Once there was the Holocaust in one photograph. You’ve seen it hundreds of times: a group of Warsaw Jews, laden down with their shabby belongings, herded along a street by German soldiers and that boy with a hat too big for him, the yellow star on his chest and his hands up.
Now it is time for anti-Semitism in one photograph. The Swedish photographer Paul Hansen won the 2012 World Press Photo award with a picture of two Palestinian children killed in an Israeli strike being carried to their funeral. The photo shows a group of men marching the dead bodies through a narrow street in Gaza. The little victims, a brother and sister, are wrapped in white cloth with only their faces showing.
This is the same World Press Photo organization which just closed down a show in Beirut over the presence of an Israeli photographer’s work. Such a brave and honest organization!
Unfortunately, Israel is losing the war of images against these liars who have set up an industry of blood-libels- through-the-lens.
The photograph of Tuvia Grossman in the year 2000 makes the point clear.
Tuvia was riding in a taxi in Jerusalem when a Palestinian mob stormed the car. He would have been lynched, if not for the Israeli police which responded to the attack.
The photo of the incident was printed in The New York Times with an AP caption which identified a bloodied Grossman as a Palestinian, while a baton-wielding policeman loomed over him. “An Israeli policeman and a Palestinian on the Temple Mount”, the headline blared..
The photo inspired one of the largest hate campaigns in recent memory.
Then it was the turn of Mohammed al Dura. French journalism should be marked by shame for a century for this Goebbels-like lie which criminalized the Jews in front of global public opinion.
How can we forget the photoshopped images of a bomb exploding in Beirut published by Reuters during the Second Lebanon War? A woman, whose snapshot made the headlines as a symbol that surfaced among the ruins, was then rephotographed on a different place, while similar photos were orchestrated in an obtrusive manner in order to give the impression that lives of families had been broken into pieces.
How to forget the photos from the Gaza conflict of 2009, re-used again months later by the Daily Telegraph to show daily life there?
How to forget that during the first Intifada the media hid iron bars, iron projectiles, knives, axes and petrol bombs used by the Palestinians, in order to present the terrorists as “peaceful protesters”?
How to forget all the fake B’Tselem videos used by the Western crews?
How to forget the cropped photographs distributed by Reuters that “removed” a dagger held by a terrorist over a wounded IDF soldier during the Mavi Marmara incident?
How to forget that the only Israeli photographer to win the Pulitzer Prize, Oded Balilty of The Associated Press, got the award for his image of a lone Jewish young woman defying security forces during the pogrom of the Amona outpost in Samaria? That photo fabricated the image of the “settlers” as devils and symbols of Jewish exploitation – and the IDF as attackers of helpless women..
How to forget that Israel’s security fence is more photographed than any Hollywood star and only in its cement sections with graffitis comparing it to the Berlin Wall?
How to forget the manipulation of the “Jenin massacre”, the repeated use, in different poses, of bodies that often seemed not to be dead at all, some getting up to change positions, corpses positioned in different areas, and that little girl who in the end reappeared alive?
The Western media is romanticizing the butchers of Israelis. When Yasser Arafat’s death squads assassinated Israeli athletes in Munich in 1972, one asked one’s self what could be more repugnant than the massacre of Jewish athletes carried out at the Olympic Games? But the iconic image of that historic event became the cowboy hats and the kefiyyehs of the kidnappers.
When the Jew Daniel Pearl was abducted and behaded in Pakistan, my newspaper was the only one in Italy which had the courage to print – in black and white – the photographs of his poor body like a Caravaggio’s painting. The Order of Journalism condemned my newspaper because the images were “too cruel”.
This is an elegant form of anti-Semitism. The Western media deleted the humanity of the Israeli victims of terrorism in order to digest Israel’s end. The Jewish victims have never existed for them. It’s the same process of Holocaust’s denial – the latest brief for the elimination of the Jewish people.
The Western media just chose to give its award to the perfect Hamas funeral, and not an Israeli mother weeping under the table in Ashkelon or Sderot. During the last war in Gaza, all the lenses were for Hamas and the Arabs, not for the Jewish civilians.
How many Western newspapers printed the photographs of the Fogels in Itamar, mother, father, three siblings (aged 11, three and three-months-old) with their throats cut? The Fogels, right down to the decapitated baby, were less human than the Arab victims and therefore less deserving of Western outrage on their behalf. Itamar’s massacre has been excused, as the “anger” of the perpetrators is fully justified in international eyes. Because Itamar’s babies were “settlers”, they brought the crime upon themselves.
When Netanyahu’s government decided to release the photos of Itamar, Yedioth Ahronoth asked me if European media were going to print the images. This was my reply: “In order to publish tough images you really need to be a brave editor. The media emphasized the fact that this was a settler family with a hidden message that the murder was permissibile”.
Tweet the Nakba and photo-demonize the Israeli “settlers” and soldiers and you will get a prestigious prize and a generous check. This is how the media pogrom works. It is convenient being on Israel’s side only when the Jews are losers or dead.
We have been told that Arab suicide bombers are “the weapon of the weak”.
Now you can add the agenda-filled Western photo-journalism to the Palestinian terrorist arsenal. It is a harvest of death.
It is all the photos and news that are fit to incite. Hatred: coming soon to your newspaper.
The writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book “A New Shoah”, that researched the personal stories of Israel’s terror victims, published by Encounter. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary. He is at work on a book about the Vatican and Israel.