Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Pictures Can Lie

This is one of the Jerusalem Post's stock archive photos.  They claim that it's Ofra next to Ramalla.  It isn't.  I've blogged about this before.  Either it's not Ofra, or it's "doctored."  Ofra is quite a few miles from Ramalla, and there's no Arab city like this so close.

Another "pictures lie" story happened to us many years ago.  The BBC TV was over and filmed us and four of our five kids at home, plus an interview.  We did tell them that we have five kids, but somehow in the interview voice-over/commentary, the journalist said that we are parents of four.  I contacted the journalist who apologized. He counted the kids in the film and figured that his notes were wrong.  A few years before that, journalists from a major international medium were over.  They took pictures of me with two of my kids, never asked how many we had.  They wrote that we had two.

More frequently "mistakes" aren't innocent.  They're well-planned to promote certain agendas.  Somehow that Arabs are so photogenic, looking so injured and innocent, no matter what the truth.

From the press and international politicians, this luxurious neighborhood should be Jewish, but it's Arab.

I don't know any Israeli Jews in mansions like these, certainly not in Judea and Samaria.  This is an Arab home in Samaria.  Oops! Yes, that mean that the Arabs don't live in slums.

This distortion of the truth isn't new.  My pictures are accurate.  It's amazing to find out whose pictures aren't.  It has been revealed that the famous photographer Roman Vishniac's photos of European Jewry were posed.  He had been sent to take pictures of Jews for fund-raising and he had a very specific agenda.

If you were to pick up a copy of “A Vanished World” in a contemporary American Jewish home and turn to the final spread, you would see two photographs. On the left, a man peers anxiously from a window in a metal door; on the right, a boy of no more than 3 or 4 points a small finger across his eyeline. The caption reads: “The father is hiding from the Endecy (members of the National Democratic Party). His son signals him that they are approaching. Warsaw, 1938.” An index at the front of the book, which features additional commentary on the photographs, fills out the frightening tale: “The pogromshchiki” — a lynch mob — “are coming. But the iron door was no protection.”

It is a poignant scene — haunting and full of narrative pathos. But it almost certainly did not happen. The pictures in that spread, it turns out, came from different rolls of film, probably shot in different towns — which means, of course, that its characters were presumably not only unrelated but also most likely did not even know each other. 

I'm one of those who has thumbed through his famous book, innocently and gullibly admiring, being impressed by the message.  I was had.


Anonymous said...

i am sure you mean *some* arabs do not live in slums. that would be more accurate.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anomymous: Sit at the entrance to any hospital in Israel for 1 hour. Aside from the Arab doctors and nurses, you will see many well dressed Arab men, women and children visitors. Most of the women wear expensive fabrics with elegant accessories.You will not find a poorly dressed Arab. Drive down any road in the Shomron and you will amazed to see the many expensive European cars with Arab licence plates. The fabulous mansion shown on this blog is one of many. Anyone can drive by and see these new Arab dwellings thoroughout the Shomron. Of course there are some Arabs who live in villages with their families and ride donkeys. There are also Jews who live on the streets of Tel Aviv. What is your point?

Batya said...

a1, Arabs are a lot wealthier and live a lot better than you presume. Fancy homes and cars are more common than rare. a2 got it right.

JDL London Canada said...

There's something wrong with this picture(no pun intended), the first one is photoshop 101 for sure ... Second, the arabs build luxurious homes while legitimate residents are told to freeze building? BTW what's that grey cinder-block slum downhill from you called? Whatever it is that's the true picture of the arab lifestyle in Yehuda and Shomron, in my opinion.

Batya said...

What cinderblock slum?
The Arabs build what they want and where they want. They don't have to bother with permits and inspectors. Something stinks.

Daniel said...

he once spoke in Albany- I think at the capital museum. He had the audacity to refer to himself as a prophet for what he did.

Batya said...

Daniel, is your comment on the wrong post?