Daily Israel Report

'Settlers Mock Arab Woman' Photo: the Truth Revealed

A photo supposedly showing Jews mocking an Arab woman evicted from her home is not what it seems.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 7/19/2012, 6:25 PM

Flagdance (file)
Flagdance (file)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

A photo taken near the Shimon Hatzaddik neighborhood during the FlagDance on on Jerusalem Day, 2010, is making the rounds on the internet again, and has given rise to an avalanche of responses on the Reddit website.

The photo initially appeared on a Wall Street Journal blog with the following explanatory text:  

"A Palestinian woman whose house has been occupied by Jewish settlers argued with Israelis who came to celebrate Jerusalem Day in the mainly Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem."

The photo appears to show several young Jewish men mocking a lone Arab woman, who has her back to the camera.

Thousands of comments have been posted, most of them denouncing the Jewish men, many of them vile, some calling them "racists" and even posting photos comparing them to Nazis

HolesintheNet, an Israeli website devoted to online world, published the story behind the picture Thursday, based on an explanation posted by a Reddit user. Several Arab families were expelled from homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood after the High Court found, in 2009, that the homes belonged to Jewish families and the Arabs were illegal squatters.

The Reddit user said that he spoke to one of the young men in the photo. The young man told him:

"This is false propaganda. This is a case of a good photographer who documented our faces, mostly mine, at the right second. As we sang and celebrated in Sheikh Jarrah, the Arab woman came out of a house, banging on a pan, and tried to disturb our celebrations, so we raised our voices and sang louder as she came nearer. We did not yell at her or mock her. We simply tried to keep on celebrating and she tried to disturb us. The picture does not show several other women who banged on pots and tried to interfere with our celebrations."

HolesintheNet contacted the photographer, Ahmad Gharabli, and said it would bring his reaction when it receives it.

As reported in Arutz Sheva at the time, FlagDance marchers in 2010 received specific instructions to avoid confrontations with Arabs. Rabbi Yaakov Meidan, head of the Har Etzion Hesder Yeshiva, wrote an article for youth before the celebrations on avoiding incidents in the Hebrew Makor Rishon newspaper.