Infants as Human Shields – Migrants, Media, and Manipulation

2015. szeptember 28. 17:56

This is the game perfected in the Middle East. This is Pallywood, or how to manipulate a media already hungry for sensation, a media already adept at twisting the truth. Sacrificing their own misery and inhumanity, sacrificing their innocent and unguarded children, the actors in Pallywood attempt to extract as much as possible from unwitting audiences around the world. Until recently, we Europeans, we Hungarians were able to witness these bizarre scenes only on the ten o’clock news. But now its pounding at the gates. Quite literally.

Is Hungary the new Israel? Well, no, not quite. In fact, I'm not going to suggest any similarity between the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the conflict between Hungary and the torrent of multicultural world travelers who, on September 16th, laid siege to the newly constructed barrier on Hungary’s border. Nor do I intend to take sides in the Israeli-Palestine conflict. I believe there is, however, a parallel to be found between the two stories, something largely unknown to our own media consumers. It's called Pallywood, the popular media manipulation techniques that Palestinians and others in the Middle East have developed to perfection against Israeli law enforcement and military, and it has just made its debut on the borders of Hungary.

One can consider how and to what extent we should attempt to understand the irrational behavior of desperate people, the desperation that may cause them to take on situations of distress, potential harm, danger, or that could have life-threatening consequences not only to themselves but even those close to them, those infants sitting in their laps.

But I must admit that seeing those mothers and fathers carrying their infants to the very front line, I wasn’t in the most uplifted and understanding mood. I would go even further and say that, as a father of a child who is just a few months old, I could not comprehend what I was watching.

What was that person thinking who, with an infant in his arms, entered a siege at the legally protected border of a country, pushing forward under their own free will to cross it illegally, and confronting water cannons and tear gas so that he may hold up his crying child to the international media. What does a wretched person like this think of himself? What is his view on life? What is his view on the world?

Because this is exactly what happened, not only at the Hungarian-Serbian border but previously as well.

˝Where is the media? Where is the media?˝ the migrants pictured in one video clip asked as they walked along the Hungarian highway. They were looking to the media for support.

Or let’s take for example a New York Times article in which a Hungarian chief rabbi, Robert Fröhlich, compared the Hungarian refugee crisis to the Holocaust. This article included a photograph of a woman wearing a head scarf behind bars (as seen above). It looked as if the evil Hungarian authorities had locked her away in a place from which she had no chance of ever leaving. In fact, those bars are part of a barrier that serves to divide the railway tracks at the railway station in Bicske, a barrier that runs a few tens of meters before coming to an end. In fact, the woman was part of a group of migrants that did not want to leave the train station to go to a center where provisions were waiting for them.

Then there's that other recent instance when photos taken in Hungary circulated the globe. The photos appear to show unmerciful Hungarian policemen throwing a Syrian father onto railroad tracks as he attempts to protect his wife and child. Later, however, a video clip of the incident revealed that it was in fact the frantic man who pushed his family onto the tracks between the policemen, apparently without even stopping to consider what could happen if his son hits his head on the rails.

If you see the cover photo of CNN's article Children suffering: A true picture of Europe's migrant crisis, probably you will not guess how the suffering woman faced the pepper spray:

On BBC, I saw a similar scene where one of the reporters grabbed a tough guy running from the tear gas and pulled him in front of the cameras so that they could get a perfect picture for the viewers, complete with the man, his friend, and a crying baby. I mean, what else to expect from this?
 

What can these barbarians be thinking when in the most heated of situations they stick their loved ones, their children - or others people’s children - through a small gap in the barbed wire, when instead they should be protecting them? Or the other child on this picture, who is held high into the air, floating only inches from the barbed wire, a barbed wire that could cause him unfathomable injuries.

Or would that in fact better serve their purpose if these children would be harmed as a result of such senseless actions? Is it that they want to attract media attention with seriously injured children?

And putting the children in the way of potential harm is only a small piece of this game they are playing. They require that other part as well, the media which is always looking for the next sensational topic so that, with the oldest and ugliest tactics, they can swarm around a crying child. If necessary, they will cut out the preceding scenes, hide the order of events, and mute all the surrounding information and background story that explains the event.

This is the game perfected in the Middle East. This is Pallywood, or how to manipulate a media already hungry for sensation, a media that is already adept at twisting the truth. Sacrificing their own misery and inhumanity, sacrificing their innocent and unguarded children, the actors in Pallywood attempt to extract as much as possible from unwitting audiences around the world.

Until recently, we Europeans, we Hungarians were able to witness these bizarre scenes only on the ten o’clock news. But now its pounding at the gates. Quite literally.

A bejegyzés trackback címe: http://hungarianglobe.mandiner.hu/trackback/17133

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