Just like last week's breathless story about a "million man protest" at Israeli embassies that was based on a tiny Facebook group that had only a few dozen followers, Ma'an yesterday reported on another way to fight Israel:
Young Palestinians have started a campaign on Facebook, encouraging others to write "Free Palestine" on Israeli currency in a new bid to spread the message.This Facebook group is also minuscule, with 123 members - hardly newsworthy for anyone who knows anything about Facebook.
According to the campaign's Facebook page, the initiative stems from the organizers' "firm belief in non-violent national resistance."
Israeli shekels are used in the West Bank and Gaza, and organizers say by writing on the bank notes Palestinians can advocate change and play a role in resistance to Israel's occupation and its unjust policies towards Palestinians.
Alas, today Ma'an is forced to reveal that its latest attempt to help fuel protest rather than report real news is a bust:
The Palestinian Banking Society warned Sunday, against a new protest-tactic that would see Palestinians pen the phrase "Free Palestine" on Israeli bank notes, in a plan designed as a non-violent resistance tactic.Oops.
The plan, warned the society, could prompt Israeli banks to refuse the bills, making what a statement said would be a "costly protest."
On account of the problem, the statement said, Palestinian banks would not accept notes with the slogan written on them.
"With all appreciation due to the good intentions of the organizers if the initiative, the society urges all citizens to understand the negative impact the act could have on the Palestinian economy," the statement said.
Not to worry. Maybe some 12-year old will come up with an idea to scrawl "Free Palestine" on all license plates, and Ma'an will be right there to report on this groundswell and make its audience think that it is a brilliantly new, innovative, major initiative.