The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

Humanizing the Conflict, Unevenly

When a Palestinian home is damaged by an Israeli airstrike (or by the resulting secondary explosion), we are treated to dozens of news photographs documenting the damage, all of which use the most personal terms to describe the scene. Here's one example, courtesy AFP:

A Palestinian man sweeps his damaged home, that neighbours Hamas senior leader Nizar Rayan's destroyed home a day after it was targeted by an Israeli air strike, on January 2, 2009 in Jabalia, Gaza. Rayan was killed with fifteen others from his family, eleven children and four wives yesterday when Israeli missiles hit his four story house. (Photo by Abid Katib/Getty Images)

[Other examples, each using the personal "his/her home" language: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.]

On the other hand, when a hapless Israeli citizen happens to suffer the same fate via a Palestinian rocket, notice how the wording is far less personal:

An Israeli woman sits in her living room while a volunteer cleans the floor in a damaged house, after a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza hit Sderot, southern Israel, Monday Jan. 5, 2009. Israeli forces pounded Gaza Strip houses, mosques and tunnels on Monday from the air, land and sea, consolidating their grip in the territory's northern half without stopping the rocket fire that provoked Israel's bruising, 10-day-old offensive. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

[Other examples, all of which use the unhuman "a damaged:" 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.]

I personally don't believe in moral equivocation between a group of terrorists who hide themselves and their weaponry amongst unarmed civilians (and aim said weaponry at another nation's civilians), and a group of trained soldiers who fight in a legally-recognized uniform, must obey the modern standards of conduct in war, and face official punishment if they exceed said standards as pertaining to the injury and death of the civilians surrounding said terrorists, so maybe I'm not the best person for this, but:

For a bunch of people who continue to insist that both sides are equal in this war, it astounds me to see that the press continues to treat one side of the conflict as being solely human.


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