04 January 2009

Picturing War, Picturing Protests

I. Picturing War

An injured Palestinian is helped from the rubble following an Israeli
missile strike in Rafah. Photograph © Getty Images.

A wounded child awaits medical attention at the Shifa hospital.
Photograph © Getty Images.

Referring specifically to these two unattributed photographs, The Independent ran the following in its letters section today:
"Letters special: News photography
Sunday, 4 January 2009

As the full extent of the casualties in Gaza emerged last week, we invited readers to comment on our picture coverage. Some photographs were, we believed, too graphic to publish. We asked you if we should never publish pictures of the dead, or make each judgement on its merits. The overwhelming majority of readers argued for pictures to be used, however horrific their content. Extracts from some of these letters and emails are published here."
The reader responses are telling; none offers any startling insight. But they surely deflate excuses - whether sustained government rationalization or editorial convention - for protecting readers from harsh reality.


II. Picturing Protests

Yesterday I posted this photograph of Israeli's protesting for peace in part because I think it is important to differentiate between the condemnable actions of the Israeli government and the diversity of action and belief among Jews in Israel and abroad. My fear is that these voices, the ones calling for peace, will be lost amid the violence and the righteous protests against it.

Israeli activists wave banners during an anti-war demonstration
Tel Aviv. Photograph © Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

I lifted this image from a slide show at The Guardian to which I linked yesterday. Today, the editors there incorporated parts of that slide show (which has disappeared from the paper's web page) into this newer one depicting "Protests Around the World." It seems that my apprehensions were warranted. This image did not make the cut. I'm reproducing it here as a reminder.

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Blogger kshapero said...

Its about time the world realize that Hamas and others like it have painted a world view of hate and death. I applaud Israel's efforts to protect its people and stamp out this terror group.

05 January, 2009 15:31  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

I have little patience for Hamas or their sponsors. And my earlier posts have made it quite clear that I recognize the Palestinians are not blameless in all this.

However, The Israelis have overstepped virtually all legal or moral justification for their actions. There is no excuse for their targeting civilians. (And, before you protest,while they may not 'intend' to kill and maim children, they are tacking actions that foreseeably will do just that.) There is no excuse for the land incursion into Gaza.

Even if we look just at practical considerations, they have no hope - none - of securing peace or of dismantling Hamas or of subverting support for the the organization among residents of Gaza.

I fear your applause is for a tragedy from which the Israelis will not recover.

05 January, 2009 15:59  
Blogger josean said...

Shit! I was just going to post a comment inspired by the pictura and fell on the sectarian comment... I think somebodey should explain that person that Palestinians were there before the followers of Teodor Hertzl arrive to cause havoc...

What I was going to say was, "picture yourself being a jew now" or something in that sense. I have a few jewish friends and some of them are horrified. All that is being done in their name by a bunch of extreme right criminals. Everytime somebody learns they are jews they are critisized and blamed for all that, or worse, congratulated by the effective way of dealing with arab terror...
Feel the same with real catholics, the ones who believe in the messages of the Christ (leave everything you own, forgive, my kingdom is not of this world... whatever) and the are forced to be a part of THAT church...
I don't envy them...

11 January, 2009 18:33  

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