July 23, 2014

Israeli War: How the Cracks Are Beginning to Show (in 4 Wire Photos)

… That, of course, is in addition to the dozens of photos each day of wounded Palestinian women and children.

#1)  Up to now, the pictures we seen of Israelis seeking cover and, especially, pulling off the road or abandoning their cars on the highway (1, 2) for air raid warnings have featured civilians. I’m sure it wasn’t lost on the photo staff at the New York Times in constructing yesterday’s “Photos of the Day” slideshow that this picture, in notable contrast, featured Israel military reservists.

#2.) This photo of a Israeli soldier in a playground near Sderot hurts two ways. First, the visual imposition of the warrior and the militarization of the play yard creates an unavoidable association to all of the children that have been killed these past few weeks in Gaza. Second, it depicts the Israelis operating from an almost unprecedented position of weakness. Rather then controlling the war from the air and restricting the battle to Palestinian territory, we see the otherwise omnipotent Israeli soldiers not just defending their own real estate but their own playgrounds.

#3.) This photo, captured by multiple photographers and wire services from long range, relays and amplifies themes from the previous two photos. Known for its sense of invincibility, the appearance of an Israeli soldier literally with his pants down (or off) reflects the growing sense that Israel and the IDF are not going to survive this latest war with the swagger intact.

#4.) Obviously it’s a bad day when one rocket can effectively cripple your entire tourism industry.

(photo 1: Amir Cohen/Reuters caption: Israeli Army reservists take cover as a siren warns of incoming rockets near the southern city of Ashkelon. photo 2 & 3: Andrew Burton/Getty Images. caption 2: A soldier positions himself amongst a children’s playground while on an operation near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 19, 2014 near Sderot, Israel. As operation “Protective Edge” enters it’s 12th day, over 300 Gazans have been killed along with three Israeli soldiers. caption 3: Wounded Israeli soldiers are brought to a helicopter on July 23, 2014 near Kafar Aza, Israel. As operation ‘Protective Edge ‘ enters its 16th day, 29 Israeli soldiers have been killed and over 600 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza.. photo 4: Gil Cohen Magen/AFP/Getty Images caption: Israeli passengers walk near a departure time flight board displaying various cancellations at Ben Gurion International airport, near Tel Aviv, on July 23, 2014. A rocket fired from Gaza on July 22 landed just a few kilometres (miles) north of the airport, leading airlines to halt flights to Israel, as the UN chief urged an end to a conflict that has killed more than 630 Palestinians.)

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Michael Shaw
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