Indy report on ‘apartheid’ poll illustrated with photo showing Palestinian kids seemingly behind bars

On June 27, Honest Reporting revealed The Independents use of the following photo to illustrate a particularly critical story on the Israeli treatment of Palestinian child detainees.

HR noted that the photo above represented an example that featured in their Shattered Lens study on photo bias, in this case “the use of bars to portray Palestinians as “prisoners” of Israeli occupation and brutality.”

HR wrote:

“[The photo from 2010 was] one example of how wire agency photographers resort to using camera angles and staging techniques to present a distorted picture of a given situation. In the example above, it is clear that the photographer used this technique to project an image of Gazan children imprisoned. However, the sequence of photos taken from the same scene at the time illustrates how the effect was achieved.”

“What we see above is a tiny group of Palestinian children arriving at what appears to be a pre-planned photo-op outside the Gaza industrial area presumably organized by Hamas. The photographer either willingly colludes with Hamas or is used.Next, the children have been positioned behind a gate to give the effect of a prison.”

“However, using a great deal of skill to get the right position with the right lens from the right angle, the photographer manages to create an impression of many more than the several children in the actual shot.”

This photo fraud came to mind when reading a more recent Indy report, ‘The new Israeli apartheid: poll reveals widespread Jewish support for policy of discrimination against Arab minority‘, by Catrina Stewart regarding the poll about alleged Israeli ‘apartheid’ written by Gideon Levy at Haaretz.  

Stewart’s story on the widely discredited story by Levy – which elicited a retraction from Haaretz – was not the most egregious example of misleading coverage of the poll, though it did, nonetheless, convey the false impression that Israelis support ‘apartheid-like’ policies against Arabs.  The Indy report also severely downplayed results which demonstrated that a large majority of Israelis don’t, in fact, support denying the vote to Palestinians.

However, the photo they used to illustrate the story indicates that the Indy learned nothing from their previous use of misleading imagery.


(The photo has no caption.)

Palestinian children are seemingly behind bars yet again, superbly illustrating the Indy’s desired narrative of oppressed Arabs.

However, upon doing a bit of research, it turns out that the photo was taken in Gaza, and the children are looking at the body of a Palestinian terrorist (killed after IDF forces retaliated against rocket attacks near Beit Lahiya) through the window of a hospital morgue on Oct. 22.

Here’s the photo and caption at Yahoo.

While the image selected by Indy editors has little, if anything, to do with the story it purports to illustrate, the broader truth is that the Palestinian children appearing in the photo are indeed prisoners – held captive to a life of backwardness, religious extremism, violence and racism by the very Palestinians they’re seen peering at.

Now, there’s a narrative you’d likely never see advanced in the Indy or Guardian. 

39 replies »

  1. The Government of Israel forbids journalists from taking photos of Palestinian children while they are detained in Israeli prisons or courts. This is why journalists have no choice but to use photos taken elsewhere. it is therefore not an ethical problem as long as the Government of Israel bars journalists from taking photos in its detention facilities.,

    • Just because you can’t take a picture does not mean it is OK to fake one. Journalists are not supposed to make things up.

      • Pretzelberg, if you cross Israeli military checkpoints such as Qalandia you wil see exactly what these photo show: bars, gates, turnstiles, all installed by the Israeli army.

        Journalists are only showing the reality of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

        • So why doesn’t the Indy post a photo like the above – except one actually taken at a checkpoint or jail? There are indeed plenty of genuine photos of checkpoint situations – but none that resemble the picture painted by the Indy.

        • Hey guess what Nat. You aren’t allowed to take photos at immigration/passport control at Heathrow Airport either. Scandalous, isn’t it?

    • Nat, you clearly wouldn’t know what ethics are if they drove over you in a tank. Going into a hissy strop and lying through your teeth has not been described as ethics before.

    • “This is why journalists have no choice but to use photos taken elsewhere.”

      Tell me you’re kidding. Just imagine the damage done to good journalism, if a newspaper had to publish a story without a faked photo. Nothing but text ! Remember, a staged picture is worth a thousand lies.

  2. There can be no excuses for this – not now that Google (and indeed Yahoo!) has a special image search where you can paste in the URL of the graphic element in question.

    I used the latter function and immediately found this article (many months old) exposing the story behind the photo:

    • If you cross a border or security checkpoint anywhere in the world it is a controlled situation with all of those things installed by whatever country it is controlling it. The fact that you can’t take pictures of in particular places does not mean you stage it somewhere else. That’s called bad journalism.

      • Off-topic: I wish there were a photo of me in ’94 crossing from Egypt into Israel. Oh, the Israeli models awaiting me at immigration. Oh, the smile on my face …

    • Fritz, what do you think of the recent report published by British lawyers, including MPs, on Palestinian children in Israeli military custody? It concluded that “undisputed facts” point to at least six violations of the UN convention on the rights of the child – to which Israel is a signatory – by the Governmeent of Israel.

      The report also compares the military justice system applied by Israel to Palestinian children in the West Bank, and concludes that there are major differentials between the law governing the treatment of Palestinian children and the law governing treatment of Israeli children.

      Fritz, what do you think?

        • Interesting that Palestinians have no problem just to abuse their children and their future by sending them to stonethrowing for journalists and cover for snipers instead to school.
          How detestable. Might be that this was the childhood of Nats, too..
          And when there is one incident related to Israeli stonethrowimg, the Obama goverrnment condems it, about the hundred thousands by Palestinian this government is silent.
          Children as propaganda tool for the media? Or do they get a pay for the staging from journalists?
          And do the parents consider this money or the propaganda more worth than the education of the children? Why, because they, too, are uneducated? Or have they to send their children by order of a Palestinian organisation, otherwise repression follows or benefits are stopped?

          • Fritz, all children have the right to life, regardless of their race, religion or nationality.

            I find your disdain for some children disturbing.