#VisualLies: Exposing the Truth Behind Demonstrations in Judea and Samaria

Demonstrations in Judea and Samaria are known to make headlines, but do they show the truth? While images from the scenes of demonstrations may often seem violent and dramatic, more often than not a single shot is taken out of frame and out of context, failing to accurately portray what really happened beyond the individual frame caught in the lens.

This is what we know [the facts]:

Yesterday, following an illegal attempt by Palestinians and foreign activists to erect tents in Samaria’s Hemdat area, in the northern Jordan Valley, security personnel responded to the site with the intent to implement a standing Supreme Court Decision. At the site, Palestinian and foreign activists violently objected, throwing stones and striking Israeli security forces. The security personnel contained the violence with riot dispersal means, seized the tents and detained three Palestinians who were the main instigators, forcefully objecting to the activity. Reports that foreign diplomats abused their diplomatic privileges are currently being reviewed and, if required, complaints will be filed with the relevant authorities.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Paul Hirschson, said a formal complaint might be filed with the French over the involvement of French diplomat, Marion Castaing. “If she did participate then a formal complaint will be filed because that is not the way diplomats behave,” he said.

This is what is seen in the media: French diplomat Marion Castaing on the floor, with some media outlets questioning about the guns supposedly pointed at her by an Israeli police officer.

This photo of French diplomat Marion Castaing was propagated on the internet and in the media.

French diplomat Marion Castaing.

These images, such as the one shown above, are then turned viral. By spreading this misinformation, false interpretations are born with no context or truth behind them.

This is what the media fails to show:

This photo of French diplomat Marion Castaing was propagated on the internet and in the media.

The photo used to spread this misinformation was taken as a screenshot from a video with footage clearly showing that Marion Castaing was neither physically dragged to the floor nor had guns pointed at her. Also, the photo clearly shows that the officer is holding his gun by the magazine, nowhere near the rifle’s grip.

Marion Castaing Attacks Soldier

French diplomat Marion Castaing striking an Israeli police officer.

A palestinian child taunting an IDF soldier in an effort to initiate violence.

A palestinian child taunting an IDF soldier in an effort to initiate violence.

How come you haven’t come across these two photos, also filmed at demonstrations and protests in Judea and Samaria? Footage is filmed, photos are captured, and in the end, only those inciting the most controversy make your papers’ headlines. Although it may be difficult to disprove what is visible, it is important to make note that Palestinians who wish to deliberately spread lies about Israel are playing with the images that are being made visible to you, often times circulating false or poorly photoshopped photographs, as seen in the examples below:

http://www.idfblog.com/2012/02/03/photo-idf-soldier-stepping-girl-proven-false/

http://www.idfblog.com/2012/05/19/5-anti-idf-lies-which-turned-viral/

http://www.idfblog.com/2013/04/04/proved-fake-photo-of-palestinian-prisoner-maysara-abu-hamdiya-handcuffed-to-bed/

Many photos and videos have been manipulated to show Israel in a negative light. This is just another example of the length to which people will go to spread lies.

In addition to framing the scene in a misrepresentative way, Palestinians also often use the presence of photojournalists to impact the situation itself, as Palestinian protesters see their being filmed as an opportunity to instigate violence even when the situation does not call for it.

Italian photojournalist Ruben Salvadori realized that media doesn’t always show the big picture while covering Palestinian protests in Judea and Samaria. He explains: “Sometimes the situation is tense and dangerous, but many other times, the riots are nothing more than groups of young Palestinian kids who, with their face covered, throw rocks and disperse after the first tear gas is shot or go home if no IDF soldier comes.”

As shown in the video below, Palestinian children are often encouraged to confront IDF soldiers, taunting and provoking the soldiers in order to incite violence.

The recent demonstrations in Judea and Samaria have been making headlines lately, but these headlines aren’t always the real news. While photographs may appear to be authentic and honest, there is far more to visual journalism than is made public. Sometimes photojournalists capture a tense moment with perfect timing, but other times the action is staged.

 


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