BBC pictorial feature on ‘suffering’

Here is another BBC News Online photo feature, promoted on the BBC Middle East homepage on November 20th 2012 as “In pictures: Attacks cause suffering”. 

Out of a total of nine pictures, four depict the Gaza Strip, one shows Hebron in the PA controlled territories and four were taken in Israel.

Of the four images from Gaza, two show damaged houses – both with accompanying children. One shows a man supposedly carrying his salvaged belongings from an unseen damaged house whilst children look on and the fourth is an image of the sky, with what are described as smoke trails from an Israeli UAV. All three of the photos depicting the effects of damage to houses are clearly captioned as being the result of Israeli air strikes and one of the houses is attributed to specific family, thus personalising the message. No Hamas personnel or members of other armed terrorist groups appear in any of the photos. 

The photo from Hebron shows a disturbance, with no context whatsoever being given regarding the man the caption describes as having been shot by the IDF. 

The four pictures taken in Israel all feature soldiers. Only two of them actually have anything to do with ‘suffering’ – the others are totally unconnected to the stated subject matter. Of the two pictures showing rocket attacks, no information is given regarding the origins of the rocket in the second photograph of damage to a house in Be’er Sheva and in the image of the soldier carrying a child, the perpetrators are of course referred to as ‘militants’. 

Suffering – the declared theme of this slide-show – is of course a subjective concept and one that cannot and should not be quantified.

However, the viewer of these pictures is inevitably left with an impression of Israel as a predominantly military society and Gaza as a place inhabited solely by civilians. Numerically, the portrayals of suffering on one side exceed those of the other. Interestingly too, a theme of linkage between religion and military operations is also introduced on one side only, as it also was in the previous slide show discussed, only one day previously. 

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14 comments on “BBC pictorial feature on ‘suffering’

  1. As at 22 November, an estimated 103 Palestinian civilians, including 33 children and 13 women have been killed. Over 1269 Palestinians are reported injured, the majority civilians.

    As at 22 November, four Israeli civilians have been killed and 224 are reported injured, the vast majority civilians.

    http://www.ochaopt.org/gazaesc.aspx

    • I awoke to the ignominious Jeremy Bowen on the “Today” programme on Radio 4. A sickening and cloying attempt to play on the emotions of the useful infidels for Hamas who might be listening, during which he interviewed the aptly named Mads Gilbert (who distinguished himself so resoundingly and lived up to his name equally during Cast Lead).

      Admittedly Bowen did mention (twice, I think) that of course shells are falling on the other side of the border but NOT ONCE did he give any context

      (a) about the fact that Hamas deliberately launches rockets from among civilians – including most recently only yards from the Shifa Hospital where Mads Gilbert is flagrantly going hysterical, and no doubt because Hamas hopes that Israel will hit the hospital by mistake

      (b) that Fathi Hamad of Hamas is on record as boasting that women, the elderly and little children make the best human shields

      and sundry other ravings of that sort.

      Probably the Balen Report found much more of the same, which is why Al-Beeb used my money to suppress it.

      What’s the matter, Nat? Not enough dead Jews for you?

    • Nat, you have shown yourself to be a liar on this score before. The figures are 177 dead, including around 120 terrorists. The ratio of terrorist to civilian casualties is about 2 to 1 (2 terrorists for every civilian). Compare that to Nato’s score of 1 to 3 in Afghanistan (3 civilians for every terrorist). And bearing in mind that Gaza is heavily populated (over half the population are children), that statistic is remarkable. Whilst the death of every civilian is a tragedy, blame should be put squarely on Hamas, who started this conflict by deliberately aiming at Israeli civilians with thousands of rockets, whilst firing these rockets from amongst their own population centres – a double war crime of Hamas.

    • @Nat: I’m not going to comment on the figures you quoted, because forstly, Adam has already replied on this, and secondly, your persistent stupidity is tedious and is beginning to bore me.

      However, I would like to take this opportunity to refer you to some factual information, from the BBC’s own website, (written by someone who clearly knows a great deal more on the subject than you do), which explains exactly who had the moral high ground in this conflict, and why simply comparing numbers is utterly pointless.
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20415886

    • Nat; Your bias is unmistakable. The difference, you moron, is that the IDF takes great pains to avoid civilian casualties. Hamas, by contrast, deliberatly targets civilians while hiding behind there own. Both war crimes.

      Forgive me Nat. I don’t normally lower myself to name calling. But in your case, I made an exception. You ass.

    • Nat

      You are beginning to remind me of a mawkish rubber-necker of the worst type.

      Israeli civilians have been bombarded with rockets for years.What have you done about that, Nat? Have you supported the flotillas, flytillas, boycotts and other anti-Israel movements whose purpose is to stand with Hamas and ratchet up the aggression? Or have you realised that with its citizens under constant bombardment from terrorist rockets, year in year out, the recent Israeli operation was inevitable and required us to prevent it via recognition of Israel’s position followed by mediation with Hamas.

      If you fall into the former category, Nat, then take your crocodile tears elsewhere. You’re no different from someone who buys booze for a driver and then rubber necks the resulting accident.

  2. I just read (yesterday) on another site a supposedly “pro Israel” pictoral. The pics were as biased as these are. Don’t trust the MSM! EVER!

  3. Not that I’m defending Reuters, but with all the Hamas fighters hiding in their special bunkers only civilians were there to photograph …. until the ceasefire was declared, and suddenly there they were, on the streets, firing their guns in the air.

  4. Pingback: BBC pictorial portrayals of conflict in Israel and Gaza | BBC Watch

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