Israeli government cartoon mocks foreign reporting on Gaza

Israeli government cartoon mocks foreign reporting on Gaza
Animated video attempts to get foreign journalists to think again about their reporting on Gaza, but is it mocking?
2 min read
16 Jun, 2015
The Israeli foreign ministry hopes the video may change some minds (YouTube)
What is the best way to win round international journalists to your side of the story in a conflict that has dominated the Middle East's news agenda for decades?

Mock them in an animated video, of course.

At least that is what the Israeli foreign ministry seems to think, after the release of the video on Sunday which shows a bumbling US reporter in Gaza clearly oblivious to masked 'terrorists' carrying rockets behind him.

In fact, he appears to be oblivious to all the caricatures of Gaza parading behind him, until, that is, his camerawoman kindly provides him with glasses and, lo and behold, he can see clearly that Gaza is, in actual fact, ruled by terror, as the video puts it.

Gazans in the video are seemingly largely portrayed as either terrorists or, as in one delightful scene, a woman in a burka pushing a pram before an explosion – an attempt to justify cases where Israel has killed civilians in Gaza.

"There are no terrorists here, just ordinary people" is the message from the US reporter - a message that the Israeli foreign ministry is trying to get viewers to reconsider.

Is this the best way to do it?

The video certainly appears to portray international journalists, and their reporting on Gaza, in a negative light.

This line of questioning was immediately posed to the foreign ministry in the wake of the video, but they denied any idea that they were mocking journalists.

"[The video is] meant to expose the irony of how Gaza is portrayed," said Uri Resnick, a spokesman for Israel's foreign minister. "I don't think it is meant to be an insult at all."

The Israeli government has maintained that last summer's war in Gaza, which killed 2,100 Palestinians as well as 72 Israelis, mostly soldiers, was a justified response to the rule of Hamas in the blockaded territory.

The Israeli army even went as far as to claim after the conclusion of an investigation on June 11 that it could not be held responsible for the death of four children on a beach in Gaza during the war, saying that the strike had targeted a Hamas compound, despite journalists arriving on the scene verifying that there appeared to only be a small fisherman's hut.