The Israeli NGO Consensus recently launched an online campaign to present a counter-narrative to what it calls "the ongoing incitement against IDF soldiers in the movie '5 Broken Cameras,'" as stated by the organization in a statement Sunday.
Consensus, which describes its activists as "Guardians of the IDF spirit," claims to be a non-political organization; its membership is comprised of hundreds of reserve and non-commissioned IDF officers. Its mission, the statement says, is to protect the IDF's reputation, its soldiers and its commanders in the public relations and media arenas.
"5 Broken Cameras" is an Oscar-nominated documentary telling the story of a Palestinian activist who covered the Palestinian demonstrations to stop Israel's construction of the Security Barrier near the town of Bil'in. The film implies that Israel used excessive force to disperse such demonstrations, focusing on Palestinian director Emad Burnat's video cameras, which are repeatedly damaged as a result of those clashes.
The Israeli group uploaded its response to the movie on YouTube. The clip "5 Broken Cameras — The Real Story," is an animated spoof of the Academy Awards ceremony and behind-the-scenes footage from the film. It joins other made-up sequels to Israeli films nominated for international awards in previous years: "Waltz with Bashir — The Murdering Continues," and "Going Back to Lebanon."
The clip uses hyperbole to allege that the creators of the two made-up films and the real one ("5 Broken Cameras") tried to shoot it in such a way that besmirched Israel and manipulated soldiers' words and actions. According to the organization, some 20,000 people have already viewed the spoof video. They say that they have received thousands of responses from viewers who reacted favorably to the video and identified with the organization's goals.
"The movie '5 Broken Cameras' may have been nominated for best documentary [feature film], but it would have been more appropriate had it competed in the category of best propaganda film," says Col. (res.) Benny Yanay, the head of Consensus. "This movie clearly has an agenda, lacks any objectivity, and has the over-arching goal of hurting the IDF and its troops.
"Over the past several years we have seen how various organizations, time and gain, expose the faces and personal details of IDF soldiers who perform their duties, with the intent of hurting them; I am afraid that IDF soldiers who appear in the film would face great danger. We ask that IDF soldiers who recognize themselves in the movie turn to us through our Facebook page, thus allowing us to petition the attorney-general and demand that the creators of the movie be charged with incitement."