KEY UPDATE: Read Lisa's fully referenced account of the story here. In some recent comments on that post, she's now clarified that she thinks the press photographers did not create set-up photographs, but that the photographs were subsequently used in a manipulative way.
Sheera Frenkel, who was the main source for Lisa's post has now published her own account in the Jerusalem Post.
OK, get the picture? It shows Israeli children at the northern border town of Kiryat Shmona gleefully scribbling target hate messages aimed at Hizbollah and the Lebanese on missiles destined for firing into Lebanon.
Hey, Israel, losing the moral high ground quickly?
Congratulations, you are no better than Hamas now. You have become what you hate.
This is an extract from the online conversation with Lisa about what she found, which the Sandmonkey posted
kids were in
bomb shelters for days. city is a ghost town.
only poor people stayed
a new army unit arrived, kids were bored, went out with
parents to look
there were TWELVE photographers there
and they egged the kids on
the kids are low class, not educated, have never met a
Lebanese, just want to live their lives, don't understand why Lebanon
attacked their home, etc.
the photographers told them "hey, your cousins in america
will see you!"
mostly foreign photographers
so the kids, who were bored and restless and had been cooped
up in bomb shelters for 5 days, took the felt markers and drew messages to
there were no cries of hatred toward lebanese
and a big problem is that the israeli tv does not show dead
lebanese. it shows destroyed buildings, but not dead bodies. so no one has a face of the dead in their minds. too aware of our own suffering, etc.
Fantastic that she got the story. And terrific that Sandmonkey has posted this explanation and provided a link to it from the original angry post.
And by the way, I certainly don't feel that it's necessary to see pictures of dead bodies, or the faces of the dead to be able to appreciate the suffering of the Lebanese. In fact I share the view of Shutterfool that posting horror pictures of the dead, whether Lebanese or Israeli is disgusting,
But of course this picture and its companions will have gone round the world, with hundreds rushing to echo the Sandmonkey's disgust and comments that it demonstrated that the Israelis were no better than Hamas.
How many will now come to see that this particular piece of demonization of Israelis was originated not by Hezbollah and Hamas. It seems that the photographer was with AP. They've got form. But though it originated with AP it was others who then manipulated it:
Links to anti-Israel websites with that photo placed prominently next to the image of a dead Lebanese child have been sent to me several times. Someone has been rushing around the Israeli blogosphere, leaving the link to one particularly abhorrent site in the comments boxes
UPDATE: Lisa's comment below appears to modify the story substantially from her account in her earlier online conversation which I extracted verbatim, as published on Sandmonkey's log. It seems the parents, and not the photographers, were encouraging the children to draw flags and doodles on the shells, not messages, which were written by the parents . But, as she says, the presence of twelve photographers all eager to take shots, no doubt contributed significantly to the fact that it happened.
It's puzzling though, that the girls are adding to messages actually written by their parents in English. The comments are apparently addressed to Nasrallah, the Lebanese leader of Hezbollah, and regular threatener of death to Israel, rather than to the Lebanese people. I find it difficult to imagine the conversations between the parents and the children about writing messages to Nasrallah in English.
And how did the twelve photographers get to be there in the first place? Was it parents or photographers who made the encouraging remarks about "your cousins in America will see you?"
Why were the children allowed to get near the shells anyway? Does the IDF have some responsibility there?