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November 28, 2017

International Business Times Peddles Fake News About Mossad's Gal Gadot

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A screen shot from Lebanon's Al Liwaa, which had erroneously used Gal Gadot's photograph to illustrate a story on alleged Mossad agent Collette Vianfi. Al Liwaa apologized, but The International Business Times lags far behind (Image via Times of Israel)

Update: After communication from CAMERA staff, the International Business Times corrected its article and added a notice explaining that the story "has been updated to reflect that Al Liwaa apologized for using Gal Gadot’s photo to illustrate a story about an alleged Mossad agent."

Starring as "Wonder Woman," Israel's Gal Gadot has grossed more than any other super-hero origin film, capturing the imagination of untold numbers of fans. She has also captured the imagination of an International Business Times reporter, who, based on an embarrassing photographic error on the part of a Lebanese newspaper, spun her own fantasy tale about the Israeli actress.

Leaving the facts behind, Lauren Dubois wrote yesterday ("Lebanese Newspaper Claims To Reveal Gal Gadot’s Alleged Alternate Identity As Mossad Agent"):

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However, at least according to a Lebanese newspaper, Israeli actress Gal Gadot also has another secret identity—as a Mossad agent.

The paper, a daily known as Al Liwaa, published an image of Gadot on their front page Monday, claiming in an unsubstantiated report (via The Times of Israel), that she was actually Collette Vianfi, an agent from Israel’s international spy agency who was allegedly recruited to work with Lebanese actor and playwright Ziad Itani, who was arrested on Friday on charges of “collaborating” with Israel and gathering information about political figures.

The report included an image of Gadot from 2011’s “Fast Five” movie, and the report allegedly claimed the photo of her had “circulated” on social media, and hours before the report was published, the image had been shared online with some claiming that Gadot was Vianfi, who was reportedly meant to visit Itani in Beirut this week, before canceling the trip after his arrest.

But Al Liwaa never claimed that Gal Gadot was an Israeli agent or that her alter ego is someone called Collette Vianfi. Rather, it accidentally used a picture of Gadot to illustrate a story covering purported Israeli agent Vianfi. As The Arab News reports:

Israeli ‘Wonder Woman’ star Gal Gadot was pictured as a Mossad agent on the front page of a Lebanese newspaper yesterday.

Beirut-based Al Liwaa newspaper used a picture of the actress to illustrate a story about Colette Vianfi, an alleged Israeli Mossad officer accused of recruiting Lebanese comedian and playwright Ziad Itani as a spy.

A senior newspaper executive described the incident as “embarrassing” in a telephone interview with Arab News.

Tareq Damlaj, one of the managing editors at the newspaper, said: “People were spreading the photo of actress Gal Gadot on social media, especially through WhatsApp, believing it was a photo of the Israeli officer.

“But after receiving a phone call today from cinema enthusiasts, and not security services, we learned this was the photo of an Israeli actress.”

Furthermore, an editor's note yesterday on the very Times of Israel story to which Dubois linked spelled out that the Lebanese paper didn't accuse Gadot of being a spy, but rather misused her photograph ("Lebanese paper uses photo of Gal Gadot for tale of 'Mossad agent,' apologizes").

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Meanwhile, not only does The International Business Times falsely claim that Lebanon's Al Liwaa supposedly accused Gadot of being a Mossad agent, it also egregiously fails to inform readers that the paper has already apologized about the "embarrassing" misuse of Gadot's picture. Al Liwaa apologized. Will The International Business Times?

Posted by TS at November 28, 2017 07:29 AM

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