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« Western Wall Still Banned From Israeli Tourism Ads In UK | Main | 2 Reasons Why Today's Border Clash Smells Like a Set Up »

Tuesday, August 3 2010

Wire Services Captions On Thin Blue Line

Ugly border clash today along the Israeli-Lebanese border, a.k.a. the Blue Line. Five people were killed including IDF Lt. Col Dov Harari, three Lebanese soldiers, and Lebanese journalist.

First, bungled wire service photo captions out there incorrectly state that Israel was cutting down a tree on the Lebanese side of the border.

What the captions don't tell you is that the security fence is a few meters inside Israeli territory, and is not the actual international border. Exhibit A is Reuters:



Exhibit B is Associated Press, which is even stranger. The same photo had different captions at Yahoo News and Day Life. Both sites aggregate whatever they receive from the wires, so I don't understand why Day Life had a more detailed, balanced caption than Yahoo News.




We saw similar facetious claims in 2006 that Israeli reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser were kidnapped from the Lebanese side of the border, though Hezbollah's Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah boasted to the contrary.

UPDATE 10:05 p.m. Not only did AP bungle their caption, they bungled the photo credit too. Unfortunately, that's all they bothered to correct. If they can't get routine photo credits right, why should I take the rest of their captioning seriously?


UPDATE 10:58 p.m. Aaaaaah. AP corrects the location.


I'm left with a few questions:

  • Does Yahoo just take longer to aggregate the wires than Day Life?
  • How long till the correction makes its way to other news sites -- such as a Washington Post slide show? Right now, that slide show (photo no. 4) includes the erroneous caption.
  • Most importantly, how late the ever-shrinking news cycle is too late for a correction like this to make any difference?




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Regardless of where the barrier is, the blue line is not a "border", it is a cease-fire line (the 1949 armistice line) between two countries at war.

In 2000, a group of cartographers was sent by the UNSC to clarify that blue line and ascertain Israel's complete withdrawal from Lebanon, which they did in Press Release SC/6878 dated June 18th 2000. You'd think that, after this extraordinary process, we would not have this kind of event.

Israel’s Critical Security Needs for a Viable Peace
Israel, in any future agreement with the Palestinians, has a critical need for defensible borders. This video outlines the threats to Israel from terrorist rockets, ballistic missiles, and conventional ground and air threats from the east.
For more information visit:
-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

This is similar to the incident in the Korean DMZ Axe Murder:

An obvious, pre-planned, pre-meditated attempt at "something" by the BAD guys (i.e. NORTH Korea/Hezb'allah)

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