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April 27, 2014

Location, Location (And Where the Media Got it Wrong)

April 28 Update: CAMERA Prompts Haaretz Correction on West Bank Barrier

April 30 Update: NY Times Corrects Photo Caption on West Bank Clash

In the convoluted map of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the same event taking place in two slightly different locations could have two vastly different significances. In other words, in a region divided up by a Green Line, Area A, Area B, Area C, Palestinian towns, Israeli communities or settlements over the 1967 Armistice Line, location matters. And given the geopolitical sensitivities, media outlets have a particular responsibility to accurately cite locations.

Twice this past weekend, major media outlets, The New York Times and the Israeli daily Haaretz, erroneously identified the site of Palestinian demonstrators (one violent, one apparently peaceful).

The following photograph and incorrect caption appear on the front-page of The International New York Times today:

nyt epa settlement gas mask.jpg

This photograph is not from "an Israeli settlement." Palestinian demonstrations do not take place in Israeli settlements. If they did, that would be very big news.

According to the original caption provided by European Press Agency (which we accessed from the Newscom photo archive), "Palestinian protester holds his gas mask during clashes over the Jewish settlement of Qadomem, near Nablus, West Bank, 25 April 2014."

EPA demonstrator near Nablus.jpg

In a second misidentification of setting, Haaretz published the following photograph and caption on page 5 of its Weekend supplement this past Friday (April 25):

Milrod Modiin.jpg

The houses in the background are not from the city of Modiin, a bedroom community in central Israel within Israel's pre-1967 boundaries. In no place does the concrete barrier reach within that proximity of Modiin. According to Haaretz's Hebrew edition, this photograph shows Modiin Illit, also known as Kiryat Sefer, a Haredi town several kilometers away from Modiin, over the Green Line.

Milrod Modiin Ilit.jpg

The Hebrew caption states: "A Palestinian woman in front of the separation barrier near Modiin Ilit, 2011" (CAMERA's translation).

Posted by TS at April 27, 2014 04:33 AM


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