The Foreign Ministry on Sunday removed a satirical animated video on how Gaza is presented abroad following withering criticism from the foreign press that it was mocking them.
The 50-second short was placed on the ministry’s website last Sunday, along with Israel’s 277-page report on the events in Gaza last summer, in an apparent effort to preempt against what is expected to be a harsh, one-sided censure of Israel by the UN Human Rights Council’s committee investigating last summer’s activities.
The short featured a foreign correspondent painting a rosy picture of life in Gaza, with the terrorist tunnels portrayed as a “fascinating attempt by Hamas to build a subway system,” and people in Gaza just trying to “live quiet lives” in a Palestinian society that is “liberal and pluralistic.”
The reporter is blind to terrorists carrying and firing missiles. It ends with the statement, “Open your eyes, terror rules Gaza.”
The Foreign Press Association protested the video, issuing a statement that it was “surprised and alarmed by the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s decision to produce a cartoon mocking the foreign media’s coverage of last year’s war in Gaza.”
“At a time when Israel has serious issues to deal with in Iran and Syria, it is disconcerting that the ministry would spend its time producing a 50-second video that attempts to ridicule journalists reporting on a conflict in which 2,100 Palestinians and 72 Israelis were killed,” the statement said. “Israel’s diplomatic corps wants to be taken seriously in the world.
Posting misleading and poorly conceived videos on YouTube is inappropriate, unhelpful and undermines the ministry, which says it respects the foreign press and its freedom to work in Gaza.”
Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon explained the decision to remove the short by saying that it was meant to “illustrate Hamas’s crimes in Gaza, but when it was interpreted differently, it was decided to remove it.”