Anti-Israel propagandists have been so successful in recent decades that today it is possible to publish just about any accusation against the Jewish state and get a critical mass of Internet surfers to buy into the lie. In other words, most people are preprogrammed to believe the worst about Israel.
Evidence that this is true surfaced over the past week or two as a photograph purportedly showing an Israeli soldier standing on the chest of a small Palestinian girl while pointing his automatic rifle at her face became a sensation on popular social networks like Facebook.
Thousands of web surfers viewed the picture with disgust and verbally lashed out at Israel over what they termed as its inhumane treatment of even the youngest and most innocent of Palestinian Arabs.
The only problem was that the photo was not real, or, at least, it wasn't really a photo of an Israeli soldier stepping on a Palestinian girl.
As the photo began to gain in popularity, certain viewers started pointing out that the "soldier" in the photo was not likely Israeli, as his boots and coat were not of the type used by IDF soldiers. Most notably, the "soldier" was holding a Kalashnikov rifle of the type used by Arab armies, not an M16 or M4 rifle, which are the typical weapons of Israeli soldiers.
Days later the original photo went public on the Internet and revealed the truth: the scene was a bit of street theater depicting an Israeli soldier oppressing an Palestinian child. It took place in Bahrain in December 2009.
But the damage was done. And for many, the truth held no interest anyway. They knew Israel was evil, even if the photo was a fraud. Arab blogger Omar Dakhane noted that anyone who tried to point out the fallacies of the photographic "evidence" on Arabic-language Internet forums "was either banned or kicked out."
That is how easy it is to smear Israel these days. And even when the truth eventually comes out, it is far less of a story than the original accusation.
Below are some photos of how most real Israeli soldiers treat Arab children: