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In propaganda battle, PM Spokesperson tweets old photo

The IDF is recently putting a lot of effort into propaganda campaigns, and especially new media ones. The army has a blog, a Flickr account, a Facebook page and a Youtube channel; officers from IDF spokesperson unit are very active on social networks, where they argue with journalists and activists and at times even endorse certain (rightwing) political positions.

A recent entry in the IDF Spokesperson blog encouraged readers to help the army “spread the truth” about the military escalation in the south. Another entry was dedicated to a tweet from a Palestinian blogger, which showed a photo of a wounded Palestinian child, allegedly wounded in the attack on Gaza. The photo was old, plus it was photoshopped. The blogger who posted it apologized (she explains the affair here). But the IDF blog concluded (emphasis in original):

This isn’t the first time people have spread false information about the IDF. Meanwhile, lies are still being tweeted throughout the web.

Share this post to fight misinformation–set the facts straight about what’s going on in Israel and Gaza.

So here is my contribution to the important battle against misinformation. A tweet by Ofir Gendelman, a spokesperson for the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, showing a picture of a mother and two children seeking cover from a rocket attack:

This picture is from 2009. Asked by a journalist why he knowingly posted old pictures without mentioning when they are from, the Prime Minister’s spokesperson replied:

I am not a news agency nor am I a reporter. The photo is genuine and illustrates the tragic condition in the south.

And dead Palestinian kids? No need to go to the archives for those: There is no shortage of photos from recent IAF attacks.

 UPDATE: Ofir Gendelman tweeted this clarification, stating that the photo he posted wasn’t new.

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    1. Jacob

      This is a non-story. He didn’t state that it was from the recent escalation, so it is not a lie, not even misleading.

      A woman and her kids taking cover from a rocket is just that regardless of the date the picture was taken. It was happening then and presumably happening now.

      I fully support exposing misleading propaganda from the IDF, GOI or anyone else but it’s best if efforts are concentrated on when that’s actually occurring.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Anonymous

      Did 972 publish the story of the Palestinian UN official who knowingly tweeted a picture of a bloody Palestinian girl who fell off a swing in 2006, and claimed she was a victim of Israel?

      Reply to Comment
    3. Diana

      Thank you Noam, by the way the link “(she explains the affair here)” is not working!

      Reply to Comment
    4. DIANA: thanks, link fixed.

      Reply to Comment
    5. bobz

      also avital leibovich a few days ago tweeted a tweet with a video claiming its of recent rocket launching when in reality the original video was first uploaded back in 2009… also when there was the tragic accident of the school bus and palestinian children, i think it was her or another iOf spokesperson replied to people telling them to mention that “israeli soldiers went to help save children” in their articles and reports, and not just the racism in people’s comments about it… when in reality everyone who was there and even videos after the incident PROVE that the soldiers came after a bit of time passed from the accident and were WATCHING the palestinian civilians put out the fire on their own!!!!!!

      Reply to Comment
    6. bobz

      another iOf spokesperson i forgot who, also claimed that a so called “riot” of NON VIOLENT CIVILIANS in nabi saleh hit a french activist with a rock, which was absolutely not true and a video proved it!!! … his tweet after that was to say something like “we are investigating the injury of a frnech activist”…. OFFICIAL idf spoke people use false information to spread there propaganda, not an activist that tweeted an image because of the similarity between the picture and a million other pictures of palestinian children injured from israeli drones and attacks

      Reply to Comment