All in the label

PhotographyRelabeling Sabra & Shatila as Deir Yassin

Today is the memorial Day for Israel’s Fallen Servicemen and Women. Tomorrow is Independence Day. A good reason to hobble a mislabeled libel gone viral.

One persistent feature of Pallywood Fauxtography is the use of staged, mislabeled, Photoshopped or archival photographs purporting to be something else, to defame Israel. Five Minutes for Israel has occasionally identified some of them in Palestinian PhotoshopperyRachel Corrie resourcesSend Steve back to the ScumbagsBlacked-out and especially Fauxtography 101BBC Fauxaudiography or should that be just Fauxaudio? deserves a special mention for its investigation of an altered soundtrack.

The photograph below does double duty. For dozens of sites it illustrates the aftermath at Deir Yassin (9 April 1948) near Jerusalem and for dozens more it represents the aftermath of the events of Sabra and Shatilla, Lebanon (16-18 September 1982).  I haven’t been able to locate the original but it is possible it was taken by photographer Chris Steele Perkins at Sabra and Chatila†. It is very similar to this one.

Personally I would go for the Lebanese explanation. Look at the clothes the men are wearing. Do they look 1948 or 1982? How likely would it be that corpses would be wrapped in plastic in 1948. The plastics revolution, depending on petrochemicals took off in the 1950s and 60s. With petrol rationing following the Second World War how likely would it be that scarce petroleum products would be wasted to wrap bodies?

Photograph of Sabra and Shatila substituted for Deir Yassin

Photograph of Sabra and Shatila substituted for Deir Yassin?

Action Item

When you see this photograph distributed as one from Deir Yassin inform the authors that is Lebanon, 34 years later and cast doubt on the whole article. And vice versa.

Extra reading


15 April 2013

By David Guy (@5MFI)

† His spelling.

About David Guy

B.A./B.C.A. (Communication and Media Arts) University of Wollongong, AUSTRALIA M.A. in Government (Diplomacy and Conflict Studies) Inter Disciplinary Center, Herzliya, ISRAEL Twitter @5MFI
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