Guardian photo caption runs interference for ‘Hamas Jihad Camp’, again.

On June 18, we  noted  a photo  caption from  the Guardian’s ‘Picture Desk Live’ series which softened the combat training  of a Palestinian youth  at a Hamas summer camp  as “physical training.”   Further, as we noted, the original image in question (at Getty Images) by the same photographer included a caption clearly noting that the youths were indeed engaged in “military exercises”, and that the photojournalist site Demotix  included several photos of the exact same ‘camp’ with the title: ‘Palestinians participate in military style exercises run by Hamas’.  

Additionally, we included links to other news sites and photos which clearly indicated that the primary focus of the Hamas run camps is military training and ideological indoctrination.

More recently, the Guardian published another photo with a caption describing camps in Gaza even more misleading than their June 18th edition.

A photo story in the Observer (sister publication of the Guardian) titled ’20 photographs of the week’, June 29th, included one image of a Palestinian girl jumping rope at a UN-run traditional camp in Gaza City, but added the following caption, noting other camping opportunities for Gaza’s children over the summer.

Palestinian girl Alaa Soboh participates in a skipping rope game during UN-run summer fun games week in Gaza City. Tens of thousands of children from the Gaza Strip spend part of their holidays in special summer camps. Some, organised by the UN, offer sports, art and dance classes. Others, laid on by Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas, include fun and games, while seeking to reinforce religious values and awareness of the conflict with Israel.

So, according to the Observer caption, Hamas-run camps merely reinforce “awareness of the conflict with Israel.”  As such language would leave the impression that children are merely receiving educational instruction on the political dynamics of the “conflict”, here are some photos from the camps, which (as reported on multiple new sites), are clearly military in nature.

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Though Harriet Sherwood did file one report, back in April, on Hamas military training of Palestinian children in Gaza schools, the Guardian has thus far failed to devote any coverage on such summer camps (run by both Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad), which train over 100,000 kids (ages 6 to 16) each summer in skills such as firing machine guns, assaulting military positions, kidnapping soldiers, and planting land mines.

It’s impossible to understand the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict without at least a basic understanding of the role which incitement, the glorification of violence and antisemitic propaganda play in inculcating generations of Palestinians with values fundamentally at odds with peace and coexistence with the Jewish state.  

The Guardian’s tendency to avoid accurately reporting on Jihadist indoctrination in Gaza certainly represents an egregious lie of omission.  However, it also has the injurious impact of ensuring that their readers will never understand that Palestinians possess moral agency, and therefore should be held completely accountable for collective decisions which result in their society’s continuing social, economic, and political failures.

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