Jeremy Bowen’s pink shirt

Early in the morning of Tuesday May 23rd 2000 – the day before the completion of the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon – a tank crew stationed on the border fence near Kibbutz Menara received an intelligence alert concerning the likelihood of terrorists firing anti-tank missiles at IDF tanks and armoured vehicles. Later in the day, the crew spotted a Lebanese vehicle transporting men in civilian clothing and suspected that these were Hizballah terrorists carrying equipment for firing an anti-tank missile. The tank crew was given permission to fire at the suspected terrorists. 

Later it emerged that the men were actually a BBC film crew headed by Jeremy Bowen and that driver Abed Takkoush had been killed. The IDF investigated the incident and issued an apology. Understandably, that tragic incident appears to be still very much at the forefront of Bowen’s mind, although he does not appear to accept that it was possible to mistake three men travelling in a war zone in a car with Lebanese plates, and carrying camera equipment, for Hizballah terrorists dressed – as was very often the case – in civilian clothing. 

Bowen tweet 23 5

One of Bowen’s repeated claims is that the IDF soldiers should have been able to identify him as a civilian because of his dress at the time. 

“I was in sight of the Israeli settlement [Manara]. I thought it would be fairly quiet. I even waved my arms over my head to show we were civilians. I had no helmet and was wearing a pink shirt”. 

In other words, Bowen apparently believes that Hizballah terrorists never wear pink shirts and that his safety should have been guaranteed because Israeli soldiers ought to have been able to identify him and his colleagues as members of the press on the basis of the colour of his clothing.

However, this recent picture (retweeted by Bowen) taken on a rooftop above Taksim Square in Istanbul suggests that Bowen does not have the same expectations with regard to the abilities of the Turkish riot  police to recognise his pink shirt as a sign of his press credentials. 

Pic Bowen Istanbul

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8 comments on “Jeremy Bowen’s pink shirt

  1. Mortality rates for journalists and photographers is very high in all wars. Does Bowen have any other suggestion than pink shirts? The Israelis have every right to be suspicious of all the devious practices of their enemies. We’re all sorry about every needless death, but in this case, it goes with the territory.

  2. Of course, what Bowen will NEVER admit is that it was his recklessness that was largely responsible for his cameraman getting killed. Don’t drive around in an unmarked vehicle in a war zone, stupid.

  3. The pale colour pink of the shirt in the photo looks very much like the result when those white shirts that women sometimes put in the washing machine together with red clothing are dried.

    Could Jeremy’s mother still be doing his washing for him, or is it the same shirt he wore on the previous occasion? In either case it appears to be the appropriate colour for the watered-down Trot that Jeremy emblematises.

  4. Does a pink shirt represent liberal credentials that say that a man in charge of a news crew never makes a mistake by putting his own crew in danger? It is seems another explanation is that Bowen was careless with the lives of his crew and one got killed in a war zone that he knows like the back of his hand! Why didn’t he have a more recognisable badge than a pink shirt? Had he informed the Israelis that a pink shirt is a sign of a BBC reporter with crew? Is he unaware that in a war zone that duplicitous it is well known that Israel’s enemies use the Red Cross ambulances to convey terrorists and weapons and that they also hide behind media crews? Its time he took responsibility in the matter and stopped looking to blame the most ethical army in the entire world.

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  6. He will never miss a chance to broadcast slur on Israel. Sorry, I forgot that the BBC is unbiased.

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