Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A terrifying future

Of all the horrific photos coming out of Lebanon/Israel/Gaza this is the one that disturbed me the most.

I draw no distinction between nationalities. Whether these schoolgirls were Israeli or Palestinian or anything else I would be appalled. To teach such hatred, such disregard for human life, to children is a despicable, disgusting, irresponsible, inhuman act. These shells are going to kill or maim other people, quite possibly other children. Teaching children to gloat over that is a crime against humanity.


nzm said...

Pics like this make me sad and angry.

I wonder how much manipulation there is to create an image like this?

What if it's all made up?

Some photographer gave the girls the pens, and said, "here - write something on these bombs", and the next thing, he has his picture of the year around which some fictional text is written, and this is then used to further incite an already angry world.

It's been done before.

Tainted Female said...

On the front page of 7days, you could clearly see the messages these girls were writing.

"With love, Israel."

They knew exactly what they were writing and where these shells were headed. Whether the photographer is to blame, or someone else... what are the children doing so close to these weapons in the first place? And how does the Israeli Army allow them to write? In some of the photos you can see soldiers watching from a distance. This is breeding hate, and nothing more.

By the way, I believe 2 children were killed in Lebanon the very day these photos were taken.

nzm said...

Tainted - shit happens for the want of a controversial pic. These guys live for winning Pulitzer Prizes that will increase their value to the news agencies.

I don't know why the girls were that close to the artillery, but they also have easily been told what to write without really knowing what they were doing.

How do we even know that those shells were live ammo?

Call me a conspiracist!

I'm not taking sides here - I'm just voicing an opinion that this image could very easily have been set up.

Innocent children killed or innocent children used in images to further incite negative emotion - in some way, it's all a form of abuse and tragedy.

What I found disgusting this morning was the byline on the front of 7 days. You've written in your blog about the "Astonishing" article, the subtitle for that article was White House says that Israel has full backing of the rest of the world.

What an insult to those (admittedly few) countries outwardly condoning Israel's actions. But we all know that the whole world ceases to exist outside the US borders and it's occupied territories.

nzm said...

That last paragraph is wrong!

I meant to say:
What an insult to those (admittedly few) countries outwardly condemning Israel's actions. But we all know that the whole world ceases to exist outside the US borders and it's occupied territories.

Anonymous said...

Out of curiousity, SeaBee, can you tell me where this photo came from. It says on the phone AFP, but when I visited the website of Agence France Press I couldn't find this pic.

A link would be great.

surprised sheep said...

Do Police officers in Dubai accept “Bribes” ?

Apparently, YES!

So this friend of ours was in a taxi being driven down to Sharjah, the cab guy skips a light at the Galadhari cross roads and changes three lanes in a go. The cab got pulled over and the Cops came over and wanted to arrest this guy. Not the Driver, but the passenger,(Brown passenger).

The cops asked him if he was drinking, (remember he was not in Sharjah yet, still a few hundred meters away from the border),

The guy freaked out so he offers a bribe, AED 1,800 that he happened to have in his pocket. And guess what, the Uniformed Dubai Police Officer accepts it and lets him go.
Now we understand that corruption is endemic in this region, however is it acceptable to fleece the underprivileged? Oh allk right this over paid brown guy we are taling about is not part of the ,”underprivileged”, but WTF? Well Dubai is progressing and ……

Dubai = a wanna be First world country?

Dubai = stereotypical Arab nation with nothing new to offer.


Surprised Sheep Productions

Tainted Female said...

Surprised Sheep,

For the last time, STOP SPAMMING. This is now the 3rd blog I've come across today that has this exact copy/pasted note of yours and I'm SURE because of the way you've chosen to advertise it, it's fiction.

And NZM, I see where you're coming from and it's all too possible. But I've also done some googling and you'll see that there are a number of photos of children this close to artillery from all over the place, where war is the norm.

And yes, Bush is a sorry excuse for a human being. He lives in one world, while the rest of us watch him destroy the real one.

Seabee said...

anonymous, this particular photo was in the Sydney Morning Herald, but it was also in Gulf News and Emirates Today, and I'm sure in many other papers.

Anonymous said...

SeaBee, I checked Sydney Morning Herald and there's no such photo as the one you have shown in your website.

SMH has an amazing gallery of photos of the Lebanese war, which can be viewed here:

You do realize, don't you, that Adobe PhotoShop can do wonderful things with photos?

If you do realize this, then please, please, please stop posting photos that spread these feelings of are sinking down to the same level as illiterate Arabs by posting such inflammatory and obviously doctored photos.

