Sunday, May 27, 2018

Abbas, David Friedman, and the Power of Photos - by Yoni Tobin

...Many may be quick to label the situation a double standard. The term double standard does not apply, however, because the term implies that two sides are held to different standards. Here, one side is held to virtually no standard at all. The international news media, NGOs, and governmental bodies all remain deathly silent on incitement, and will continue to do so long as false balance remains in fashion.

Yoni Tobin..
25 May '18..

If a picture is usually worth a thousand words, when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a picture is worth a million.

Just as informative as a picture, however, is the context in which it is presented. An unfavorable caption or description can influence perception of a situation just as directly as the photo itself.

Take, for instance, the outcry relating to two recent photographs — one involving Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and the other involving US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

On Monday, President Abbas was photographed in the Itishari Arab Hospital in Ramallah, where he was being treated for pneumonia. In the photograph, Abbas is pictured sitting and reading al-Hayat al-Jadida, the official Palestinian Authority newspaper. The scene appears innocuous enough — until one notices a massive political cartoon on the back of the newspaper depicting an Israeli soldier poisoning a Palestinian baby.

The very next day, during a routine visit to Bnei Brak for an event conducted by Achiya — an Israeli non-profit charity organization — Ambassador Friedman appeared in a picture in front of an altered photo depicting the Third Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, in place of the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque.

Two incidents. Two controversies. And in the aftermath, two public relations teams frantically scrambling to repair the PR nightmare.

Only that isn’t what happened.

(Continue to Full Column)

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