Thursday, July 08, 2010

A minor example of how credible Palestinian Arab "eyewitnesses" are

The story about the IDF soldiers dancing in Hebron exploded in the days since it was first mentioned on blogs. It has been shown on the news worldwide and it has received both praise and insults.

One interesting part of the story came from YNet's interview with an Arab who says she witnessed the dance:
Naoul Sultan and her daughter Rima remember the dance performed by six Nahal fighters outside their home in the West Bank city of Hebron very well. Several days later, the dance – to the music of "Tik Tok" by American singer Kesha – was posted on the internet and got thousands of views on YouTube and other websites.

"We heard a strange noise and ran to the window immediately to see what was going on," Naoul recounts. "We were surprised to see a group of soldiers dancing in different positions in the broad plaza of Jabel Rahma Street. It was around 4:30 am. We were amazed. The soldiers were singing out loud a song we never heard before and dancing with their rifles in their hands."

Naoul says she realized from the very beginning that the soldiers were shooting a video clip. She says the photographer was standing on a fence near her house and shooting a video of the dancing soldiers. "I was angry, but I just looked out my window and was silent. I don't talk to them."
However, YNet Hebrew (print edition only) just interviewed the soldiers involved in the video, and their description of how it was recorded is at odds with Naoul's:
It all began one evening when they sat down and started thinking how to bid farewell from the guys in the company. "We talked about it until we came up with the idea of making a satire out of the whole thing, just for laughs", one of the soldiers says. "We thought of all kinds of things that we could do, but they all looked too extreme to us. It's a custom to leave something behind after one leaves his company. We were really havnig a hard time in Hebron so we wanted to do some thing for laughs. You have to understand that service in Hebron is really hard. We were their twice. So we came up with all kinds of ideas, and than we thought about the dance. We downloaded the song to our cell phones and one of the soldiers came up with the moves. We practiced for a few minutes. It wasn't that complicated. We agreed on some codes that will help us remeber the moves because we had to do it without the song in the background."

And then the soldiers went on patrol. "We decided to do it late, around seven in the evening, and in a deserted area so no one can see us. It's important to emphesize it wasn't in the Casbah. It was spontaneous. One soldier stood near the guarding post and filmed it with his cell phone. The commander who stood on the left side shouted out the codes, and everyone did the moves according to the codes. We did it in one take", the soldiers said yesterday.

After the shoot they attached the song to the video and prepared the film to show it to the soldiers in the platoon.
The soldiers' description is more consistent with the video - it is light outside, and the music was clearly edited in afterwards.

I suppose it is possible that Naoul witnessed a different set of soldiers dancing at another time, and indeed the earlier YNet article mentions that others had seen soldiers singing and dancing in the past.

(h/t Islamonazism blog)