Archive for February 19th, 2010
A guest post by Evelyn.
“The Guardian and Comment is Free are known for their predilection for Israel-bashing and anti-Israel bias. This is usually most blatant on Comment is Free, but on 29th January 2010 the Guardian itself published an article as part of its “Child’s Eye ” series about the ongoing fears of two young Palestinian girls, as a result of their experiences during Cast Lead. My attention was first drawn to this article by CiF Watch. I was particularly interested in the short film within it.
The Child’s Eye series is an interesting and heart rending one which at first sight appears to examine the suffering of children all over the world. A closer examination reveals that among the series are four articles about children in Gaza, but (not surprisingly given that this is the Guardian), none at all about the experiences of the children of Sderot or elsewhere in southern Israel as a result of eight years of shelling.
Medusa, the CiF Watch article’s author, made this point and highlighted the lack of context for the children’s suffering in that particular Guardian article and that there was no mention of the role of Hamas in exacerbating it. This lack of context is not unusual of course, but Medusa also noted how the film’s subtitles translate the seated woman near the beginning of the video as saying “Israelis” when she is really saying “yahud,” which means “Jew” in Arabic.
I decided to investigate further and found out that the film was made by Save the Children, published online by the Guardian without acknowledgement. You are invited to visit Save the Children’s web page for an overview of where its sympathies lie. The suffering of children in Gaza extensively is indeed heart rending, but from my reading of its page, I could find scarcely a mention of the suffering of the children of Sderot.
Save the Children used the film I have referred to above for its fundraising. I believed when I first saw it that it was misleading but did not realise exactly how insidiously dishonest was the deliberate mistranslation of “Jew” into “Israeli”, or how lacking in sensitivity was Save the Children to the offence it was causing until I had had the following exchange of emails with their Customer Service Adviser in their Supporter Innovation and Development Department.
Mine to Save the Children on 1st February at 10.15am:
“However, we know that there may be times when we do not meet our own high standards. When this does happen we want to hear about it, deal with the situation as quickly as possible and put measures in place to stop it happening again. “ (From Save the Children’s complaints section on its web page)
Well, I am taking you very much at your word. I feel distinctly uncomfortable that, as well as involving yourselves in politics in the Middle East – when any charity should be impartial – you actually seem to be promoting antisemitism in the video at the following link:
At around 1.14 the mother says “Yahood” and at 2.23 seconds in the video, the young girl says, “Yahood” too. I know Arabic, and “Yahood” in Arabic, means “Jew.” Did you translate it as “Israeli” because you didn’t want to appear antisemitic? This was rather dishonest, since what the mother and daughter say bears out what many Israelis believe, that Palestinian Gazans do not differentiate between Israel and her Jewish people.
And incidentally, the closure of the borders is not a blockade and it is dishonest of you to refer to it as such in your promotional video. It is an embargo on commodities which Hamas confiscates in order to construct rockets with which it bombs southern Israel.
Your film makes it seem that Israel woke up suddenly one morning and decided to attack Gaza. You compound your bad faith when you fail to put the Gaza War into any context.
The Guardian has used your video, without acknowledging its source, to further its own anti-Israel crusade. I am glad that I have found you out. I am a pensioner with little money to spare and I need to allocate my charity funds wisely. Suffice it to say, I shall not be supporting the efforts of Save the Children, which asks for money whilst telling lies, but to another charity which I know will provide aid to ALL children affected by Cast Lead.
The reply from Save the Children:
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