An animated video clip mocking the foreign press coverage of last summer’s conflict in Gaza released by Israel’s Foreign Ministry was removed from the ministry's website following criticism and complaints from representatives of the foreign press corps in Israel.
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"The aim of the video was to illustrate Hamas' crimes, and once it was interpreted otherwise it was decided to remove it," Ministry Spokesman Immanuel Nachshon said Sunday, after Foreign Ministry Director Dore Gold ordered the English-language short off the ministry's website.
The video was uploaded last week, simultaneously with an Israeli report on the Gaza conflict, also known as Operation Protective Edge. The video and the report were meant to be part of Israel's diplomatic effort and hasbara campaign ahead of the release of the UN Human Rights Council's report on the conflict.
The short raised an uproar among foreign journalists, even prompting a condemnation from the Foreign Press Association. The video portrays the foreign journalists covering the war from within Gaza as oblivious to Hamas' terrorist activities and its human rights violations, reporting instead that everything is quiet.
The clip opens as a blonde anchorman reports: "We are here in the center of Gaza, and as you can see, people here are trying to live quiet lives. There are no terrorists here, just ordinary people." Immediately a rocket is launched behind him.
Then, the journalist reports enthusiastically on the “underground city” and tunnels that comprise “Gaza’s first subway system” as armed men head into the tubes, with the prominent sign: “MINIMUM: 8 terrorists per tunnel.”
Finally, he reports that “Palestinian society here is liberal and pluralistic, and Hamas allows everyone to live in dignity" as a man with a rainbow gay pride flag is grabbed and carried away.
At the end, a savvier colleague hands the journalist a pair of glasses that will help him “see the reality of life under Hamas rule.” When he does, he passes out from shock. The tag line is. "Open your eyes, terror rules Gaza."