With the current conflict in Gaza still claiming the lives of innocent people on both sides (though more so on the Palestinian side), the propaganda war by both sides of this conflict has only further hampered any real solution. The facts are hard to come by and are often submerged in an ocean of bigotry, hatred, and bullshit rumors.
Recently, a photo of a supposed “Hamas terrorist” hanging “kids on a fence in front of a house to ensure the IDF will not strike the building” has made an appearance on Twitter. As of the writing of this post, it has been re-tweeted almost 1,600 times. The origin of this photo along with this description seems to have started with @AdamMilstein who describes himself as a “proud Israeli-American Community Activist” from Southern California.
Mr. Milstein also seems to be the head of “The Milstein Family Foundation” whose stated mission is “comprised of two pillars: 1) Strengthening the State of Israel, the homeland of the Jewish People, and its special ties with the United States of America; and 2) Ensuring the Jewish identity and the special affinity to the State of Israel of the young and the future Jewish generations.”
But fact-checking and truth seem to play little to no part in this stated mission.
A quick image search of the photo spread by Mr. Milstein brings up a LiveLeak video titled “Palestinian riot in Hebron on prisoner day.” The photo spread by Mr. Milstein appears under the video which is dated to April 17, 2014, months before the present situation in Gaza started.
But maybe that isn’t far enough in the past for some. Well, it gets worse.
Some more searching reveals that the photo was published even before that.
A news/media website with the name (roughly translated from Arabic) “Wonders And Oddities” appears to have posted the photo on their Facebook page on December 14, 2013. Needless to say, this is way before the current bombing in Gaza started. From a quick look at the comments, the man in the photo is either picking on or punishing the kids. We at WildFlowers are not sure at the moment what exactly is going on in the photo.
Regardless of how one may feel about bullying or punishing children in such a manner, this is far from being as bad as using kids as human shields against IDF bombing.
The photo may even have been published as far back as November 5, 2013, which would mean that the photo was actually shot before that.
We at WildFlowers are not yet sure exactly when this photo was taken. We are also not sure what exactly the man is doing to these children. As of now, we don’t know if this photo was even really taken in Palestine.
But we do know that the photo was NOT taken during the current bombing in Gaza. So claiming that it portrays a “Hamas terrorist” using children as human shields against the current IDF bombing of Gaza is extremely unethical to say the least.
And despite his supposed love for the state of Israel, Mr. Milstein’s spreading of this lie only damages the reputation of Israel’s supporters and encourages even more irrational hatred between Palestinians and Israelis. There is already enough propaganda surrounding this conflict. Outright lies do nothing to help.