In what might be justified by the New York Times as an attempt to “depoliticize” and “humanize” Palestinian women in Gaza the paper ran a photo essay this past Sunday titled “Female in Gaza.” However the article obfuscates, covering up Israeli oppression and obscuring Gaza’s connection to the West Bank and to Palestinians in general.
The introductory text for the article mentions Gaza eight times, but never uses the word “Palestinian” or “Palestine” and mentions Israel only once, despite mentioning towering concrete blast walls, barbed wire, drones, patrolling soldiers, border controls, etc.. “I have been photographing in Gaza for several years, initially to cover the conflict with Israel, but over time returning because I am mesmerized by the women, and their strength,” author Monique Jaques explained. Gaza is portrayed as a disconnected disembodied place in conflict with Israel where residents seem to have some undefined interest in the West Bank, “Her dream is to sing in Ramallah, a city in the West Bank.”
The article also avoids mentioning Egypt, except for one photo caption which only appeared online: “A girl completed a jump at Al-Faisal Riding Club in northern Gaza. Horses are brought in from Egypt and are well cared for by elite families.”
In the 14 photos online there is a single mention of the word “Palestinian” in a caption that also appeared in the print edition: “A girl showed off her nails in the colors of the Palestinian flag.”
Only the first sentence of this caption was included in the print edition, so the word “Palestinian” does not appear in the print caption: “A woman walked by an anti-domestic violence mural outside Al-Shifa Hospital. According to a 2012 study, some 37 percent of married women in the Palestinian territories have been subjected to domestic violence by their husbands.”
This photo and caption mentioning Palestine were not included in the print edition, and there is no mention here of who bombed the school: “Nisreen Shawa, a worker for the Palestine Medical Relief Foundation, did exercises with students at the Hamza Bin Abd-el-Muttalib School after a bombing.”
And this photo and caption mentioning bombing by the Israeli army were not included in the print edition: “In November, 2012, when the Israeli Army heavily bombed parts of Gaza, refugees waited out the siege in a United Nations Relief and Works Agency school in Gaza City.”
Does the New York Times not want its readers to know Palestinians live in Gaza and Israel in addition to the West Bank? The Times article the other day on the arrest of Majd Kayyal called him an Israeli Arab, and only mentioned Palestinian citizens of Israel as part of quote from the organization Adalah. Again, no wonder NY Times readers are confused!