A video titled “The Instagrammer who wants to show a different side of Gaza” appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page on December 30th with a synopsis that begins as follows:
“A Palestinian Instagrammer in the Gaza Strip wants to show us a different side of life there.”
However, far from bringing audiences “a different side” to that usually seen in BBC reporting from the Gaza Strip, the synopsis went on to promote the corporation’s standard mantras, including the usual uninformative slogan concerning the context to Israeli counter-terrorism measures.
“Gaza has seen three major wars between Israel and Hamas, the militant group that controls the strip. Gaza’s economy has also been badly hit by a blockade by Israel and Egypt – needed, they say – for security reasons.” [emphasis added]
In among Kholoud Nassar’s photos of cheesecake and coffee, historic buildings, well-stocked markets, a garden centre and a strawberry field, the same slogans were promoted in the film itself.
“Gaza has been through three major wars in the last decade between Israel and the Hamas group that controls the strip. […] Israel and Egypt restrict the movement of people and goods into and out of Gaza, citing security reasons.”
Remarkably the film’s producer Cara Swift chose to use that particular image despite the fact that it is not representative of the Gaza Strip at the end of the last conflict in 2014 and with no room for an explanation of the context that lies behind the damage seen.