What do CNN and Innocence of Muslims filmmaker share in Common?

On September 11, 2012 attacks on U.S. embassies took place all across the Middle East (Benghazi was a coordinated terrorist attack), most notably in Cairo. Attackers blamed an anti-Muhammad video called Innocence of Muslims. Magically, those who laid siege were not responsible for their own actions. There was evidence of foul play in the video’s production as well. In post-production editing, the words Muslims found most incendiary appeared to be dubbed in; the actors said they were duped.

We have now learned that CNN is responsible for putting forth egregious propaganda… on video. It is the kind of propaganda that, in the past, has been blamed for – you guessed it – violence in the Middle East. Like in the year 2000, it involves the exploitation of a young Palestinian boy.

In 2000, a Palestinian cameraman who was a stringer for France 2 shot what he claimed was news footage (rushes) at Netzarim Junction in the Gaza Strip. When Talal Abu Rahman sent the rushes to Charles Enderlin at France 2, he claimed to have footage of the now infamous shooting death of a young Palestinian boy named Muhamad al-Dura at the hands of Israeli forces. This news report was pointed to as being responsible for the second intifada; mass riots ensued.

Osama bin Laden pointed to the death of al-Dura as a motivating factor in the 9/11 attacks; Daniel Pearl’s murderers blamed the al-Dura shooting for Pearl’s murder; and two weeks after al-Dura was allegedly gunned down by Israelis, two Israeli soldiers were literally torn to pieces by an angry Palestinian mob in Ramallah.

There was one problem. The world was set on fire over a lie. The rushes captured nothing more than manufactured scenes that were passed off as news.

Boston University professor Richard Landes had a chance encounter with Enderlin in 2003 when the latter thought he had an ally in Landes after the professor was introduced to Enderlin by the Israeli ambassador to France. Upon visiting the France 2 studios, Landes was exposed to staged scene after staged scene. In 2006, he produced the first of three documentaries that would reveal the truth about a conspiratorial culture he identified as “Pallywood”.

Fast forward to 2012. As Israel bears down on Gaza after having to endure rocket attack after rocket attack, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Egypt’s Prime Minister Hisham Kandil attempted to capture some of the al-Dura / Pallywood glory while Kandil was visiting Gaza. Photos of the two men holding and kissing a dead Palestinian child appeared to lay the foundation for the narrative that Israel’s attacks on Gaza was responsible.

It wasn’t. The child was killed by Hamas, the same group led by Haniyeh, who was all too willing to exploit the young boy over a lie. In hindsight, perhaps the propagandists wish they hadn’t included Kandil in the photos; there were no Israeli rockets fired into Gaza while he was there.

CNN’s Sara Sidner, in much the same way that Charles Enderlin did in 2000, produced a news report that echoed the narrative of Hamas, saying that the boy’s death was the result of Israeli rocket fire. You can watch that report here.

This report from Sidner is an outright lie, Pallywood style:

That is not the only example either. Earlier, the BBC had captured video of a large man, allegedly injured, being carried away by several Palestinians. Moments later, the man was walking around as if nothing happened. During a CNN report anchored by Anderson Cooper, the footage of the man being carried away, as if injured, was used to portray Palestinian suffering at the hands of Israelis.

In a word – fraudulent.

CNN is now officially complicit in Pallywood. If, as many on the left believe, a video can spawn outrage in the Middle East, then CNN is using fraudulent footage of a boy’s death that could lead to the same outcome.

Can someone please explain how CNN, Anderson Cooper, and Sara Sidner are any different from the makers of Innocence of Muslims?

Ben Barrack’s new book, Unsung Davids, features both a chapter on Richard Landes, the man who discovered Pallywood, as well as a chapter on Walid Shoebat.


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