. . . Wednesday January 7, 2009

War Porn

Jeffrey Goldberg:

We’ve all seen endless pictures of dead Palestinian children now. It’s a terrible, ghastly, horrible thing, the deaths of children, and for the parents it doesn’t matter if they were killed by accident or by mistake. But ask yourselves this: Why are these pictures so omnipresent? I’ll tell you why, again from firsthand, and repeated, experience: Hamas (and the Aksa Brigades, and Islamic Jihad, the whole bunch) prevents the burial, or even preparation of the bodies for burial, until the bodies are used as props in the Palestinian Passion Play. Once, in Khan Younis, I actually saw gunmen unwrap a shrouded body, carry it a hundred yards and position it atop a pile of rubble — and then wait a half-hour until photographers showed. It was one of the more horrible things I’ve seen in my life. And it’s typical of Hamas. If reporters would probe deeper, they’d learn the awful truth of Hamas. But Palestinian moral failings are not of great interest to many people.

For the record, the quote above and my related comments are not some weird justification of violent acts or meant to stir some sense of unfeeling about tragic exchanges in the Middle East. The focus here is how things are covered and what leads to that coverage. The fact
is that there is a massive double standard and if we covered our own massive wars like we cover Israel’s comparatively tiny ones, folks would have a much different reaction to them.


Concentration is important!