Seeing themselves

star-stabbing-150Viral images

If you ever have engaged in a social media dispute you probably have seen an image like one below. It either comes in the course of thread when some near-illiterate can’t answer your argument and rifles through his file of memes and cartoons which may or may not have anything to do with the point, and posts it in response.

In other cases the graphic is the post. This labelled one on the right appears more than 600 times on the Internet. That is more than six times the appearances of the original. It has gone viral which means at the very least it has struck a chord.

You have to love how the artist and those who share believe that the image of Muslims stabbing people has been invented by television.


A few seconds of close examination was all it took to determine that it wasn’t the original but a highly compressed (JPEG artifacts) with neat but clearly later additions in colour of text, a circle and an arrow. My guess is that this is a mediocre scan from a newspaper that had been attached to a wall and faded for a considerable period before the ‘artist’ decided to modify it.

I may even have found what may be the the original pre modification scan (Thank you Tin Eye Reverse Image Search).

My first thought was ridicule. Did the second ‘artist’ really think his target audience is so stupid that without his identifying it with a red circle they wouldn’t understand the joke

The answer to that one is probably YES.

Genuine Pallywood

None of the research in identifying the following photograph is mine but I regard it as a public service to bring it to your attention so you can rebut it with ridicule when presented to you as a genuine example of Israeli evil.

There are hundreds of shares of this picture online, all alone the lines of how evil the Israelis are. Pity it is a still from Chawki al-Mejri’s Kingdom of Ants: A Palestinian Fantasy AKA Mamlakat al-Naml AKA Le Royaume des fourmis. It doesn’t even pretend to be a documentary but rather a fictional family standing in for all Palestinians. Shot in Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria – but not Israel nor the Palestine Authority.

Few have heard of it probably because the reviews were uniformly negative. Even Saba Mubarak, the Jordanian actress who played the female lead and who according to most reviews was the brightest light in a dull production chose to leave it out of her IMDB listing.

Is there an Arabic equivalent for Alan Smithee? This movie will probably be better remembered for the almost anonymous ‘dying child’ viral image than anything shown on the screen.

Extra credit


About David Guy

B.A./B.C.A. (Communication and Media Arts) University of Wollongong, AUSTRALIA M.A. in Government (Diplomacy and Conflict Studies) Inter Disciplinary Center, Herzliya, ISRAEL Twitter @5MFI
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