Sunday, December 25, 2011

"Silwan stone-throwers were checking cars for Jews"

I noted that an AFP photographer won a photo-journalism award for his shot of a stone-throwing youth being hit by a swerving car in Silwan.

The photographer, Ilia Yefimovich, was interviewed by "Achbar HaIr" about his photo and what happened that day.

He recounts what happened:

That day there was a funeral in the neighborhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem, and I went up to Jerusalem to photograph it for the Russian news agency. At the funeral there was a commotion and disturbances, so we expected a mess. I stood at a major intersection located above the where they have the tent demonstrations in the neighborhood, just below the Cinematheque, and there were bunch of kids who were throwing stones at passing vehicles. For every vehicle they checked if the driver was Jewish and [if so] threw stones at him. At one point, a string of cars passed and the children ran toward the vehicle and began to throw stones at it; the driver pulled the steering wheel and hit the children.

This picture undoubtedly is highly debatable. My job as a photographer is to document the scene - the events I shoot were happening with or without the presence of the camera. I started taking journalism because I wanted to see with my own eyes how everything looks, on the news every reporter puts his personal views . The press here in Israel have a very big problem when the photographer becomes part of the news - then it's not news, it's propaganda. The average reader should be able to read between the lines and understand the truth, and not the opinion of some writers and editors.
You will recall that no photographer bothered taking a shot of the shattered back window of that same car.

(h/t Dan)