Our Shattered Lens series on photo bias exposed how photographers are able to manipulate imagery through a variety of techniques to produce photos that distort the reality or convey an anti-Israel message.
Take a look at this photo of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in the Daily Telegraph:
It’s safe to assume that Netanyahu did not intentionally extend his arm in a Nazi or Fascist salute. Imagine our surprise, however, when we discovered that the source of the photo, provided to Getty Images, was Israel’s very own Government Press Office.
Of course, the GPO photographer did not intend to create such an image, which was but one of a selection taken from a July 26 press conference.
The GPO deserves criticism for allowing such a photo to be released as part of the batch on the PM’s photo stream. But why is it that the GPO needs to vet seemingly non-controversial photos such as these in the first place?
Subtle and even subliminal it may be, but images such as this contribute to the demonization of Israel and Israelis. The false comparison between Israel and the Nazis is a particularly vicious one employed specifically to injure and is regarded as anti-Semitic in the EU’s own working definition of anti-Semitism.
While the Daily Telegraph may not have been responsible for the photo itself, it most probably knew exactly what it was doing when it selected this specific photo to accompany an article portraying Netanyahu as a ‘hardliner’.
Indeed, this is not the first time that Netanyahu has been compared to a Nazi by the media.
It is certainly unfortunate that we have reached a stage where seemingly innocuous images can be abused in this manner. The GPO should certainly take some responsibility for inadvertantly assisting in a self-inflicted wound. But the GPO’s error should not be used as an excuse by the Daily Telegraph for its own behavior in this matter.
We have no doubt that the Daily Telegraph will claim, in its defense, that the image had been pronounced “kosher” by the GPO itself. Nonetheless, we still question the Telegraph’s intent when it selected the image, particularly as it was a recent file photo unrelated directly to the story at hand.
As for the Daily Telegraph’s article “Palestinian Authority dismiss Israeli ‘peace proposal’“, it is yet one more example of the double standards employed by many in the media. While Palestinian demands are treated as being eminently reasonable even as they reject efforts to restart peace talks and work to impose their will unilaterally, Israeli proposals and Netanyahu are portrayed as disingenuous and hard line.
Ask the Daily Telegraph why it chose to select this particular photo to illustrate its article and send your considered comments on the article itself to letters@firstname.lastname@example.org.