Monday, 14 September 2009

POV: Divine Plan

Photo © Rita Castlenuovo/The New York Times

The New Tork Times brings us a rather interesting photo-essay by Rita Castlenuovo, along with an article by Ethan Bronner, which starts like this:

"Of the hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers in the West Bank, those who live in unauthorized hilltop outposts like this one, a hardscrabble unpaved collection of 20 trailers, are considered the most dangerous. They are fervent believers that there is a divine plan requiring them to hold this land."
Er...and I am a fervent believer in a divine plan requiring me to occupy a gorgeous $14,000,000 townhouse in the West Village that is not mine.

The caption accompanying the above photograph in Rita Castlenuovo's slideshow Fervent Believers published today in The New York Times would make me laugh, if it wasn't for the repulsive action of this zealot thug and the resultant humiliation of this unfortunate Palestinian woman. As alcohol, wine is anathema to observant Muslims, and having been drenched with wine must've caused her much grief.

The photograph's caption reads:

"A settler tosses wine at a Palestinian woman on Shuhada Street in Hebron. The approach of some settlers towards neighboring Palestinians, especially around Nablus in the north and Hebron in the south, has often been one of contempt and violence.

I've used a boldface to highlight what I call "diluting qualifiers" inserted by whoever is the editor of this caption to ensure that readers should not take from the article that it's all these settlers who frequently (or consistently) "approach" Palestinians with violence and contempt. I also chuckled at the choice of the word "approach"...instead of "commit violent acts or treat with contempt".

Sneaky wordsmithing which many readers will unfortunately not notice...but perfect timing by Castlenuovo.

See the The Practice of Domination on the No Caption Needed blog for a similar opinion.