Israeli diplomat slammed for using backstage film footage to spread disinformation on Gaza suffering

Israeli diplomat slammed for using backstage film footage to spread disinformation on Gaza suffering
3 min read
10 November, 2023
Israeli diplomat Ofir Gendelman faces backlash for spreading false information by using behind-the-scenes film footage in a bid to discredit the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza.
Backstage footage from the film The Reality was used as misinformation by the Israeli official [screengrab/Instagram]

An Israeli diplomat faced backlash on Thursday as he flagrantly attempted to spread misinformation about civilian suffering in Gaza, where an indiscriminate Israeli bombing campaign has killed over 11,000 Palestinians - mostly children, women and elderly.

Ofir Gendelman, who is also a spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was called out for attempting to pass behind-the-scenes footage from a Lebanese short film as "evidence" that Palestinians were "faking injuries".

Gendelman posted the misleading clip on social media, where it remains live and unedited despite a community note on X and hundreds of comments saying it was fake.

"See for yourselves how they fake injuries and evacuating ‘injured’ civilians, all in front of the [sic] cameras. Pallywood gets busted again," he wrote.

Film director Mahmoud Ramzi shared on his Instagram Story on Thursday that the video was a behind-the-scenes clip from a short film called "The Reality", which was shot in Lebanon last month.

The film was produced as a tribute to the struggle of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who were killed or had their lives uprooted after a month of relentless war on the besieged Gaza Strip, Ramzi said in the post.

"Even though you saw proof that it was part of a video production, you still didn't delete the post. It shows that the people in the Israeli government are good at making misleading information, and they don't mind lying. Shame," one X user said.

"Cheap and despicable propaganda: The surprising part is that this ‘evidence’ consists of behind-the-scenes footage from a published video directed by Mahmoud Ramzi," another user said.

It was not the first time Gendelman was called out for peddling misinformation about Palestinians.

Last week, the diplomat shared what he called a "must-watch" video allegedly showing dogs belonging to the Israeli military chasing Hamas fighters in tunnels under Gaza.

This was quickly refuted by an Israeli journalist who highlighted that the video came from an Israeli forces training session that preceded the 7 October Hamas attacks on Israel.

In May 2021, when Israel launched operations against Gaza, Gendelman also shared a video from Syria in 2018, incorrectly stating that it depicted Palestinians in Gaza launching rockets from within a civilian area.