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Words of the Week, III

More excerpts from noteworthy news items.

Jodi Rudoren, “Civilian or Not? New Fight in Tallying the Dead From the Gaza Conflict” (The New York Times):
“[T]he difference between roughly half the dead being combatants, in the Israeli version, or barely 10 percent, to use the most stark numbers on the other side, is wide enough to change the characterization of the conflict.”


“The Times analysis, looking at 1,431 names, shows that the population most likely to be militants, men ages 20 to 29, is also the most overrepresented in the death toll: They are 9 percent of Gaza’s 1.7 million residents, but 34 percent of those killed whose ages were provided. At the same time, women and children under 15, the least likely to be legitimate targets, were the most underrepresented, making up 71 percent of the population and 33 percent of the known-age casualties.”

David Horovitz, “Israel Might Have Won; Hamas Certainly Lost” (Times of Israel):
“Ten thoughts at the (possible) end of the Israel-Hamas war.” (ED note: READ THEM ALL!)

Ron Kampeas, “Ebbing Support for Israel Among Key Groups Stirring Alarm” (JTA):
“We’ve seen for quite a while that young people and Democrats are less supportive than others,” Mellman said. “That doesn’t mean they’re anti-Israel. It means they’re less pro-Israel, less knowledgeable.”

Koren Shadmi, “Snapshots from Israel” (The New York Times “Op-Art”):
“It feels like one giant obituary.”

Liel Leibovitz, “BuzzFeed Gets a Big Story Wrong” (Tablet):
“Nothing in this world justifies the sort of wild reaction that several journalists permitted themselves in public, reactions that went far, far beyond merely re-tweeting and sharing published information, to suggesting a dark and malign conspiracy on the part of an entire nation whose children were in fact murdered by terrorists, and whose civilian population was forced into bomb shelters for weeks.”

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4 Responses »

  1. A good choice. I’ve done some work in rhetoric and argument. One problem we have: The Palestinians have perfected the visual argument, which can easily be manipulated (i.e., planting newly torn Korans on the rubble of a bombed mosque-ammo dump), but which leave a difficult-to-erase, usually visceral, impression. We use mainly verbal argument – writing & speech – which presumes engagement and deliberation. Only now are some counter-visuals coming to light (Hamas terrorists using a UN ambulance for transport, the planting and camouflaging of a rocket in a dense residential area and its detonation a day later). But these are late, and not as dramatic as a bleeding child or weeping parent.

    Add that to the just-below-the-boiling-point anti-Semitism and it’s a difficult situation.

    Thanks for the quotes.

    • David, I agree that the visual images are very difficult–and I’ve been following (though not always sharing) the many challenges that have been made to journalists/photojournalists regarding this. And don’t forget the misuse of images from other situations (Syria, etc.) that have been presented as coming from the latest conflict in Gaza.

  2. In addition to the manipulation using visual images, the words being used throughout the world in support of the Hammas agenda are chilling and go largely unremarked in the online world from what I’ve seen. When Islamic leaders in Italy and Australia have spoken out, they have called for killing all Jews. This goes into territory far beyond the conflict in Gaza. The visual campaign and these types of words leave me worried.

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