by Anav Silverman

The original massacre, in Syria
The original massacre, in Syria

Yet another fake "Gaza" photo has incited a flurry of comments on Facebook against Israel during the fifth day of Israel's Pillar of Defense operation in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. An Arab news site called Alarab Net released the photo, which shows a family who was allegedly 'massacred' in Gaza on its Facebook page on Sunday, November 18. The caption in Arabic roughly translates into English as "martyred massacred family in Gaza shortly before..."

Thanks to Tazpit News Agency's investigative work, it was found that the photo had been originally published on a news site based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates called Moheet one month earlier on October 19. On the Moheet website, the photo was titled "Syria killed 122 Friday...Assad Used Cluster Bombs."

Massacre transplanted to Gaza
Massacre transplanted to Gaza

Uploaded to Facebook on Sunday evening by Alarab Net, the newly captioned Syrian photo, which depicts three bloodied children and their mother lying on a floor, quickly attracted over 1,200 likes, close to 500 comments and 420 shares within an hour.

Alarab Net appears to be a news website based in Israel that offers a wide range news coverage from pop culture to politics and anti-Israel coverage.

It is not the first time that photos from the Syria massacres have been recycled into Gaza tragedies during the recent rocket escalation. Last week, Hamas's military wing, the Al Qassam Brigades uploaded a photo on their Twitter page of a dead child in his weeping father's arms, which the terror group alleged had happened in Gaza during an IDF strike.

The American news syndicate Breitbart found that the photo was a month old and had originally appeared in a slideshow about the Syrian conflict back in October in the UK Guardian. The photo had in fact been taken in the Dar al Shifa Hospital in Aleppo, Syria.

Hamas's photograph, which had been tweeted as a taunt to the IDF spokesperson, has now been removed from the terrorist group's Twitter page.


See also the video of some previous Arab faked photos or mislabeled photos at, moderated by Shraga Simmons.

Paul Rotenberg who sent this article to Think-Israel writes:

This photograph was previously published by the Syrian "rebels" after a "government massacre" in Syria, as shown by the date of the original publication in the Arabic media. This week it was re-released as an accusation of an Israeli "Gaza massacre."

It is important to recognize that the Syrian "rebels" are not simply a ragtag group of freedom fighters as they are often portrayed, but are, in fact, mostly a branch of the Moslem Brotherhood, the same group we saw in Libya, and again in Egypt, taking advantage of a popular uprising and seizing power. It is no surprise to see Hamas, in Gaza, recycling the Syrian imagery, as Hamas is the local branch of the Moslem Brotherhood.

We must do what we can to help those suffering massacres in Syria, those who are stuck in the middle, but let us not forget who is on one side and who is on the other. It is another reason to feel very sorry for those stuck in the middle because neither side has the moral spine to feel any compunction about creating "collateral damage", and neither side has the scruples that would prevent them from leveling horrible accusations against the other, or a third party, with recycled imagery.

As members of the Jewish community we can feel pride that Israel goes to such lengths to prevent civilian casualties, it is a much discussed matter called "Tohar HaNeshek", the purity of arms, that is a founding principle of the IDF. As a rule, we need to have the courage and fortitude when we see such accusations, which happen all to regularly, and not only dismiss them, but vocally object to their publication on the grounds that we know that, barring a rare mishap, Israel does not fight even the most immoral enemy in an immoral way.

One more aspect of this "recycled imagery" needs to be addressed. Under the heading of "the best defense is a good offence", it is very common for Islamic sources to accuse their opposition of doing what they are doing in order to cover their own record and to establish a "moral equivalence". It is the workings of a perverse mind and we should not be fooled because, again, we know the moral and ethical standards of the Israel Defense Forces. At the same time, recognize that we do the same thing on a daily basis. They are recreating us in their own image, and we, at the same time, find it hard to fathom that they could not want the same lifestyle, living standard and security that we enjoy in our communities, and we naturally recreate them in our own image when we think of people, humans, in a struggle on the other side of the world. This is a dangerous path, we must objectively recognize who is behind the issues we see in the news.

Many of our news sources do not. During the Libyan uprising, I heard a news report on the CBC, the rebels were advance on a government held city and the background sound track was gunfire and fighters shouting "Allah hu Akhbar", Allah is great. Again today, on the 1:00pm hourly news on the CBC, the reporter was practically cheering on the Syrian rebels as they overran a government helicopter base, shouting "Allah hu Akhbar" in the background.

Be cautious about information coming out of either side and pity those in the middle.

Anav Silverman is a regular contributor to Tazpit News Agency. This appeared November 18, 2012 in the Jewish Press and is archived at

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