The Guardian: 1 photo, 22 words, no context and so much disinformation


On Sunday I posted about a terrorist rocket attack from Gaza that morning which destroyed a house in the southern Israeli city of Netivot.  

I noted that a resident of the house took refuge in a secure room, narrowly escaping the blast caused by the grad rocket and that, further, additional Palestinian rockets landed in Be’er Sheva resulting in the cancellation of school for the city’s 40,000 plus students.

Destroyed home in Netivot

The title of my post was as follows:

‘Will the Guardian report rocket fire from Gaza terrorists which destroyed a house in Israel?’

Today we received our answer.

Monday’s edition of the Guardian’s ‘Picture Desk Live: the best news pictures of the day’ included the following:

Here’s the caption:

Palestinians inspect the damage to a building after an Israeli air strike in Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. Photograph: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

As this will likely be the sole report by the Guardian on this ‘effect and cause’, let’s “inspect” the photo and caption and see what we can learn.

Guardian readers’ understanding:

The Israelis cruelly bombed a Palestinian “refugee camp”, evidently for no reason.

Fact:

The Israeli Air Force specifically targeted a weapon manufacturing facility and a terror tunnel in Nuseirat in response to terrorist rocket fire – aimed at Israeli civilians – which nearly killed a man in Netivot.

Guardian readers’ understanding:

There are Palestinian refugees in Gaza.

Fact:

The idea that Palestinian Arabs, many of whom are several generations removed from those who fled the 1948 War, living in a Palestinian run polity completely free of Jews or IDF forces are still considered “refugees” is beyond absurd.

Final thoughts:

Those who think that I’m being too critical of the Guardian over one measly photo and caption may wish to learn that the same Reuters photo was posted at Yahoo News, albeit with a bit more information:

Palestinians inspect the damage to a building after an Israeli air strike in Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip September 10, 2012. An Israeli army statement said the Israeli air force targeted four sites in the Gaza Strip on Monday in response to the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa 

Evidently the editors responsible for the photo caption at Yahoo felt the journalistic duty to provide at least a bare minimum of balance and context. 

The Guardian felt no such compunction. 

42 comments on “The Guardian: 1 photo, 22 words, no context and so much disinformation

      • “Strictly from a photographer point of view, the photo in Gaza is far more printable than the photo in Netivot.”

        Why?

      • You’re absolutely right, Nat. The Gaza photo is visually stunning. The publication of that photo is not the issue though. You get that, right?

      • There have no doubt been similarly evocative and professionally taken images available from Reuters relating to attacks on Israel.

  1. I agree wholeheartedly with Adam and OyVaGoy. The fact that it is such a powerful photo (evocative of post 9/11 images, don’t you think?) makes context even more important.

  2. If the Jewish state had been around then, this is how Nazis would have reported on Israeli actions, I reckon. I heard the report on BBC that day and they also began the report by saying that Israel had attacked Palestinian refugee camp, leading the listener to believe, “for no reason”.

    • If the Jewish state had been around then, this is how Nazis would have reported on Israeli actions

      Don’t be ridiculous. You are yet again trivialising the suffering of those who perished in the Holocaust.

  3. It’s not just the same photo in the Reuters/Yahoo post. The Guardian also adopted the same opening line “Palestinians inspect the damage to a building after an Israeli air strike …”.

    Clearly some G. editor took the conscious decision to remove the second sentence involving the immediate context, i.e. of the preceding rocket attack.

    • I suppose they would argue “lack of space” or “word limits”, but that’s a very poor excuse as other photos on the same page have far longer and more detailed captions.

    • It is standard practice in the Israeli media in particular to insist that any Israeli military action is a “response”. There is never any cause noted of the rocket attacks, they seem to happen in a vacuum.

      You’ll never read in Haaretz “Palestinian militants launch an attack on Israel in retaliation for continued land thefts and the brutalisation of their people”. Simply doesn’t compute. Won’t happen. Palestinians attack, Israel responds.

  4. The looney lefties have a problem with 9/11. It just cannot be justified to any rational person with a Western mindset..

    Their emphasis for the Western World is on ‘getting past it’. Forgetting it. But that is not the message that they are sending to Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims. There they are trying to whip up even more feeling of ‘victimisation’ that there already are.

    • Interesting… CIF Watch erased the post where I reminded Nobbly that a group of Israeli citizens were arrested by the FBI for their puzzling behavior, after being caught videotaping the 9-11 disaster and seemingly dancing and rejoicing at the sight of the destroyed World Trade center.

