On June 3rd we posted about a photo used by Guardian editors to illustrate a report by Peter Beaumont (‘Israel condemns US for backing Palestinian unity government‘) about Prime Minister Netanyahu’s request that Washington not rush to immediately recognize the new Palestinian “technocratic government” backed by the terror group Hamas.
Their decision to use a photo of Palestinian children frolicking at a Hamas summer camp was deceptive for two reasons. First, the photo they used was only one in a series published by Getty Images in 2013 which were most notable for shots depicting the kids engaged in jihadist paramilitary training. Second, the image – conveying the putatively benign nature of the Hamas government – could be seen as an editorial decision to make light of Israeli concerns about the consequences of the US legitimization of the Islamist extremist group.
Interestingly, a few hours after our post, the Guardian decided to remove the original photo, and instead opted for this:
Though it’s unclear if our post prompted the Guardian revision, and no explanation was provided, we’re glad they at least implicitly acknowledged the highly tendentious nature of the original photo.
UPDATE: The Guardian’s Readers’ Editor responded to our post with the following Tweet:
@CiFWatch The picture was changed to one that reflected the story better within hours, as I am sure you are aware.
— Chris Elliott (@chriselliott57) June 5, 2014
However, our subsequent exchange with Elliott (which you can see here) suggests that his intent was to make it clear that Guardian editors recognized the error and changed the photo of their own accord. We thank them for the clarification.
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