What Middle East news got wrong this week: Boycotting Arab products

Published November 19th, 2015 - 03:04 GMT
Arabic news and social media took off  with the story of two French women holding up an inflammatory banner about Arabs. Problem is, well, Photoshop. (Twitter)
Arabic news and social media took off with the story of two French women holding up an inflammatory banner about Arabs. Problem is, well, Photoshop. (Twitter)

The Story 

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.  

 

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.

 

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).

 

The Blunder

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. 

 

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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