Shalom Life | October 16, 2015

Rosie O'Donnell is (Unknowingly) Selling anti-Israel Artwork Using Photos Taken in Syria

In the pieces, O'Donell criticizes Israel's war against Hamas by depicting a photo of a Syrian man carrying a baby

By: Daniel Koren

Published: December 11th, 2014 in News » World

In early July, days into Operation Protective Edge - Israel's latest campaign to fend off Hamas terrorists in Gaza - social media was ablaze with anti-Israel rhetoric, placing much of the blame on Israel, despite that the initiative was carried out after Hamas had deployed hundreds of rockets targeting Israeli destinations.

One of the hashtags that was popular during this time was #GazaUnderAttack, which was often accompanied by photos that "depicted" the aftermath of Israeli airstrikes. The BBC, however, pointed out that the majority of the photos that were being shared were not actually of Gaza, but of Syria and Iraq.

"Graphic images are being shared on social media to show how people have been affected by the renewed tensions between Israel and the Palestinians," claims the BBC report. "A #BBCtrending investigation has found that many of these images are not from the latest conflict and not even from Gaza. Some date as far back as 2009 and others are from conflicts in Syria and Iraq."

While Israelis and Hamas operatives are currently engaged in a ceasefire, the war between Israelis and Palestinians on social media continues to wreak havoc, with damage caused on both sides.

The latest to contribute to this propaganda war under false pretenses is The View co-host Rosie O'Donnell, known for her staunch criticism of Israeli government policy.

O'Donnell was selling two collage pieces on her website (after Israelly Cool and The Blaze pointed out her blunders, she had them removed), which focus on a photo she believed to have been taken in Gaza this summer. One of the pieces is titled "Israel Begins Bombing Gaza" which features a caption O'Donnell wrote: “This man carries a baby about the same age as the one I sit next to, watching Frozen.”

Image source: Rosie.com

The second titled "Stop and Think" also looks at the situation between "Israel and Gaza," accompanied by the caption: "The death of innocent children never fails to kill a part of my soul."

Both photos feature a photo of a man holding a young girl in his arms.

However, as Israelly Cool pointed out, this particular photo in question was actually taken by Getty Images photographer Khaled Khatib in Aleppo, Syria, in February.

Image source: Rosie.com

Oops.

Furthermore, O'Donnell is not legally entitled to sell these collages without paying Getty Images, which she confirmed via Twitter that she hasn't done, most likely the reason she removed these collages.

The tweets, it seems, have also been deleted.

It's also highly doubtful she did a little research into the conflict and discovered that Hamas used human shields as part of their military strategy, deployed bombs from dense civilian-populated areas, or instructed Gazans not to heed the words of the IDF when they provided them with warnings that air strikes will be conducted in the area.

An emergency response member carries a wounded child following an air strike attack by government forces on the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on February 22, 2014. More than 140,000 people have been killed in Syria's conflict since March 2011, and millions more have fled their homes. (Photo: Khaled Khatib/AFP/Getty Images)

An emergency response member carries a wounded child following an airstrike attack by government forces on the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on February 22, 2014. More than 140,000 people have been killed in Syria’s conflict since March 2011, and millions more have fled their homes. (Photo: Khaled Khatib/AFP/Getty Images)

And as a celebrity, O'Donnell is able to influence her 782,000 followers by spreading this kind of speech, regardless of if she's educated on the subject, or a credible source to obtain information from regarding this issue.

“We are already used to ignorant celebrities pushing their political beliefs to their followers and fans," said Israelly Cool's Aussie Dave to the Blaze on Thursday, agreeing with the point above. "What makes this example more egregious than many is how she is cynically using false imagery to influence their hearts and minds.”

What's most offensive about this entire situation, however, is the other collages and artworks O'Donnell is selling, all of which are cute, nostalgic, and rather innocuous.

There's no mention of any political issues anywhere; at least, from what I can see.

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