What could have been yet another public relations mess for Israel this past weekend ended up becoming a coup. And in the process, it showed us how to fight - and defeat - the propaganda war being waged against Israel.

If you haven't already heard about it, it happened something like this. On Friday afternoon, the Palestinians released one of their standard issue propaganda film shorts purportedly showing an Israeli soldier beating on a kid with one arm in a cast, while a bunch of Arab women - and one teenaged Arab girl - tried to pull him off. The video was immediately picked up by some of the usual suspects - your typical hostile-to-all things-Israel British tabloids. But then a strange thing happened.

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Readers recognized the girl. It turns out, she's a regular performer in these things. The readers began to write in to the newspapers: That's Shirley Temper! "Who?" Said the newspapers. Shirley Temper! Said more and more readers. And they referred the papers to Israellycool, the blog/news monitor source that originated the nickname "Shirley Temper" for Ahed Tamimi, the young actress from the village of Nabi Saleh. Israellycool, for its part, had extensive documentation of the exploits of Ms. Tamimi and her family, replete with photographic evidence with circles and arrows showing the staging, the falsity, the surrounding reporters filming all these fake confrontation scenes between the Tamimis and the IDF.


A crack appeared in the wall. And then another. And then the whole edifice of lies began to crumble. One of the papers rewrote their story to include information about the girl's background, and about her history of staging anti-Israel provocations to be filmed for distribution to the media. Another paper removed it completely. The story was no longer about the confrontation between the women and the soldier: it was about the weekly Friday afternoon phony "shows" put on by the Tamimi family for the benefit of the willfully collaborative press. By Monday, the Washington Post had picked up the expose.

All due to the background documentation done by a handful of dedicated guys in their spare time. Just imagine if Israellycool and their compatriots had real funding and governmental support. What if they were permitted to ride with every IDF patrol to document the IDF's side of these encounters?

What if they had the finances to follow the foreign press and "human rights" groups, to document how they stage run-ins with Jewish civilians (aka "settlers")? How much respect would the press get if everyone could see how they collude with the Palestinians to produce these fake videos? The reporters and cameramen know perfectly well that these encounters are staged for their benefit and they go along with the charade.

All we need to do is show the world the truth. We must have photographers and videographers present to film the wider picture - the press waiting for the "show" and cooperatively filming only what the propagandists want them to. Shouting "liar" in a vacuum does nothing. But having evidence of their lies will get you in the news.

Everyone living in Israel that wants to fight these lies should grab a camera or even a phone, and start documenting. Follow BTselem volunteers wherever they go but don't interact, just record. Go out to Nabi Saleh on a Friday afternoon. If you live in the West Bank, follow your local activity. Make sure you capture before and after, the background and context that shows how these "confrontations" are staged for the press. If you live outside the West Bank, you can collect images of Jews and Arabs interacting normally: at the supermarket or university or water-park and so on. Then send your photos and video to one of the sites already collecting such things, like Israellycool or CAMERA or Tazpit News Agency, who in turn can be prepared to submit them to any news source that airs a piece of Palestinian propaganda . And everyone else can support them two ways: monitor the news and report propaganda, and of course - donate! Together we can beat this thing. Sunshine is the best disinfectant.

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