One of my most popular posts at Internet Scofflaw is this one, on a pernicious urban legend. It was never Instalanched; it has steadily accumulated views at a rate of a few per day since I posted it in 2008. Nearly all of those hits seem to come from search engines. For example, one search string used three times so far today is “palestinians celebrate 9 11 fake”.
On 9/11, we saw horrifying videos of jubilant Palestinians celebrating the terrorist attacks. There were at least two such videos (CNN and Fox) and the Palestinian Authority successfully suppressed another video taken by the Associated Press.
As those videos cast Palestinians in a very bad light, there are many who would prefer to believe that they are fake. According to the legend, the videos were actually from 1991, and the Palestinians were celebrating Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, not 9/11. That too would be a very strange thing to celebrate, but anyway, it’s not true. Snopes has a page dedicated to debunking the story, and CNN does as well.
Given the steady stream of hits I’ve received (to a very minor blog!), there clearly must be people out there who are actively promulgating this misinformation. The rate has particularly increased as the anniversary approached, so I thought this would be a good time to bump the debunking.