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« RFI's lexicon | Main | Guardian removes call to assassinate Bush »

Tuesday, October 26 2004

Reader's Digest on photo manipulation

AldurastampThe Sept. 2004 Reader's Digest (page 142) has an expose on the media manipulating photographs for propaganda purposes.

One key case examined is that of Mohammed al-Dura, the 12-year-old Palestinian boy shot in 2000. Reader's Digest lays out the case that "circumstantial evidence suggests [the video] was probably faked." But that hasn't stop the images from being immortalized throughout the Muslim world -- see the Egyptian postage stamp pictured here, and a fuller account of the al-Dura affair in the Atlantic Monthly article from 6/03: 'Who Shot Mohammed al-Dura?'

(Hat tip: Kalman Packouz)

Click below for the section of the Reader's Digest article that addresses the al-Dura affair:

From 'Seeing Isn't Believing' by Vicki Goldberg, Reader's Digest, Sept. 2004:

One video that circumstantial evidence suggests was probably faked became an instrumental tool in continuing to thwart any lingering chance for an Israeli-Palestinian peace, and has possibly contributed to hundreds of deaths in the last four years. On September 30, 2000, a man and his 12-year old son, Mohammed al-Dura, cowered behind a concreete structure in the Gaza Stri while Israeli soldiers and Palestinian fighters engaged in a gun battle. The boy was killed in the cross-fire; his father was wounded. A video of the boy's death as he crumpled into his father's lap was shown on TV woldwide; stills from it apppeared on the front pages of newspapers.

Within hours, Mohammmed's image became yet another rallying cry for the Palestinian indtifada that plagues the region, and, for more than one billion people in the Muslim world, it was a symbol of what they saw as Israel's continuing atrocities. Riots broke out in the West Bank and Gaza the day after Mohammed died. Soonafter, two Israelis were beaten to death -- the motive claimed was revenge for the boy's demise -- and violent anti-Semitic attacks occurred in Europe and North America. Later on, one of Osama bin Laden's public messages warned George W. Bush not to forget Mohammed al-Dura. Between armed skirmishes and suicide bombings, who knows how many have died in retaliation for this child's death?

Disturbingly, there are many indications that the scene was staged -- the boy may not have died at all. The local hospital did report that a dead boy was brought in at 1 p.m. that day -- though evidence shows that the gun battle occurred two hours later. Also, in the video, the father's T-shirt remains white, without a spot of blood, after he was supposedly shot in the arm and hand and after his son, shot in the belly, fell stomach down in his lap. Additionally, video taken shortly after the shooting shows no blood at all at the site, but the next day bringht red blood suddenly appeared there.

Tapes of the scene raise even more doubts: A voice cries out more than once, "The boy is dead!" before the child has even been hit. Then, after he is supposedly struck, Mohammed turns to the camera and covers his eyes as he falls. Ambulances arrive for other wounded that day, but there is no video of one arriving for Mohammad. Edited or not, the deadly impact of this tape continues to be incalculable.

 

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Comments

Hmmmm, wanna bet the author's last name keeps this from being investigated further?

If you want to see further investigation read the article from the Atlantic Monthly 6/03 titled: 'Who Shot Mohammed al-Dura?' You’ll get your answers.
You seem to have a problem with the author’s Jewish name, I wonder why? And I wonder why you are a coward to give us your name? Is it only fun if you can pick on others name, but you certainly wouldn’t want us to know yours? How honest and noble of you.

Whoa -- easy there Gloria.

I think the first poster was just saying that the author's being Jewish is an unfortunate liability for credibility on this issue. Not that that is a good situation!

Sorry if i offended anybody. Unfortunately it is now an everyday situation that people with a Jewish name, or Israeli citizens living in abroad (like myself) are discredited when an discussion about the Middle East arises. I know that when I tell people my side of the story they don't always believe me, simply because I hold an Israeli citizenship, so I must me distorting facts. Again sorry if I offended anybody.

thats right .. the authors last name says it all. But that isn't enough to hide the Israeli terrorism in the occupied Palestine. If that isn't terrorism, then what Hitler did was good.
Its all about time my friend, its all about who's got the power. But remember, time isn't your private property.

P.S. I'm a Pakistani

Knowing what happened in jenine I don't see any surprise story from the arabs or the europeen MEDIA, what I like to see is this dura story in the CNN and the world MEDIA.
It's TIME FOR THE WHOLE WORLD TO KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT THE ARABS AND THE EUROPEEN MEDIA

simon

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