Sunday, October 12, 2014

  • Sunday, October 12, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Remember the "Sderot Cinema" story from the summer? Sderot residents who had been under constant rocket fire were made to look like monsters for watching Israeli warplanes fight back against those who who had been making their lives hell. The reporters got the story exactly wrong.

To get an idea of how much of a double standard there is in how Israel is treated in the media, check out this Daily Mail story that describes "war tourists" in Turkey and in the Golan, both looking at the civil war in Syria.

Dressed in casual T-shirts with their arms around each other, the men posing for photographs could be documenting a visit to any tourist attraction in the world.

But these Turkish daytrippers aren't admiring a famous painting or well-known monument - they are taking pictures of U.S. airstrikes against brutal Islamic State terrorists in the Syrian city of Kobane.

With explosions taking place behind them in a city where ISIS have butchered hundreds of Kurds over the last few weeks, the carefree men seem more interested in documenting the moment on digital cameras and mobile phones than coming to terms with the horrific reality of the situation.

...This morning, almost as if they were watching a fireworks display, the spectators took photographs of explosion after explosion as warplanes from the U.S. Air Force hammered terrorist targets in the east and south west of the city.

They are not alone in their fascination with watching a conflict unfold; just weeks ago a fierce three-way battle between Syrian government forces, Al Qaeda-linked rebels and fighters from the Islamic State drew large crowds in neighbouring Israel.

Residents in Golan Heights took took to the mountains in T-shirts, shorts and sunglasses to watch a bloody battle unfold in the town of Quneitra, across the Syrian border beneath them.

War tourism has a long history, dating back millennia when accounts of great battles would be written and told by individuals who claim to have witnessed them first hand.

By the 1600s Dutch painter Willem van de Velde was travelling on war ships in order to sketch fighting with English vessels - while the battles of Waterloo and Gettysburg in the 1800s both had spectators who had journeyed deliberately to the conflict zone in order to watch events unfold.

In the 1860s Thomas Cook organised holidays for British tourists on American Civil War battlefields, and similar guided tours were organised available for those interested in locations associated with the Crimean War.

In fact during the Battle of Alma in 1854 - considered the first battle of the Crimean War - Prince Alexander Sergeyevich Menshikov is said to have invited women from the nearby town of Sevastopol to take up positions on a nearby mountainside to watch his men fight.
When the main story is about Turkish war tourists who are directly photographing atrocities against civilians, then the media puts it in context of a long history of war tourism. The Sderot residents got no such slack.

But even within this story, look at the captions of the photos showing the Turks versus the Israelis:

The Israelis are "ghoulish," while the Turks are merely photographers.

The Sderot story was widely circulated as an example of how heartless Israelis are. This story? No one cares, because, hey, they are only Turks and cannot possibly be expected to have the expected and exceptional moral standards of Israelis.

(h/t Bob Knot)

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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