A disturbing thing happened in the course of Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly Thursday. The world’s two largest news agencies, Associated Press and Reuters, both selected photos of the same infinitesimal moment in Netanyahu’s speech to send to their subscribers worldwide.
That moment was one in which Netanyahu raised his left hand, his arm straight, inadvertently assuming a position that immediately calls to mind Adolf Hitler giving a Nazi salute in the course of a speech – even though he did not hold the position or symbolize anything by it.
Netanyahu was not saluting, of course. Rather, he was saying this:
“Recently, I was deeply moved when I visited Technion, one of our technological institutes in Haifa, and I saw a man paralyzed from the waist down climb up a flight of stairs, quite easily, with the aid of an Israeli invention.”
The arm gesture illustrated the story of the man climbing the stairs.
The average consumer of news would have a hard time realizing that AP and Reuters had done something wrong. The news agencies sell their reports and photos to newspapers, websites and television stations, which are the ones who pass the materials on to the end consumer. The agencies essentially serve as reporters-for-hire, for news outlets that rely on them to cover the events in a purely professional manner.
Therefore, it takes a journalist to fully recognize the apparently base and manipulative nature of what the agencies did. The news agencies could not help but realize the visceral reaction to that position, which remains frozen in a photograph.
The Weekly Standard noticed, and featured the story under the headline “Shock Photos of Netanyahu at U.N. from AP, Reuters.”
The Daily Caller went a step further and contacted the National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Abe Foxman.
“I can’t believe it, if it in fact happened,” Foxman told The Daily Caller. “I think it is ugly, disgusting, offensive.”
Arutz Sheva has contacted the Prime Minister’s Office and asked for a reaction, but has not yet received one.
Netanyahu talked of how Israel offers medical care to all who need it. Israel treated 115,000 Palestinian Authority Arabs in its hospitals in the year 2011 alone.
Netanyahu begins the story of his moving Technion visit at 6:25 in the video below.