- By David KennerDavid Kenner is the Middle East editor at Foreign Policy. He is based in Beirut, Lebanon, and has been with FP since 2009 (a long time, he knows). He worked for FP previously in Cairo, where he covered the early days of the Arab Spring, and before that in Washington. He has attended Georgetown University and the American University of Beirut and has reported from Libya, Egypt, Gaza, Turkey, Lebanon, and Iraq.
The British graffiti artist who goes by the pseudonym Banksy has delved into the world of Middle Eastern politics, posting a video on his website that spoofs both the Syrian rebels and a beloved animated Disney character.
The fabricated video, which features the Al Jazeera logo on the bottom left, shows a Syrian "rebel" firing a rocket in the air at a distant target, to chants of "Allahu Akbar" from his comrades. The stricken UFO subsequently falls to the ground, and turns out to be the cartoon elephant Dumbo, who expires before our very eyes. While the adult Syrian rebels seem pleased with their accomplishment – one even climbs atop Dumbo, cheering – a child rebel appears angry, kicking one of his adult comrades in the shins. The incident reportedly occurred in the northern governorate of Aleppo.
The video, which has been up for one day, has already been viewed 1.4 million times. By comparison, one of the most-watched videos of the actual chemical weapons attack in Damascus on Aug. 21 has been watched roughly 375,000 times.