Wednesday, August 17, 2005

What if...

This is the picture the Times put on its cover this morning, above the caption: With tears and a shove, an Israeli boy tries to push away one of the border guards sent to evacuate the settlement at Neve Dekalim, in Gaza.

What if the soldiers were not in Gaza, but in Jenin?
What if the teary boy was not an Israeli, but an Arab?

Wouldn't you be howling that the Times had undermined the Israeli army, and glorified the resistance?
Wouldn't you screaming anti-Israel bias?
Wouldn't you be furious that another picture, of equal size and weight, hadn't been published showing how careful and concientious Israeli troops are?

So what's different now? Where's your rightuous indignation? Are your principles, at bottom, simply a matter of whose ox is being gored?

The Times hasn't changedt. Their photo-editors always choose photos like this, photos that use children to romanticize the underdog, often at the expense of soldiers in uniform. Today's photo choice is perfectly in keeping with many of the Times pictures you have (often rightfully, often wrongly) objected to in the past.

So why aren't you howling now?

Some of what you would say if the boy was Arab, and if the soldier was in Jenin:

(1) How dare the Times put an angry looking soldier on the cover when the soldiers have proceeded with such compassion!
(2) How dare the Times show a little boy gently pushing a big strong soldier, when other settlers have thrown acid in the face of soldiers!
(3) How dare the Times make it seem like people are being forced out, when in reality the soldiers have spent weeks trying to organize a peacful evacuation!

And so on....