Lying liars promote false information about Israel, pretending that a photo from Chile shows Palestinian resistance

July 1, 2020 • 9:15 am

A common way to attack Israel is to disseminate fictitious photographs on social media, photographs that pretend to show Israeli malfeasance but often show something completely different. And the photos are often, as in this case, not even from Israel.

The article below, taken from India Today, reports on a striking photograph purporting to show a Palestinian girl facing down an Israeli policeman. She does look determined, and the supposed occasion was the detention of five Palestinian women by Israelis at the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem (I can’t find any information about why they were detained, nor any reports in the Israeli media about it, though Middle East Eye has a video report). At any rate, that’s irrelevant to this story, which disseminated the photo, which has “gone viral” on social media, to show fierce resistance by Palestinian children against Israeli oppression. But the photo, while real, has nothing to do with Israel or Palestine.

Click on the screenshot to read:


When I saw the photo, the officer’s uniform looked very familiar. It turned out that it was, for the photograph is from Chile, and I’d seen confrontations just like this one last fall on my visit to Valparaiso on the way to Antarctica. The article reports that the photo and caption appeared on the Facebook page of USA Muslims, looking like this (archived link):

Well, the kid may be brave and determined, but she’s a Chilean kid. From India Today:

More recently, according to media reports, Israeli security forces had detained five Palestinian women and a guard at the mosque compound last Sunday. Amid this, a picture of a young girl locking eyes with a policeman is going viral on social media with the claim that this Palestinian girl bravely stood up to Israeli police to protect the al-Aqsa mosque.

India Today Anti Fake News War Room (AFWA) has found that the four-year-old picture is from Santiago in Chile, where a young demonstrator locked eyes with a riot policeman during a political protest.

The archived version of the post can be seen here.

Among others, Facebook page “USA Muslims” posted the picture with the caption: “I am not a brainless stupid tiktoker muslim girl. I am an arabian muslim girl. I will fight for my Masjid-ul-Aqsa until the last breath of my life. Stop me if you can!” A brave Palestinian sister.May Allah protect our Palestinians brothers & sisters… Ameen Ya Rabb.

We ran a reverse search of the viral photograph and found it in the stock of Reuters. The picture was clicked by Reuters photographer Carlos Vera Mancilla on September 11, 2016, outside the general cemetery in Santiago, Chile. The caption with the photograph reads, “A demonstrator looks at a riot policeman during a protest marking the country’s 1973 military coup.”

We also found a news report on the famous stare. The protest marked 43 years of Chile’s bloody military coup that led to then President Salvador Allende being overthrown, killed, and replaced with a military government led by Augusto Pinochet.

Therefore, it is clear that the viral image is from Chile and has no relation to the al-Aqsa mosque dispute between Israel and Palestine. This mosque in Jerusalem is the third holiest site in Islam, but also the holiest site for Jews, who refer to it as “Temple Mount” because it was the location of the first and second Jewish temples in antiquity.

Hand it to Facebook: at least they’ve flagged the USA Muslims post as bogus. Here are the things you see when you click on their post:


The original from Reuters:

This of course is only one of a gazillion misleading images disseminated to demonize Israel and Jews. Many are done by private individuals, others by organizations like Muslims USA, and many by Hamas itself. If you want to see a whole list of these distortions, go here to see many cases of “fauxtography.”


33 thoughts on “Lying liars promote false information about Israel, pretending that a photo from Chile shows Palestinian resistance

  1. No wonder Facebook is under so much pressure to do more to stop the spread of nonsense and hatred.

    1. Zuckerberg is a very greedy man and really only cares about profit; he claims no responsibility for bad actors exploiting his site. As long as they are paying customers, who cares? Putin? Sure buddy, your money is as good as anyone’s. He’s a disgrace.

  2. Love that picture. I remember it from when the incident actually happened in Chile.

    It’s fascinating how the advent of the internet age allows lies like this to be caught so quickly and exposed. It’s depressing as hell that it doesn’t matter anyway. Turns out that exposing lies and telling the truth, even in near real time and where everyone can see it, simply doesn’t change enough minds to matter.

    1. Yes, a nice recent illustration is Mr Biden’s comment that the Corona virus had killed 120 million in the US, which he corrected within a second or two (that would be “in nearly real time”) to 120 thousand. Still, the fake meme of 120 million is circulating widely as ‘proof’ he is demented (which he’s obviously not).

  3. This is exactly why we are our own worst enemy when it comes to the net. We give the platforms everything and then we think, oh boy, its free. What a great deal. Why would we want to regulate these wonderful services. There are suckers born every day.

    1. Here is another one maybe many do not know about. On your smart phone go into settings -Privacy-Health. And there you will see something about convid-19 and how they can trace/track you. It shows you can turn it on or off but really. How does it get there without you having any say about it?

  4. Happens everywhere. In Ethiopia, where I live, there were pictures all over Facebook a couple of years ago of “necklacing” (filling a car tyre with gasoline, putting it round somebody’s body and setting fire to it) purported to have been inflicted by members of one Ethiopian ethnic group on those of another – I was suspicious and a friend and I tracked it down to old South African news footage. It’s going to get a lot worse when “deep fakes” really take off.

    1. Yes, necklacing is one of the most shameful crimes committed during the ‘struggle’.
      [Don’t get me wrong, the ‘struggle’ was a very worthy cause, but it had it’s horrendous excesses].

  5. This mosque in Jerusalem is the third holiest site in Islam – because of the story about M going to heaven on a winged horse?

    Didn’t the invisible pink unicorn (blessed are her heavenly hooves) appear somewhere in Jerusalem?

    1. Bear in mind that we of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster claim Toronto as our fourth holiest site. Our scriptures report that the Flying Spaghetti Monster once made a night journey to Sam the Record Man there. We therefore claim Yonge Street for our future capitol and FSM Autonomous Zone.

        1. Do you mean Sam the man? Isn’t he the one that tackles all legal cases to end to one’s benefit? Nice to know he’s affiliated with Toronto’s group. Makes me feel safe knowing that the DIETY of consequence is on the ball.😁😄😇

  6. I wonder if USA Muslims notes the irony of promoting an image of a female without a hijab. Last I checked there are millions of Muslims on this planet who are offended by women without hijabs.

    Religion is so fraught with internally inconsistent ideologies, it must be a significant burden for some people to live with themselves within a specific religion.

    1. Is she old enough to have to be covered? I suspect that their justification would be she appears to be too young.

      1. I seriously doubt she is too young. Hijab is traditionally supposed to be worn starting at puberty at the latest. That’s about 10-11 years old. The person in the photo is likely a young woman and definitely no younger than a teenager.

  7. Facebook has now marked the photo as “partly false information” on the USA Muslims Facebook page.

  8. That “Fauxtography” site is stunning. I knew this happened, but did not know how common, possibly systematic, it was. Thanks.

  9. The term I heard was “Pallywood”. The Palestinians have sort of made an industry of posting misappropriated or staged photos and video.
    My stance is that I assume anything they post is false unless convincing proof is offered.

  10. I must admit that it takes more energy to track image sources down, but luckily I rarely touch social media for images.

    While we are on that subject, I don’t like it when fact checking agency has no problem with promoting fabrications themselves – without even a token attempt at verification – re the “first … Jewish temple” of myth.

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