This is in response to a couple of other Pages posted regarding film footage of this week’s Israeli air strikes in Gaza, both of which questioned the authenticity of several BBC video clips that at least one Israeli blog & one far-right Israeli news outlet are presenting as “Pallywood” productions.
“Don’t give anyone your eyes.” —ProverbWhile I don’t deny that there have been numerous cases of staged or distorted videos, not to mention photoshopped images, it’s a mistake to take the default position that nearly everything coming out of Gaza (or the West Bank) is distorted without having sufficient proof of that being the case. Why? Because it’s dehumanizing. To be frank, I don’t give a damn if someone has a good reason for being cynical—just because something is understandable doesn’t make it okay. There have been many, many cases of women who have lied about being raped; does that make it okay to assume by default that all or even most women who claim to have been raped are lying? Of course not, no decent, rational person would think such a thing.
A wise man by the name of Bob Levin once relayed to me a (Jewish?) proverb that I’m going to paraphrase here: Don’t give anyone your eyes. Truer words were never spoken. Never, EVER let others tell you what you’re seeing.
So while this may be too long & boring for many of you, I want to make a point by illustrating just how easily our eyes can be deceived, by both our personal biases & preconceived notions and by the speed at which visual information flies by, causing us to miss many subtle details.