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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Casting the first (and last) stone

I've written in the past about the dirty little secret behind those dramatic photos you see all over the world media showing the poor Palestinians bravely waging their impromptu resistance using whatever improvised weapons are at hand.  If you haven't seen the short video I posted on the topic, It's worth a quick look:

What we learned from that is that the made for TV and newspaper resistance is neither spontaneous nor waged with stray objects which happen to be 'at hand'.   In fact, as much preparation goes into these attacks as any well orchestrated military ambush. 

The only difference is that the press is notified in advance and allowed to set up their equipment to capture the most advantageous and dramatic still and video shots.

Apparently, the only people not given advance notice of the ambush, and who are therefore unprepared, are the Israeli victims who happen to drive into the well planned traps.

This past week there were a lot of attacks on vehicles along the route I take to work.  And when I passed the site of one of the more serious attacks, I noticed that the photographers had not finished packing up their gear.  There was so much equipment and so many photographers that it looked like a location shoot for a Hollywood movie or TV series.

Here's a photo that appeared in the media after the ambush was wrapped completed for the day:


What the photo shows is an Israeli woman (a school teacher named Zahava Weiss who lives in a community not far from me), being attacked on her way home from work by a bunch of Arab teens.  In the photo it is clear that she (like several of the cars before and after her) was attacked with large cut stones and bricks... not harmless pebbles as the apologists and useful idiots would have you believe.

What you don't see is the group of photographers who had received advance notice of the ambush, and who had set up their equipment on the opposite side of the street from the stone/brick throwers... far enough back from the street to avoid being hit by the overthrows and ricochets, but close enough that their high powered lenses could capture every detail of the repeated attacks.

Here's where my thinking goes sideways.

How can it be that any civilized society can grant actual or de facto immunity to a segment of the population from having to report foreknowledge of violent attacks that can reasonably be assumed will cause damage to property, serious injury and even loss of life?

Of course, many times I'm sure there isn't actual advance notice, but rather those throwing the stones and molotov cocktails see a group of photographers and manufacture a tailor made event for the audience.  I view this scenario as somewhat akin to shouting fire in a crowded theater. 

By this I mean that a person can shout fire all day long as they sit alone at home or walk along a sparsely traveled street.  But the moment they find themselves in a crowd, it is incubate upon them to cease shouting fire. 

By the same reasoning, journalists may come and go pretty much anywhere and anytime they wish.  But the moment they see evidence that their presence is precipitating an imminent violent incident, they should be required to pack up their cameras and remove the primary cause of the impending disturbance; (themselves) from the scene.

I'm sure many of you legal scholars and accredited journalists can tell me why my thinking is wrong.  But I can't help feeling that in addition to violating the above-mentioned prohibition against not reporting crimes about to be committed, joburnalists who show up in advance to cover these ambushes should be prosecuted as full accessories, and be subject to penalties as severe as for those who actually carry out the attack.

And to carry it one step further, just as embedded journalists traveling with a group of combatants are in danger of being targeted by enemy forces, I would say that those who find themselves in mortal danger from both impromptu and pre-organized ambushes should be held blameless if they accidentally hit journalists while trying to shoot at the actual attackers.

Now you tell me why I'm wrong.

Posted by David Bogner on February 26, 2012 | Permalink


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I couldn't agree more, journalists who partake of these prepared riots should be thought of accessories before and after the fact. When in court would need to prove that they were not there by chance but were at the locatrion by chance.If and when found guilty they, as individuals, and those who take up their reporting, should also contribute to compensation and penalties to pay for repairs, meddical bills , and in the worst cases for loss of life - as well as losing all goverment access as journalists.

Posted by: Nemo-X | Feb 26, 2012 2:21:11 PM

Cannot be said too often. Thank you for the reminder. Note to professional photographer: Nice detail shot on the windshield rock burst. I wish I could get "impromptu" shots like that.

Posted by: rutimizrachi | Feb 26, 2012 4:14:43 PM

I am not clear, are they there to catch a jew actually defend himself so they can show pictures of him shooting an arab?
If they actually had any morality wouldn't it be their responsibility to call police?
Then the next question is what would the police do anyway?

Posted by: dave | Feb 26, 2012 6:36:17 PM

The journalists are only part of the problem, because the world's media is hungry for these types of pictures; it feeds their worldview in some perverted fashion.

I doubt that any legal steps taken against the journalists will be effective; never mind the expected anti-Israel media storm they would create. A lateral solution is called for. Undercover operations? I would like to hear what the commander on the ground has to say.

What I really don't understand, given that this is a regular occurrence, is why more isn't done to sort it out. And if the authorities are doing nothing about it, or seeming to do nothing about it, how long before a group of concerned citizens do something about it?

Posted by: Ellis | Feb 26, 2012 8:49:40 PM

You're not wrong. What one does about it...I don't know. I do know that while I am sure there is some weasel law which makes their actions legal, their actions are morally and ethically utterly indefensible.
Such 'journalism' also calls into question the integrity of all other journalism.

