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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Some notes on the staged rock throwing of Silwan

A few follow-ups on the video and photographs of the events at Silwan on Friday.





The photographs of the incident that do not show the entire context have been reproduced all over the place. I have yet to see any of the media mention that the stone-throwers smashed the rear windshield of the car with their peacful protest pebbles. In fact, from the video one can see that out of all the photographers that were there, only the videographer took footage of the car afterwards showing the damage; the rest rushed to the kid. (Most of the media showing the video do not bother to show that part of the footage either; Al Jazeera is the best example but even Fox only showed it momentarily after showing the kid being hit three different times.)


The driver was swerving to avoid a different stone-thrower. In other words, he had a car behind him and two kids in front of him; if he would have stopped he would have been in mortal danger.


The kid who was hit, Amran Mansur, recalls the incident in a way that is completely at odds with what we could see:
"I had just left the Friday prayers at the neighborhood's protest tent when I saw a car speeding towards me," remembers Amran Mansur, 11, who was ran over by David Be'eri, chairman of the Elad Association promoting Jewish settlement in east Jerusalem.

Amran was released from the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem early on Saturday. "I couldn’t run away in time, I didn't even have time to signal him with my hands," he says. "It was clear he did it on purpose. I was on the sidewalk, so there's no chance it wasn't deliberate."
Palestinian Arab kids learn how to lie to the media early. Of course, there was the earlier footage showing Mansur about to throw a stone at a different car, so he was at the scene for at least some time; he was running full-speed towards the car, not away, and he was in the middle of the street, not the sidewalk.

There were about six or seven journalists at the scene, possibly more than the number of stone throwers. It is hard to imagine that this event was not at least partially staged by them.

And while the journalists keep a "professional" distance from kids endangering the lives of Israeli motorists, they rush to help out the injured kid. Well, sort of. If he had been badly injured - say, neck or back injuries - their manhandling of him and forcing him into the car could have paralyzed him.

Someone should interview the photographers on the scene and ask them straight out: why were you so conveniently at that intersection at that time? Were the kids throwing stones because you were there? Did anyone tell them where to go or how to act? What news agencies were represented? Where is the rest of the footage between the first part and the second? How long were the boys there? How many other cars were stoned?

Even though this is a perfect example of a photograph not telling the truth, you just know that they are thinking Pulitzer and not the consequences of their actions.

UPDATE: See Media Backspin on why this looks like a set-up, from the perspective of a news photographer.