Thank you.

samuraisam said...

seabee: the accuracy of the photo is questionable, not only that, an interview with the photographer reveals it has been twisted around by the media.

Not only that; there is absolutely no proof it wasn't taken 10 years ago; in which case it'd be completely irrelevant.

I've tried tracking down large resolution copies to verify it, but I haven't been able to find anywhere to procure a larger copy from

Seabee said...

anoymous, I lifted it from Sydney Morning Herald because it had the caption on it. I also saw it in several other newspapers, including Gulf News and, if I remember correctly, Emirates Today.

Sam, I'd like to read the interview with the photographer - where can I find it?

Seabee said...

anonymous, go here to see the Sydney Morning Herald photos:

Seabee said...

And here are more URLs for photos if you want to try to track them down. Sam?

Maybe we're being conned - but Israeli PR is the best in the world and if the photos were faked I can't understand why they haven't denounced them and used the fact to their advantage.

caz said...

I remember well that during the second world war, similar messages were printed on bombs that were about to be dropped on Germany.
Caricatured faces were also drawn on the bombs. It was thought to be appropriate and amusing, when these pictures were shown in cinema newsreels. Nothing has changed since that time. See my piece A sad conclusion.


samuraisam said...

Most of the Web sites expounding this view have interpreted the photos as Israeli children sending a message to Lebanese children, and have even placed them next to shots of dead Lebanese children, sometimes with a caption such as, "Dear Lebanese/Palestinian/Arab/Muslim/Christians -- Kids, Die with love. Yours, Israeli Kids."

But reality is always more complicated (and infinitely more interesting) than propaganda, and it's worth understanding the provenance of these photos, at least as an example of how much we miss when we react emotionally to pictures that are intended to get us riled up. Luckily, Israeli blogger Lisa Goldman has done this work on her blog, On the Face. She tracked down Scheiner, the AP photographer who snapped the shots, but he wouldn't talk on the record. So she got an account instead from a reporter for Yediot Aharanot, an Israeli daily, who was at the scene.

For the full story, you must visit her blog, but, in a nutshell, the children are from Kiryat Shmona, a community that is smack on the border with Lebanon. And as Goldman explains it:

"There was not a single person on the streets and all the businesses were closed. The residents who had friends, family or money for alternate housing out of missile range had left, leaving behind the few who had neither the funds nor connections that would allow them to escape the missiles crashing and booming on their town day and night. The noise was terrifying, people were dying outside, the kids were scared out of their minds and they had been told over and over that some man named Nasrallah was responsible for their having to cower underground for days on end."

the page it links to: here

Sadly I've really searched everywhere for a high-resolution copy, including trying to contact the photographer(s), sadly, no dice /:

Seabee said...

Thanks for that Sam, I'll read the info.

Herlock Sholmes said...


Seabee said...

If we're to believe Lisa Goldman who tracked the background down (thanks Sam):

nzm - no conspiracy

anonymous - no PhotoShopping, no "obviously doctored photos", yes the photos appeared in respected newspapers all over the world. (And your "illiterate Arabs" comment was disgraceful).

sam - the photos' accuracy isn't questionable, they were indeed taken now not 10 years ago.

I stand by every word that I said in my original post - read it again.

samuraisam said...

seabee: sorry; I didn't read your initial post thoroughly and was more reacting to the general trend in commenting by other people towards this issue in general. I'd agree it's appalling no matter what side they’re from.

My comments with regards to accuracy are in relation to how everyone has taken this photo and its authenticity for granted; in this day and age (as someone who is on par with a professional photographer and someone who uses photoshop a lot) it is impossible to bluntly say this photo, or any other photo is real; not only that, there is no reason this couldn’t be a file-photo from a conflict 10 years back in eastern Europe (superimpose some graffiti relating to Israel and Palestine in there and bob’s your uncle)

Now being that I’m an 18 year old with a semi-professional camera and photoshop and pockets that don’t span very far; imagine what the US/UK/Russian/Israeli governments have and what they’re capable of.

So far as I can tell in this case; it is the photo that is accurate, and the media’s portrayal of it that is inaccurate, or lacking context to say the least.

Earthbound Misfit said...

I agree the photos (if real) are disgraceful.

We should be teaching peace to the next generation.

But, and I know I will be blasted for this, isn't this supposed to be a two way stree? I mean have you seen the propaganda and the activities that Iranian, Syrian and Saudi youth is brain washed with.

I would like to stress again, I am not against the Palestine, just their modus operandi.

Seabee said...

em, I agree, my original post said "I draw no distinction between nationalities. Whether these schoolgirls were Israeli or Palestinian or anything else I would be appalled. and from reading through various blogs I'd say most people agree.