Posted by: robin | Feb 27, 2012 3:24:35 PM

The photographers love this scenario. No longer do they need to chase stories and actually work for a living. No, they can simply wait to be notified of the next "brick-throwing flash mob" and setup in a convenient, safe location and film the action for the (gullible) public. I would have much greater respect for them if they sat in the front seat of the next Israeli car coming down the road. Maybe then they could factually convey what it's like to be subjected to this.

I think the key point you made is this sentence: "How can it be that any civilized society can grant actual or de facto immunity to a segment of the population from having to report foreknowledge of violent attacks that can reasonably be assumed will cause damage to property, serious injury and even loss of life?" The answer is easy, Trepp. They are either on the side of the Arabs thugs, or they are completely void of moral clarity. You might be surprised how many people fall into those 2 categories...

Posted by: Joe | Feb 27, 2012 5:09:58 PM

I couldn't agree more.

And as for proving it - why not do a sting operation? Set up a bunch of Mossad agents as undercover "photographers". Have them wear a wire while conversing with other photographers as well as their Palestinian handlers. I'm fairly sure the weasels will incriminate themselves pretty quickly.

Posted by: psachya | Feb 27, 2012 5:19:00 PM

PSachya... Hard as it may be to believe, I doubt the Mossad has a lot of agents standing around waiting to entrap lazy photogrpahers into admitting moral turpitude.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Feb 27, 2012 6:37:10 PM

"Hard as it may be to believe, I doubt the Mossad has a lot of agents standing around waiting to entrap lazy photogrpahers into admitting moral turpitude."

Fair enough. Although I thought we were discussing accessory to assault (or perhaps attempted murder), not just moral turpitude.

Posted by: psachya | Feb 27, 2012 7:02:42 PM

You raise excellent points Trep and I couldn't agree more. I hope you don't mind that I linked to your post at my own blog . I gave you full credit.

Posted by: anneinpt | Feb 27, 2012 9:01:44 PM

Maybe we should get the U.N. to do the sting. They're always trying to uncover human rights violations in Israel. Oh yeah... they're only worried about American and Israel transgressions. My bad.

Posted by: AliasJoe | Feb 27, 2012 9:54:18 PM

As a follow-up thought: the photo-journalists are enabling the thugs -- that is, this sort of orchestrated scenario becomes less "successful" if the photographers don't show up to cover it, right? -- so why not target the photographers too? Infiltrate the photo-journalists so you get notified when the next "rock-throwing flash mob' is going to happen, then have the IDF use rubber bullets to drive away not only the Palestinian thugs, but also the photographers.

I know, I know, the Israelis would be tarred and feathered in the court of public opinion, but that's gonna happen anyway, isn't it? Why not put the hurt of some of these idiots to see if they think twice about doing it again?

Posted by: AliasJoe | Feb 28, 2012 5:19:46 PM

Saw a story today about the Police using decoys to trap carjackers. I`m sure a variation of this tactic could be used to deal with the photographer- stone thrower partnership.

Posted by: ED | Feb 28, 2012 7:26:35 PM

I've linked to this post.

Posted by: Shira Salamone | Feb 28, 2012 10:59:22 PM

There's something I'm really confused about, that utterly undercuts the photographer's role.

The world is being shown Palestinians throwing rocks at Jews and they sympathize with the Palestinians?!?!?

This is a bit beyond my comprehension.

Posted by: Rich | Feb 29, 2012 1:38:19 AM

Rich -- you just have to remember that there's a big segment of the population that hates Jews just because they're Jews. Those people cheer for the rock-throwing thugs simply because the targets are Jews. If the targets were (for example) young, innocent Brazilian children, the whole world would be up in arms over the Palestinians' actions.

Posted by: AliasJoe | Mar 1, 2012 4:50:44 PM

Rich - Nothing about the Israel-Palestinian conflict makes the slightest bit of sense. Which is exactly how the Palis want it. I'll give you an example from an actual interview conducted by an idiot TV news dude interviewing a Palestinian spokesman a little after Oslo:

News Dude: So you're making peace with Israel! So the Israelis aren't your enemies anymore?
Pali: Of course they're our enemies.
News Dude: But you're making peace with them! How is that possible?
Pali (sententiously): Who else to make peace with other than our enemies?
News Dude (nodding wisely): Oh - I see.

So there you have it. The Pali spokespeople like Erekat and Ashrawi are excellent students of the late Dr. Goebbels. And they've gotten the world to actually celebrate the stonings of innocent women and children by street punks. Amazing.

And AliasJoe, remember the old saying (by I forget who) - Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity. There are lots and lots of stupid people in the world - and most of them watch television.

Posted by: psachya | Mar 1, 2012 6:31:33 PM

To read Zehava's report, see here:


Posted by: Yisrael Medad | Mar 16, 2012 12:12:28 PM

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