Time’s Photo Flop

Time magazine’s special year-end edition includes “Best Photos of the Year,” featuring 7 photos relating to the Mideast conflict. The photos and captions reveal a pattern of bias, heavily suggesting that Israel is the aggressor and Palestinians are the victims.

Here are the 7 photos:

(1) Time depicts Israeli aggression and Palestinian victimhood with a photo of Palestinian women mourning in Jenin after “Israeli tanks leveled the area.”

(2) Time depicts Israeli aggression with a photo of Israeli soldiers “engag[ing] in a fire fight” in Ramallah.

(3) Time depicts Israeli aggression and Palestinian victimhood with a photo of Palestinians “defend[ing] against a possible Israeli incursion.”

(4) Time depicts Palestinian victimhood with a photo of a Palestinian boy who “lost his father and grandfather” in a gun battle.

(5) Time depicts Israeli aggression and Palestinian victimhood with a photo of Yasser Arafat “after Israeli tanks had besieged his compound.”

(6) One semi-exception is a non-emotive photo showing a tagged Israeli arm, after a Palestinian suicide attack.

(7) And finally, a photo of Ariel Sharon carries the pejorative heading, “Old Man Alone.” Sharon is dubiously depicted as “surviving three no-confidence votes and buying more time to repair his tattered coalition.”

Time presents no background or context to give readers a sense of why Israeli tanks were in Jenin, or why Israeli soldiers were shooting in Ramallah.

To understand Palestinian liability for the situation, we are reminded of a quote that appeared, ironically, in Time magazine on February 26, 2001. Arafat adviser Bassam Abu Sharif said of Arafat: “If he knows he will achieve a political point that will get him closer to independence and if that will cost him 10,000 killed, he wouldn’t mind.”

* * *

Meanwhile, Time magazine has published another photo essay, “People Who Mattered 2002,” which includes Ariel Sharon and “The Hamas Militant.” Sharon is described negatively as “a lifelong hawk who… knows best how to wage war.” By contrast, the Hamas caption contains two references to the Hamas “cause” — suggesting a noble endeavor, even though Hamas’ stated goal is to annihilate the State of Israel.

See the text of Time’s “People Who Mattered”:

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Many HonestReporting members wrote to BBC complaining about Orla Guerin’s biased report following the Tel Aviv double-bombing (see http://www.biased-bbc.blogspot.com). In response, Guerin <orla.guerin@bbc.co.uk> wrote:

“… If you persist in making these allegations, I will treat it as harassement (sic). If you attempt to contact me again this bureau will pass you (sic) emails on to the police…”

Hmmm… So much for journalists welcoming the public call for an open discussion of issues!