A photo circulating on Facebook this week of an alleged Israel Defense Forces soldier pointing a weapon at a young girl has been taken down after the Israeli online community banded together and proved the image was falsely captioned, and in fact was taken in Bahrain during a theatrical protest of the IDF.
The photograph, which was uploaded by a Facebook user under the name Wesley Muhammad, showed a girl, probably age 6 or 7, lying helpless on the ground while a soldier pressed his boot into her stomach and pointed a weapon at her face. The caption said the soldier was Israeli and the little girl was Palestinian. The image is cut off at the soldier’s waist, so the top half of his body and his face cannot be seen.
The full image, later circulated online, revealed the picture to be a snapshot taken in Bahrain, during a 2009 anti-IDF demonstration. The entire incident was staged, and a larger photo, also circulated online following the Facebook outcry, shows that both the girl and man were acting a part, with the man in the soldier's uniform sporting a makeshirt Israeli flag pinned to his jacket while he "acted" the part of an Israeli soldier .
The cut-off, falsely-captioned photo immediately began being circulated among Facebook users’ pages, with dozens of users commenting on the horror and atrocity of the picture and issuing blistering condemnations of the IDF and the alleged Israeli soldier in the picture.
Israelis, however, were quick to point out several issues with the photo. Details of his uniform, like the fact his jacket does not have a complete zipper, were not in line with IDF regulations. Crucially, however, the weapon being thrust into the girl’s face is an AK-47, and IDF soldiers carry M-16s. The caption, the Israelis proved, lied, and showed once again that, especially on the Internet, looks can be deceiving.