Friday, March 17, 2006
Two different photographers, two different news services, lots of different photos from several different locations, both in the street and on a rooftop. But one "boy" featured in all of them. What is my point? I'm not disputing that there indeed was a protest that included the throwing of rocks, as stated. But when you see the same boy starring in all the pictures from both news services, you have to start to wonder about the relationship between the protestors and the news service stringers in creating this feature presentation. Photos that appear coordinated between spontaneous rock throwers and ostensibly objective photographers and reporters start to call into question the nature of what the protest represents.
Daled Amos has a fantastic post on the subject of the relationship between newswire stringers and the subjects they are helping report on. And Mensa Barbie has a link to must-see video that shows far more explicitly the kind of relationship these photos only hint at. I strongly recommend checking out both pieces, and then taking another look at these pictures -- and maybe at a lot of other pictures.
There are a few other oddities about these photos. The rock throwers, and indeed hordes of onlookers behind, seem perfectly comfortable standing completely out in the open, unprotected from any Israeli gunfire, all while the crowd attacks an armed position. Suicidal commitment to national goals? I wouldn't expect a martyr's fervor from each and every person milling about in an onlooking crowd. More likely, they realize there is no need to seek cover.
So can we conclude that there was no real danger on that day, since no one seems concerned about shielding themselves from lethal fire? Not quite. Someone actually was killed on this day, an Israeli soldier (see the second photo's caption). And someone actually was concerned for their safety, taking trouble to shield themselves. It just wasn't the Palestinians:
Sure, there are clashes between Palestinian crowds and Israeli soldiers. I don't dispute that. But you might start to wonder if it really means what you're being told it means.