The story and YouTube clip spread around the world in nanoseconds. Arab witnesses charged that the [Jewish] “settler” deliberately ran down the children. …Most viewers focus on the victims. It’s natural. They don’t notice at least eight still photographers in addition to the video cameraman. …There could have been more. I identify the photographers as:
Reviewing the clip, it’s evident that there were as many photographers as there were rock-throwers. Who invited them and coordinated the time and place? Who recruited the boys? Did they plan to ambush … David Be’eri’s car? …
Watch the clip and see how the photographers buzzed around the boy taking pictures while he was on the ground. Only one photographer went through the motion of extending a hand. Was their sense of humanity suppressed by their hopes of a Pulitzer prize?
Also watch [the video] as the wounded boy is manhandled and forcibly stuffed into a car against his will. As a former medic, I was shocked and amazed that the boy survived the mistreatment he received after he was hit by the car. After such an initial trauma, first responders know that there is a likelihood of neck, head and spine injuries. That was no way to evacuate a casualty, and if – or more likely when – the boy is presented before the press, the cause of his injuries should be judged accordingly.
Every photographer at the Silwan site bears responsibility for the children’s injuries. They were tools in the hands of a dangerous propagandist, and they answered the summons to capture the “action” on film. Their presence incited the kids. Then the cameramen stood by as a child laid injured. Until the photographers fess up as to who dispatched them, they should be treated as accomplices to the crime of endangering the children.
HonestReporting put the question to David Katz, veteran photographer and imagery advisor, [of whether the incident was staged]. He offered four reasons why he was sure the incident was set up, with collusion between the rock-throwers and the photographers.
1. The Location – Silwan isn’t really the most tense place. Photographers waiting for stone-thowings would be more likely to go to places like Bilin or Hebron. You wouldn’t hang around Silwan unless you knew ahead of time that something was going to happen. …
2. The Photographers’ [and the rock-throwing kids’] Positions – …Israel has security cameras around Silwan, so there may be CCTV footage of what happened before, during, and after the stone-throwing. If there is, there are a few things I’d watch for. At what point did the photographers position themselves? The other cars parked there: were they deliberately put there? At what point was the back window hit? If other cars were allowed to safely pass before the stone throwing, it would shed light on whether they were targeting the driver (the driver, David Be’eri, is the director of Elad, which advocates for Jewish families living in eastern Jerusalem), or whether they just happened to get him. [Also], if the stone throwing were really spontaneous, the kids should’ve been throwing from above. It’s safer for them, and they can do as much damage, if not more. But that’s less photogenic.
3. Reactions to the Hit and Run – When a car’s coming at you, and hits a kid, your first thought is your personal safety and what’s happening to the boy. But when you watch the video, nobody looks scared, nobody screams in horror. The children just continue throwing stones and the photographers keep snapping photos. …
4. The Dynamics of Staged Stoning Attacks – Adults, perhaps one of the local elders, will tell the kids to throw stones. Another adult who has connections and friends with photographers will tip them off. It’s absolute collusion. Why? It’s either for money, for politics, or both. The news agencies want these images because they sell, and they fit in with their worldview. Photographers know these kinds of images will move. Most importantly, if there had been no photographers present, there would have been no incident.
…the press was tipped off ahead of ahead of time, but gave the impression that the incident w[as] spontaneous. It clearly [wasn’t]. What happened in Silwan wasn’t news — it was a staged photo-op. …
1. There is no doubt that the Palestinian boy was hit by the car driven by a Jewish settler. Do you think this was a set-up between militant Palestinian leaders and media sympathetic to their cause? Explain your answer.
2. Are the reasons used to explain why Jpost and honestreporting believe the rock-throwing incident was a set-up persuasive? Explain your answer.
3. Is this an example of biased reporting? Explain your answer.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.
Silwan is a predominantly Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem (population: approximately 45,000).
East Jerusalem refers to the parts of Jerusalem captured by Jordan in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and then re-taken by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War.
It includes Jerusalem’s Old City and some of the holiest sites of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, such as the Temple Mount, Western Wall, Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Jerusalem was divided into two parts – the western portion, populated primarily by Jews, came under Israeli rule, while the eastern portion, populated mainly by Arabs, came under Jordanian rule.
Arabs living in such western Jerusalem neighbourhoods as Katamon or Malha were forced to leave; the same fate befell Jews in the eastern areas, including the Old City and Silwan.
The only eastern area of the city that remained in Israeli hands throughout the 19 years of Jordanian rule was Mt. Scopus, where the Hebrew University is located, which formed an enclave during that period and therefore is not considered part of East Jerusalem.
Despite the Armistice terms guaranteeing access to Holy Sites, under Jordanian control Jews were banned from the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, and all synagogues were demolished.
Following the 1967 Six-Day War, the eastern part of Jerusalem came under Israeli rule and was annexed to Jerusalem, together with several neighbouring West Bank villages. In November 1967, the United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 was passed, calling for Israel to withdraw “from territories occupied in the recent conflict”. In 1980, the Knesset passed the Jerusalem Law, which declared that “Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel”, however, without specifying boundaries. This declaration was declared “null and void” by United Nations Security Council Resolution 478.
1. Opinion question. Answers vary.
2. Opinion question. Answers vary.
3. Opinion question. Answers vary.