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