      They were all expelled from the country but the FBI and many U.S. government officials still believe that some of them were on a mission for Israeli intelligence, and blew their cover up by their stupid behavior.

      http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/5-israelis-detained-for-puzzling-behavior-after-wtc-tragedy-1.70005

      http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/5-israelis-detained-for-puzzling-behavior-after-wtc-tragedy-1.70005

        • Haha! Nat – you have surpassed yourself! You are truly a Guardianista, my son. Disinformation and partial information par excellence.

          These guys were reported to the FBI by one New Jersey resident who saw them videoing and taking photos of the smoke billowing from the Twin Towers (who didn’t?) and talking in a foreign language.

          They may well have been an undercover unit, or otherwise engaged in nefarious activities, but any suggestion they had anything to do with the attacks of 9/11 is entirely baseless.

          Similarly, the allegation that they were “dancing and rejoicing” is baseless. Even their accuser simply said that they “were like happy, you know” and “didn’t look shocked”.

          That is a world away from handing out sweets, firing guns in the air and holding street parties.

          • Read what I wrote: these young Israelis were seen rejoicing and celebrating the destruction of the World Trade center, in which 3,000 people died. They were arrested and expelled from the USA, never to return. They never apologized for their appalling behavior. Aren’t you shocked?

      • At least they didn’t walk around the streets with trays of sweets Nat, like they do in your neck of the woods. Didn’t Ararat have entire joyful demonstrations banned because Palestinian’s were celebrating in the streets?

        • “Didn’t Ararat have entire joyful demonstrations banned because Palestinian’s were celebrating in the streets”

          What about these young Israelis were seen rejoicing and celebrating the destruction of the World Trade center, in which 3,000 people died. What did the Government of Israel did about them?

      • many U.S. government officials still believe that some of them were on a mission for Israeli intelligence

        If you want to suggest that the Israelis were behind 9/11, then just say so.

        I’m reminded of this infamous Guardian lowlight:
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/sep/02/911-photo-thomas-hoepker-meaning

        One of the many sound responses to what was an absolutely ridiculous article:
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/discussion/comment-permalink/12247849

        • These young Israelis who rejoiced at the sight of the collapsed World Trade Center had nothing to do with Al Qaeda’s terrorist attacks, they were just plain dumb. They were all the dumbest that at least several of them seem to have been junior operatives of a Mossad cell who blew up their cover that way, forcing the senior head of the cell to flee the USA. I must say I felt sorry for Mossad; usually they recruit intelligent people.

    • Oh Nobbly. Nobbly, Nobbly, Nobbly.

      If you knew 1% of the misery that the West has inflicted on the Muslims of this world over the last century, you would find it inconceivable that the Muslims of this world manage to show such enormous restraint.

      I remember Bob Fisk’s first article after his plane was turned back after the US closed its airspace on that day. “In the coming days, we will not be permitted to ask the question ‘why?’”

      Dershowitz once told Fisk that because he was asking the question ‘why’, he was pro-terrorist, anti-American, that he was a dangerous man and that the be anti-American was the same as being anti-Semitic.

      I kid you not.

      • Yeah, sitting on all that oil and not pulling your finger out sure is a bummer. Life’s a bitch and then I buy my fourth Lamborghini. Buuhuuu.

      • “If you knew 1% of the misery that the West has inflicted on the Muslims of this world over the last century, you would find it inconceivable that the Muslims of this world manage to show such enormous restraint.”

        You are gone.

        • Jeff When Avram was banging his head on the keyboard he hit the keys in the wrong order and got his post back to front and ment to say “If only you knew 1% of the misery that islam has inflicted on the rest of the world over the last century you would find it inconcivable that the rest of the world has manage to show such enormous restraint” but there again our Avram time and time again has proved himself not to be the brightest light bulb in the socket

  5. I see Avram is still buying the poor hard done muslims are victims er Avram they say ignorence is bliss then you must be in Nivanna Avram But I will stick to Motorhead

  6. I wonder at how many eggs tossed at Guardian’s office building will the Guardian demand the police to arrest me? 10,000 eggs? 1000 eggs? I’m thinking, closer to 10 eggs. And if I’m on a bullhorn harassing Guardian staff by angrily accusing them of heinous crimes like pedophilia and rape and murder, will the police be called any sooner? And what kind of charges would all of that entail. (All of that entailing 10,000 eggs tossed and a constant abuse of Guardian staff personal lives via false accusations of criminal action?

  7. Pingback: Absurdity of Killing a “Terrorist” | The Political Wanderer

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