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Palestinians Form Elite Unit To Cry For Foreign Cameras
The first group of alumni is scheduled to perform for a compliant video crew from the BBC next week
The incident in question occurred earlier this week in Hebron, where Israeli troops were enforcing an order to seal off an empty house from which firebombs had been thrown. In a video distributed by pro-Palestinian activists, an elderly woman could be seen and heard weeping over the loss of access to her family's home that they had inhabited for "hundreds of years." However, a wider, more comprehensive recording of the incident emerged showing the woman being coached outside the frame of the other camera's view, indicating a setup to exploit the moment rather than an authentic episode.
Palestinians have long exploited Western media to play to the viewers' emotions, and the media personnel have largely played along in pursuit of a compelling story, if not outright sympathy for the Palestinian cause. The ubiquity of mobile devices with video capability, along with footage from surveillance cameras, has occasionally served to expose the rehearsed, contrived nature of confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli forces, a phenomenon known as "Pallywood."
To forestall such fiascos, the PLO has now trained a cadre of actors to portray the victims in the set-piece drama for the benefit of Western audiences, journalists, and activists. Cultural and religious sensibilities initially threatened the project, which was not budgeted to account for separate programs for male and female participants, but a last-minute infusion of funding from Qatar helped secure the necessary personnel. The first group of alumni is scheduled to perform for a compliant video crew from the BBC next week, though the venue has not been disclosed.
A Palestinian official speaking on condition of anonymity suggested the location would be an olive orchard, a tried-and-true venue for libeling Jewish settlers over cut-down trees. He said, however, that the backstory had yet to be fleshed out. One faction of the creative team favors an elderly man and his descendants glumly surveying olive tree stumps, while another favors the more dramatic picture of having people dressed like Jews "caught" in the act of felling the trees and fleeing when confronted.
If successful, the organizers intend to deploy the unit across areas of friction with the IDF, especially where homes are demolished either for their illegal construction or their use as a base for terrorist activities. Those scenes will call for more of the heart-rending weeping and cried of desperation, skills that the members of the unit have honed intensely. Shortly thereafter, officials see daily incidents in which Israeli drivers will be filmed "running over" Palestinians and leaving them for dead.
An earlier program to train Palestinians to pretend to attack Israelis, and thus provoke them into violence that would them be filmed, was scrapped when the trainees repeatedly ignored the "pretend" element and used deadly materials such as Molotov cocktails and improvised firearms.