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FACT CHECK: Video shows Polish religious gathering, not pro-Israel rally


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FACT CHECK: Video shows Polish religious gathering, not pro-Israel rally
A video uploaded amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas falsely claims that a group of Polish men is backing Israel

CLAIM: A video shows a crowd from Poland raising their rosaries in a rally to support Israel amid the current conflict between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas. 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The video was shared by Dom Lucre (@dom_lucre) on X (formerly Twitter) on October 16. Lucre, a verified user who identifies himself as a journalist, has over 744,900 followers. 

As of writing, the post has gained 433,000 views, 716 comments, 1,425 shares, and 6,283 likes. 

The video shows a crowd of men singing and raising their rosaries in a church. Lucre describes the video as “a massive rally in Poland in support of Israel.” 

Lucre has been notorious for spreading disinformation, according to reports from Forbes and The New York Times. He is known as one of several “right-wing social media users who became famous for sharing 2020 [US] election denial posts.” 

People, Person, Concert

The facts: The video does not show a pro-Israel rally. It was originally taken on September 11, 2023 in Poland, around a month before the current war between Hamas and Israel. 

The original source of the video was TikTok user Heres Wyrwani z niewoli

Text superimposed on the original video reads, “Bogurodzica w Lomzy,” which means “The Virgin Mary in Lomza.”

The people in the video are members of Wojownicy Maryi or Warriors of Mary, a community of men who venerate Mary. They were singing Bogurodzica, a religious Polish song that pays tribute to the Virgin Mary. Polish knights used to sing it ​​before going to war. 

Israel-Palestine conflict: The current conflict between Israel and Hamas was triggered by the surprise attack of the militant group on October 7, prompting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to declare war and launch airstrikes in the Palestinian enclave of Gaza. (FAST FACTS: Hamas, the Palestinian militant group ‘at war’ with Israel)

The conflict has killed at least 1,300 Israelis and 2,670 Palestinians, while around one million people were forced to leave their homes in the Gaza Strip, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency’s October 16 report showed. (TIMELINE: Conflict between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza

On Tuesday, October 17, around 500 Palestinians were killed in an explosion at a hospital in  Hamas-ruled Gaza City. Israeli and Palestinian officials are pointing fingers at each other over the incident. 

False claims about the Israel-Hamas war also continue to spread on social media, with video game simulations, outdated footage, or videos from other events being used out of context and misrepresented as current footage from the ongoing conflict.

Social media sites are under pressure to crack down on disinformation, with the European Union warning X, Meta, and TikTok to step up efforts to address the surge of false content on their platforms.

Rappler has also fact-checked a few claims about the conflict: 

– James Patrick Cruz/Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. You may also report dubious claims to #FactsFirstPH tipline by messaging Rappler on Facebook or Newsbreak via Twitter direct message. You may also report through our Viber fact check chatbot. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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