How Western News Media Gets The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Wrong: A Fireside Chat With Professor Richard Landes, Scholar, Author & Coiner Of The Term “Pallywood.”

On September 30, 2000, Muhammad al Dura, a young Palestinian boy, was caught on film dying in the crossfire between Israeli troops and Palestinian terrorists, in the Gaza Strip.

Even before the spread of social media networks like Facebook, Tiktok or Twitter, the video of his death went viral. Almost instantly, Israel was accused of intentionally murdering the boy, though no such evidence exists.

Despite this absence of evidence, the footage became an enduring symbol of the nascent Second Intifada, or Palestinian uprising. But there is little doubt that the death – widely reported by the news media – played a major role.

To help us understand this context, and how the incident’s reporting was only a symptom of a larger problem in the news media, we are joined in this week’s podcast by Professor Richard Landes. Professor Landes, formerly a lecturer at Boston University, is currently an Israel-based researcher and scholar, who is widely credited with coining the term “Pallywood,” referring to staged Palestinian incidents aiming to promote anti-Israel propaganda.

Landes’ recent book, Can “The Whole World” Be Wrong? Lethal Journalism, Antisemitism, and Global Jihad, discusses this incident at length.

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