A Palestinian who proclaims himself to be a peace activist is angry that Israeli media outlets have used a year-old image of him flashing the “three-finger” sign in articles meant to illustrate Palestinian joy over the kidnapping of three teenagers last week.
Mohammad AlQadi, a Jenin native who is currently residing in France to pursue a career as a chef, used his Facebook page to denounce Israeli online news sources that posted a photograph of him from last year in which he is seen flashing three fingers. In contrast to the perception that he was elated over the kidnappings, the gesture was instead his show of support for a Palestinian contestant on the popular pan-Arab song contest Arab Idol.
In the days following the kidnapping of three Jewish teenagers in the West Bank, a number of Palestinians took to social media to celebrate the news by posting photographs of themselves as they hold up three fingers.
AlQadi’s photograph was used by the Ynet and Walla! websites even though the year-old picture had nothing to do with the kidnapping.
“Im so mad coz an Israeli website take my photo that was taken 1 year ago to support Mohammad ASSAF ARAB IDOL,” AlQadi wrote on his Facebook profile. “And the 3 sign was mean vote for him on his number 3.”
Gazan singer Mohammed Assaf won the "Arab Idol" song contest final held in Beirut last year, touching off massive celebrations throughout the Palestinian territories.
In an interview with Israeli blogger Ido Keinan, AlQadi, a former member of the One Voice peace initiative, condemned the Palestinian celebrations of the kidnappings.
“I have many Israeli friends from my work as a peace activist,” he said. “They asked me how could I support the arrest of Israelis and children. I told them that I’m not such a person. I believe in peace and support peace, because violence begets violence.”
AlQadi, who is also a mountain climber, said he plans to climb Mt. Everest in order to spread the message of peace throughout the world.