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22 January 2010

Did an Israeli charity exploit the image of a Palestinian child to raise funds?

This story, if true, is outrageous

By Mehdi Hasan

The Israeli government may be busy in Haiti, boosting its humanitarian image to a sceptical world and trying to divert attention from the suffering in Gaza, but meanwhile, back home, did the Israeli charity Meir Panim appropriate images of Palestinian suffering to help raise funds for its food aid campaign?

This story, if true — and I have yet to see any evidence to suggest it is false — is outrageous. As the Pulse Media website asks: “Are poor Israeli kids’ faces not sufficiently heart-rending . . . ?”

From Khalid Amayreh at the Palestine Information Centre:

The Israeli electronic and print media have been using photos of Palestinian orphans whose . . . relatives have been murdered by the Israeli army in advertisements designed to raise money for “poor and Jewish children”.

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One photo of a crying, bedraggled and distraught-looking girl is used widely to appeal to potential donors to donate money in order to feed hungry Jewish children.

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What is strange about this is that the very same picture happens to be of a Palestinian child whose father was killed in Beit Lahya in the northern Gaza Strip during the genocidal Israeli onslaught last year.

Below is a screen grab from the Haaretz website.

Here’s the Palestinian girl in a Reuters photograph published in the Telegraph and in the Independent.



Note: I should add that, according to this particular blog, Meir Panim has now, thankfully, replaced the image of the Palestinian child in its ads and Haaretz has also amended the ad on its website. Nonetheless, there has been no pick-up of this story in the mainstream media.