Using the phrase “prison camp” to describe Gaza…is an understatement and even a misnomer. Prisoners are guilty of a crime, yet they are guaranteed access to certain things – electricity and water, even education – where Gazans are not. What crime did Gazans commit, except, to quote my late grandmother, “being born Palestinian”?
Of course, El-Haddad doesn’t mention that Hamas, the government that a plurality of her citizens voted for in 2006, openly calls for the annihilation of Jews, quotes (in its very founding charter) verbatim from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, has launched thousands of missiles into Israeli towns, and continues to use scant resources to import more and more sophisticated weaponry in order to eliminate the “Zionist enemy”.
No, for writers like El-Haddad, Israel’s guilt and cruelty is simply immutable – a hateful narrative that the editors at the Guardian are all too happy to allow.
There was, however, one small problem. The photo – clearly meant to reinforce the characterization of Gaza as a prison camp – was taken in Gaza back in 2005, BEFORE Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the territory.
CiF eventually removed the image (without explanation), but their editors’ initial willingness to use imagery meant to evoke such an ugly calumny says quite a bit about their seemingly visceral hostility towards Israel. A picture, indeed, says a thousand words.