AFP/Getty Recycles Nasty Photo

This nasty photo's on the wires today.


A Palestinian boy watches as an Israeli army patrol passes through the occupied West Bank city of Hebron. Israel has refused Palestinian and international demands to extend a 10-month moratorium on new settler homes that expired last month despite Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas vowing that there will be no further talks until settlement activity halts. (AFP/Getty Images, Hazem Bader)

It's a recycled image from last year, and it has nothing to do with settlement freezes. And as you'll read on, you'll see confirmation that the soldier wasn't really pointing his gun at the kid, though the angle of the image suggests just that.

I couldn't find the photo with its original caption online anymore, but it was emailed to me just now.

A Palestinian boy stands up as an Israeli army patrol passes by in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron following a knife attack attempt by a Palestinian man against an Israeli soldier at a nearby checkpoint on August 26, 2009.  (Hazem Bader/AFP/Getty Images)

AP photographer Nasser Shiyoukhi (via IsraellyCool) was standing next to Bader and took the same photo. Shiyouki's caption is remarkably more honest. The soldier "uses his rifle to indicate the direction as he tells a Palestinian boy to leave the scene . . ."

Recycling photos is simply lazy, unethical journalism. When we caught the Times of London recycling a photo from Jenin, the paper apologized. Sally Baker's response would be just as apropos here had AFP written it:

It is always bad practice to publish an old photograph and allow readers to think it might be a recent one; against the background of the Middle East it is doubly so, and we were in error. Still, at one point on Monday afternoon the e-mails were landing in the letters inbox at the rate of almost 500 an hour, preventing anything else from getting through, so we had some comeuppance.


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