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June 03, 2012

The Week in Flubbed Photos, Captions

The last few days have produced several sloppy and erroneous photo captions and incorrect photo selections. First, from the New York Times, or what some consider the "Paper of Record," there's this:

nyt har homa settlement.jpg

While the caption refers to the buildings as "a Jewish settlement near Jerusalem," the reality is that the pictured homes are in Jerusalem. Specifically, they are the neighborhood of Har Homa, which is in the part of Jerusalem located over the Green Line and annexed to the capital city after 1967. As a result, Palestinians consider it a settlement, while Israelis consider it a Jerusalem neighborhood. Whether you call Har Homa a settlement or neighborhood, the fact remains that it lies in, not near, Jerusalem. (See, for instance, this B'Tselem map.) Recently, the New York Times' Isabel Kershner correctly referred to "Har Homa, a Jewish development across the 1967 lines in southeast Jerusalem" (April 5, 2012)

The original AFP caption correctly identifies the homes as Har Homa, but tendentiously sides with the Palestinian terminology (and is vague as to Har Homa's location with respect to Jerusalem):

Palestinian shepherd Abu Shadad herds sheep near Jerusalem as the Jewish settlement known to Israelis as Har Homa and to Palestinians as Jabal Abu Ghneim is seen in the background April 25, 2012. Har Homa is a terraced suburb of neat, white-stoned apartments housing 13,000 Israelis that overlooks the biblical town of Bethlehem. Of all the obstacles blocking the way to peace between the Palestinians and Israelis, the status of Jerusalem is arguably the most intractable.

Moving on to what some call the "New York Times of Israel," Ha'aretz's English edition had a couple of photo caption flubs in recent days. Friday, there was this important story about the smuggling of Russian-made SA-24 shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles into the Gaza Strip, which was accompanied by this photograph:

SA 24 June 1 2012.jpg

Does that look like a shoulder-launched missile to you? Here is a photograph (from Army Recognition) of the real SA-24 missile, which is shoulder-launched:

SA-24.jpg

And, finally, in today's Ha'aretz there this stand alone photograph:

Tekoa June 3 12.jpg

Except that this photo was not taken on Friday. It was taken on Wednesday, May 30, as the original AFP photograph indicates, which raises the question: why does a photograph of a minor skirmish deserve space four days later? This wouldn't be the first time that Ha'aretz mislabeled a photograph of Israeli forces making an arrest as more recent than it actually was, thereby falsely boosting its news relevance. (And, according to Ynet, this activist was arrested after he attacked several soldiers, information which would have been helpful for readers' understanding of the events.)

Posted by TS at June 3, 2012 04:08 AM

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