The horror, the horror of propaganda

BumXpxpCYAALba3A short while ago this image appeared on Twitter – posted by with the following caption: “ in Gaza lead donkey to be stoned as a scapegoat for Israel.

The Tweet was posted by @EriSt0crat who helpfully tells us, “I’m a cisgender-white-male privileged islamophobe Jew who controls the world with my illuminati cabal of Rothschild bankers that eat puppies. Obviously.”

In other words, another Internet nutter whose entirely inflammatory contribution we can dismiss immediately. Except that some people will not have done the extra couple of clicks to discover this is entirely malicious nonsense, so the poor scapegoat donkey being “stoned to death by Arabs” stays with them as a reality.

In the whole tragedy of the Middle East with its present butchery of the innocent, those who sit safely in their homes tweeting malice, or teenagers pouring petrol on the flames from their bedroom computers – and the example here is possibly from such origins – are the most despicable.

The fog of war is always a problem. The purple mist in the heads of internet nutters is another problem entirely.

Twitter screengrab

In fact the story first appeared in 2011 with the following caption: “Palestinians display a donkey painted as an Israeli flag during a demonstration to support the Palestinian bid at the United Nations for statehood recognition on September 23, 2011 in the West Bank village of Kfar Kadum (AFP Photo / Jaafar Ashtiyeh)”  See

The photo has been displayed in a variety of different contexts, as a Google search will show, and the most malicious and disgusting use of it is in the Twitter article I have drawn attention to here.

Distrust all propaganda. Always check the sources of images. There are a lot of internet nutters out there warping your world view. The reality is bad enough, without sick people getting their kicks out of making it worse!

Update Tuesday 12th August

Yesterday the peak views of this blog article reached 2,200 visitors and I am a little unnerved that my blog has attracted such a huge audience because some people have come here for the wrong reasons.  I will give as a wrong reason the kind of visitor who comes here to post anti-semitic rantings (yes! there have been several), or very nasty videos and pictures of cruelty to donkeys. These things are abusive and unwelcome.

This blog is about donkeys: mainly about my domestic life with my small donkey family. It is not about world affairs.  The point of the article on the Palestine donkey is that lies and propaganda do nobody any good.

Finally, I would remind adults viewing this site that it also receives a number of children viewers who simply come to look at pictures of donkeys. Thank God I had moderation in place: when I saw some of the disgusting comments and images of animal abuse some people kindly sent me, I was amazed. There are a lot of sick people out there. (Note: Particularly outstanding was the one from IP address – now reported to their internet provider.)

I do not particularly value a large number of hits from the wrong sort of people. The world is becoming a very strange place.

Comments are now closed on this subject, with the exception of existing regular contributors to this blog. 



About Gareth Thomas

After a mixed career as an aircraft technician, London fringe theatre playwright, Franciscan friar, and secondary school teacher, I find myself looking after the needs of four donkeys in a remote location in the mountains in the Costa Blanca. I like to listen to BBC Radio 4 and the wind in the pine trees. I am writing a comedy about a school in Benidorm. My favourite film of all time is "Jean de Florette". If I had my time again I would not have spent the early 1970s working for Special Branch.
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9 Responses to The horror, the horror of propaganda

  1. cg says:

    Reblogged this on Catholic Glasses and commented:
    OMG have Mercy on that Donkey and Israel. Gaza’s Citizens are backwards, cruel and utterly nuts!

  2. Well said Rabit. There is more than enough real bad stuff going on (all over the place…Iraq, Gaza and other places). What we don’t need is people pouring petrol on the fire with malicious nonsense. We need to stick to facts. Dunno what’s the matter with people…:-(

  3. Frere Rabit says:

    Thanks for re-blog, CG, though your last comment shows you may have missed my point.

  4. Reblogged this on York People's Assembly and commented:
    This poisonous anti-Palestinian Tweet was re-Tweeted by Cllr Chris Steward, the Leader of the Conservative group on the City of York Council, well known for other inaccurate Tweets.

  5. chuchu65 says:

    Really great of you to have researched and posted this, but I am sure that, just like me, others who have seen the picture in its current fictitious configuration, will still want to know why on earth the donkey had to be painted with an Israeli flag, and what eventually happened to the poor animal. All of us have seen too many Israeli flags being burned and trampled by Arabs not to have misgivings about this.

  6. Frere Rabit says:

    Of course the concern about the animal is very important: this is a blog about donkeys, and the welfare of the animal is what drew me to the original false story! The distortion of truth for deliberate propaganda, in other words deliberate deceit designed to trick us, is the point of this article. The photo was still distressing, as it appears that paint has been used (it may be dye). However, poor people are unlikely to kill a working animal. They depend on it.

  7. In Arabic culture it is a normal way to insult people by calling them animal names, dogs, donkeys, etc. Painting a donkey with an Israeli flag is probably a way of saying Israelis are dumb-asses. The fact that it appears to have been some sort of demonstration makes this probable. Very unlikely the animal would have been harmed.

  8. lsfein says:

    I STILL want to know what happened to the donkey… matter when it was. It is obviously a group of Palestinians doing it.

  9. Frere Rabit says:

    Comments on this topic are now closed. To the anonymous person at IP address, your disgusting video has been reported to You Tube as animal abuse and will be taken down. It has nothing to do with the subject of this blog. Your IP address is now banned from this blog.

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