Unrelated video shared as Israelis protesting against violence against Palestinians

By: Praveen Kumar
October 30 2023

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Unrelated video shared as Israelis protesting against violence against Palestinians

An old video of Haredi Jews clashing with Israeli police is being shared to claim it shows a protest against attacks on Palestine amid the ongoing war. (Source: X/Screenshots/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The video shows Israeli Jews protesting mandatory military conscription in Jerusalem. It is unrelated to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

Claim ID 381c4944

What is the claim?

Protests and demonstrations calling for a ceasefire in Gaza have erupted worldwide following Israel’s war against Hamas, which entered its twenty-fourth day on October 30. Consequently, social media users have shared many unrelated images and videos of such demonstrations linking them to the war. Among them is a video of an altercation between men in Orthodox Jewish attire and the Israeli police. In the video, a group of police officers can be seen trying to pin down a man as they face resistance from other men.

The viral video also carries what appears to be the logo of a news outlet with Hebrew text. The captions shared with the video claim the Jewish men were protesting against the Israel-Hamas war and the attacks on Palestine.

This claim has been shared on X, with the video garnering tens and thousands of views. Right-wing commentator Lauren Witzke also shared the video with the same claim on X. Archived links to such posts can be found here, here, here, and here.

This claim has gone viral on X with high audience engagement. (Source: X/Screenshots)

Similar posts were also uploaded on Facebook. Archived posts can be found here and here.

The same claim has been shared on Facebook as well. (Source: Facebook/Screenshots)

What do the visuals show?

Through reverse image search, we found a cropped version of the same video uploaded on YouTube by news outlet Middle East Eye on June 7, months before the current Isreal-Hamas war started. The title of the video read, “Israeli police attack Orthodox Jewish anti-draft protesters.” The video description read, “Israeli forces attacked Orthodox Jews protesting against Israel’s compulsory military service on Monday. It is mandatory for every citizen of Israel who is over the age of 18, is Jewish, Druze or Circassian, to serve in the Israeli army.”

Middle East Eye video report. (Source: YouTube)  

We also found that the same viral video was shared on X on June 5 by a journalist named Itamar Cohen. Cohen shared the video with a caption in Hebrew, which, when translated to English, read: “Arrest attempts at a demonstration at the entrance to a recruiting office on Rashi Street in Jerusalem - a policeman pulled out a Taser.”

According to his bio on X, Cohen is associated with the Israeli news outlet חדשות כל העולם (All World News), the same organization whose logo is distinctly visible in the viral video. The red and blue part of the logo reads, ‘All World News.’

Comparison of details from the viral video with All World News’ logo and its reporter’s X bio. (Source: X/Screenshots/Modified by Logically Facts)

In a fact-check published on October 25, Cohen told Newsweek that he owned the All World News website. He added that the video showed a demonstration by a group of Haredi Jews (Israel’s ultra-orthodox Jews) protesting against young people’s recruitment into military service outside an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) recruitment office, where two were arrested.

We geolocated the place shown in the video and found that it shows the corner where Rashi Street and Gesher HaHayim Street meet in Jerusalem. The grey gate visible in the video can be seen in the Street View of Google Maps.

Comparison of the location shown in the viral video and Google Street View. (Source: X/Google Maps/Screenshots/Modified by Logically Facts)

On October 24, Cohen also reposted an X post debunking the viral claim and wrote, “They publish my documentation from a demonstration against the conscription as if it were a demonstration against the war in Gaza (originally in Hebrew).”

According to the Israel Policy Forum and Associated Press News, Haredim— the ultra-orthodox people of Israel have long been exempted from mandatory military service. They mostly do not enter the workforce and engage in the study of religious texts, accepting government stipends. A 2014 Israeli law paved the way for some percentage of the draft-age Haredi men to be enlisted in the armed forces, a move that led to several protests from the community over the years. This law expired on June 30, and no more Haredi men will be conscripted until March 31, 2024.

The verdict

The viral video has existed online since June and shows a protest by Haredi Jews against mandatory military drafting. This does not show a recent protest against the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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