Arabic news and social media is aflutter this week after two women appeared to be holding a sign dissing the Arab world as a place devoid of products for export. Here is the photo.
The image triggered a huge wave of social media response and sparked a serious debate on several news sites about the actual state of the Arabic products market.
Egypt-based news site El Shaab claimed the sign appeared during a protest about last Friday's Paris attacks, calling it an indication of how far "Arabs had fallen in Western eyes."
Meanwhile, on social media, users reacted to the provocative words with sadness, outrage and, at some points, even agremeent. Here are a few responses.
نريد مقاطعة منتجات العرب ... لكن لا ينتجون شيء حقيقة فضيحة !! pic.twitter.com/tNQWjgH5NV— ( قول آخر ) (@anawint2) November 17, 2015
We want to boycott Arab productions but they produce nothing. What a scandal.
Two French protestors lifted a sign saying “We want to boycott Arab productions but they produce nothing” If you ride your car or bike to work don’t the fuel is Arabian.
كنّا نريد مقاطعة منتجات العرب ولكنهم لا ينتجون شيئا ... هذا ما يراه الغرب فينا وهو صحيح للأسف نحن امم مستهلكة pic.twitter.com/W7i5CS1TmX— c'est la Viي (sahar) (@CestlaV05600507) November 15, 2015
It is saying “We want to boycott Arab productions but they produce nothing,” this is how the West sees us, unfortunately this is true, we are a consuming nation.
Especially in the wake of the Paris attacks and renewed discussions about Daesh (ISIS) and Islamophobia, the story caused a pretty big stir.
But there were some problems (this is the 'What Middle East news got wrong' column after all).
In case it wasn't obvious—this is a doctored photo, and a lazy one at that. Some social media users already pointed that out.
المفبركة نريد مقاطعة منتجات العرب لكنهم لا ينتجون شيئا الحقيقة يهود امريكا يدعموا المقاطعة وفرض العقوبات على اسرائيل pic.twitter.com/ew2qrTPlQV— Basma Rafaah (@BasmaRafaah) November 18, 2015
This image is photoshopped and this is the real image.
The photo was atually taken during a BDS demonstration in Jerusalem, where activists from CODEPINK staged a protest in support of boycotting Israeli products. It also had nothing to do with Paris or the attacks that happened there last weekend. It was originally posted on CODEPINK's Twitter handle on Nov. 10, days before the bombings even happened.
The trouble appears to have started when another Twitter user commented on CODEPINK's original post with the doctored photo replacing the original "American Jews Support BDS" banner.
"Gabrielito," who boasts some 30 Twitter followers and the ability to photoshop block letters onto a white background, probably never meant to do much more than troll CODEPINK with the switch-up. But the Internet is a gullible beast. Epecially this week, we've seen that time and again.
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