Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Picture Warfare?

I found this picture over at Gawker, entitled Let The Sunshine In:

and the caption reads:

BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK - DECEMBER 20: Nour, a Palestinian Muslim woman, enjoys the light streaming in from upper windows onto the ancient marble columns as she visits the Church of the Nativity on December 20, 2009 in Bethlehem, West Bank. In his Angelus message to Christians today, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the birthplace of Jesus, which he said is a city-symbol of peace in the Holy Land and throughout the world. (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)

The author of the post is one Anna Holmes (anna@jezebel.com), editor-in-chief [story here

and another here and here, too and it seems 13 years ago she was a celebrity news hack].

Gawker is an odd place for a picture like this (although two years ago, the site flirted with a bit of, well, antisemitism).

But Ms. Anna has been publishing news photos there (here's another; and another and yet another) and also at a sister site with a very distinct but subtle feminist pro-Pal. political message like the Sheikh Jarrah incidents. There may/probably be more but you get the point.

The really odd thing is that the two sites are not political but social, racy entertainment sites of gossip and airy items. The logo: "celebrity, sex, fashion for women".

What's at stake here?

Well, since the readers, most of them I unhesitantly presume, are quite politically unsophisticated as regards the intricacies and complexities of the Middle East and the Israel-Arab conflict in particular, these pics, if they keep appearing in a fairly innocuous presentation, seep in to the subconsciousness.

For example, would anybody actually ask 'what is a Muslim woman doing in a Church?'. Okay, let's guess.

She is thinking of converting.
She is a historian of church architecture.
She is having a rendezvous with a priest.
She loves the light filtering through church windows.
She is looking for a Hamas terrorist still holed up there from 2002.

The best I can think is that she was posed. Fauxtography it isn't, at least.

Getty posing shots?

It happens to the best - if the photographer or his bureau chief is so inclined to promote Palestinianism.

But maybe he's just a bit venal - looking for a prize for the best news photograph of the year?

Or maybe Anna likes pictures of women?


Over at Jezebel, Anna has Jewish women at prayer at Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem.
1. 2.

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