dinsdag 7 september 2010

10 Jaar later: interview met Jood die voor Palestijns slachtoffer werd aangezien

Een extreem geval van media bias: tien jaar geleden stond deze foto op de voorpagina van de New York Times, met als onderschrift: een Israelische politieman en Palestijn op de Tempelberg. De implicatie is overduidelijk dat de politieman de Palestijn zo heeft toegetakeld. De foto is echter een uitsnede van dit beeld, en de 'Palestijn' is een Joodse Amerikaan die door een Palestijnse menigte was belaagd en richting een groepje Israelische politieagenten vluchtte. Zo simpel werkt media manipulatie, en zo sterk gekleurd denken veel journalisten, dat ze voetstoots aannemen bij het zien van een dergelijk beeld dat de dader wel een Israeli zal zijn en het slachtoffer een Palestijn. Dat is niet veranderd, en we hebben meer foto's gezien waarin is geknoeid of bewust een verkeerd beeld wordt gegeven, zoals tijdens de tweede Libanon oorlog en het Gaza vloot incident
Hieronder een interview met Tuvia Grosmann, de gewonde Jood op de foto.

Exclusive: Tuvia Grossman Interviewed by HonestReporting


On September 30, 2000, The New York Times, Associated Press and other major media outlets published a photo of a young man -- bloodied and battered -- crouching beneath a club-wielding Israeli policeman. The caption identified him as a Palestinian victim of Israeli brutality -- with the clear implication that the Israeli soldier was the one who beat him.

That young man was, in fact, Tuvia Grossman, a Jewish student from Chicago, who was beaten within inches of his life before being rescued by the Israeli border policeman in the photo.

The resulting outrage generated by the gross distortion of the photo "launched" HonestReporting.

[Click here to see the original communique.]

Now, ten years later, we caught up with Tuvia in an exclusive interview.

HonestReporting: How have things changed for you since your picture appeared in the NY Times?

Tuvia Grossman: Ten years ago, I was a single American 20-year old, in Israel temporarily as a student. Today, I am nearly 30, married, have a beautiful nearly three-year-old daughter, a practicing attorney at a corporate law firm in Tel Aviv and a proud citizen of Israel.

While the memories of 10 years ago haven't faded, it's often difficult to picture myself in the state I was in. I remember feeling mixed emotions of anger, fear and hopelessness. The misrepresentation of my story in the global news exacerbated my feelings.

However, I am proud to say I have overcome many of those feelings, and, in a way, won the battle the terrorists started. By settling in Israel, raising a family, advancing my career and becoming the person they tried to destroy, I beat the terrorists simply by being alive.

HR: What was your reaction when you heard about the NY Times caption?

TG: The truth is I was not very surprised at all. This was not my first encounter with media bias. I had always been an avid reader, even before my attack, and had come across many instances of blatant bias against Israel.

When hearing about the picture, my initial thoughts went to the soldier. It's much worse to be accused of beating the person you actually helped protect, than to be accused of being a Palestinian when you are in fact a Jew.

HR: Did you try to find the soldier in the picture?

TG: No. First, there were five or six soldiers stationed at the gas station I ran to as I was being pursued by the Arabs. One particular soldier happened to be standing behind me when the picture was taken; however, I owe my gratitude to all the soldiers equally, to the one in the picture, as well as to the less famous ones not photographed -- such as the soldier who ripped off his uniform and tied it around my head to stop the bleeding.

I have also been reluctant to find the soldier from the picture precisely because of the misrepresentation. What do you say to someone who helped save your life, but was portrayed across the globe as a vicious animal?

HR: Your ordeal has inspired groups like HR to fight media bias against Israel. Has coverage of Israel improved in the past ten years?

TG: Media bias against Israel is as strong as ever.

However, public awareness to such bias has increased exponentially, which is the first and most crucial step to stop the actual bias. Organizations like HonestReporting may not be able to force media outlets across the globe to reflect the unbiased truth, but they have been very successful in raising awareness.


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