Fake Gaza flotilla video criticised

By Jennifer Lipman, June 28, 2011
"Mark" was actually an Israeli actor

"Mark" was actually an Israeli actor

A PR stunt publicised by an Israeli government staffer has been criticised because it featured an Israeli actor posing as a gay man involved in pro-Palestinian activism.

A video titled "Who you get in bed with - human rights, gay rights", ostensibly a true account posted online by an individual with no political links, appeared on YouTube a few days ago with no suggestion that the Israeli government had anything to do with it.

It showed "Mark" telling of his experiences with a group planning a flotilla to Gaza.

He said he was initially keen to join the attempt to breach the blockade of Gaza and added: "I was picturing a cross between Che Guevara and Mother Theresa with a keffiyah. I thought, this is something I wanted to be part of."

But the character said he was told: "Participation of my LGBT network would not be in the overall interests of the flotilla."

The rest of the video followed "Mark" as he examined the true nature of groups like Viva Palestina and the links between pro-Palestinian activists and Hamas terrorists.

It then emerged that the video was a fake, with "Mark" played by Israeli actor Omer Gershon.

In a statement sent to Ha’aretz newspaper, the Prime Minister’s Office said: "Various bodies dealing with international media campaigns continuously monitor and distribute internet content when they recognise content that can serve Israel’s campaigns."

Last updated: 10:08am, June 28 2011