiences, people try hard to read the picture as real, not staged. It can’t be that an entire street full of people are involved in such stuff. (James Fallows fall back on al Durah being staged is that it couldn’t happen without someone leaking the story, as if Palestinian culture were identical to ours in these matters of dissent.)
It’s precisely our desire not to believe that Palestinians or Arabs would be so blatantly deceptive that makes us so gullible to a major element of their cogwar against us, namely the manipulation of the (inexcusably) credulous Western news media to create sympathy among the (excusably, if stupidly) empathic Western public, eager to side with the (perceived) underdog.
So now we have serious, comic evidence of Pallywood at work in the Morsi camp in Egypt.
And here’s more of the same, although (a tiny bit) less obvious, from Syria.
What does this tell us about what they think of us, that such patent fakes could conceivably move Western public opinion (note the English signs), and, say, help convince the US government that it should cut off aid to Egypt in reprisal for the behavior of the current ruling group?
That we’re stupid? Unquestionably. The sad thing is, they may well be right. After all, our policy-makers seem to have their major offices on rekaB Street.