Giving the Finger to Accuracy

In recent days, some ultra-Orthodox residents of Jerusalem violently demonstrated against the decision to open a parking lot on Saturday during the Jewish Sabbath, and against the way authorities handled the case of an ultra-Orthodox woman accused of starving her son.

On Thursday July 16, AFP photographer Ahmad Gharabli snapped this photo of one such protester.

His caption is straightfoward enough:

An Ultra Orthodox Jewish man gestures during clashes with Israeli forces following demonstrations against the arrest of a woman accused of child abuse in Jerusalem on July 16, 2009. Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews clashed with police for a third day in protest at an ‘unjustified’ arrest of a religious woman and the opening of a parking lot on Saturdays, the Jewish holy day of rest. AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images

On Monday July 20, the same photo appeared in The Australian’s coverage of — the US-Israel disagreement over construction in eastern Jerusalem. The caption’s Down Under version doesn’t even state what the demonstration is about:

An Ultra Orthodox Jewish man gestures during clashes with Israeli forces following demonstrations in Jerusalem.

So Australian readers could assume this is an example of Israeli defiance of the US. This, despite the fact that the demonstration that the caption refers to has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the published story in The Australian.

Now why would an editor juxtapose a story about Jewish development in eastern Jerusalem with an unrelated image of an ultra-Orthodox demonstrator? What subtle message does The Australian convey here?

Ask The Australian by sending your e-mails to letters@theaustralian.com.au

SOLDIERS SPEAK OUT

 

Attempts to defame the IDF through allegations that there were instances of misconduct during Israel’s Gaza operation look set to run and run. While Breaking the Silence used the testimonies of around 30 unidentified soldiers to make a political point, thousands more soldiers served during Operation Cast Lead.

Many of them feel a deep sense of injustice at how some are misrepresenting them and the IDF. Unlike Breaking the Silence’s small number of anonymous testimonials, these soldiers do not hide their identities. They want to tell you about their personal experiences, which you can hear at the Soldiers Speak Out website.

Click here or on the image above to hear their testimonies.

OPERATION CAST LEAD AND THE ETHICS OF JUST WAR

Azure journal has published an in-depth article examining whether Israel’s actions in Gaza fell within the boundaries of Just War Theory. Azure’s Editor notes:

Though understandable and perhaps inevitable, this heated debate is unfortunately founded, in most cases, on insufficient and flawed information, semantic confusion, and the misuse of moral principles. The main purpose of this article, written by one of Israels leading philosophers, is to try to deal with some of these shortcomings. At the very least, it points us toward the proper moral, ethical, and legal standards by which the Gaza operation should be evaluated.

Read the full article here.

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