There has been circulating widely in the last week, photos, ostensibly from Gaza, purporting to show a modern State, quite the opposite from what we are led to believe from reports by the BBC or in the Guardian and other newspapers.
These photos had NO context and NO description and were highly suspect.
From research by Tom Gross, a correspondent whose articles we have used in the past, it appears that some of the photos are actually from Damascus or Beirut, and one we know for certain is from a beach in Ashdod.
Below are Tom’s comments.
IT is strongly recommended NOT to send on the photos in the original e-mail with the title “Can you guess the location of these photographs?”
Notes from Tom Gross
Yes, there are poor areas of Gaza too. There are also plenty of slums in Paris (and London and Rome and New York), but the media tend to focus their pictures on the Eiffel Tower and Champs Elysee instead.
Not so in Gaza where many journalists (who in private, even more than in public, disparage Israel in every way) are doing their best to paint a distorted picture of the economic situation there, showing off the worst possible aspects -- and using words like “devastated economy” (BBC) and “dire humanitarian situation” (Sky news) -- in order to fool everyone from the common reader right up to politicians such as British Prime Minister David Cameron into thinking conditions in Gaza resemble some kind of prison camp.
Such media distortion is unhelpful; to say the least, in helping policy makers formulate good policy for the region for the benefit of Palestinians and Israelis alike.
You would never know from the media coverage that people in Gaza are by many economic and health indicators, on average better off than those in Turkey, from where the most controversial of the recent “humanitarian aid” flotillas came. For example, in Turkey life expectancy is 72.23 and infant mortality is 24.84 per 1,000 births. In Gaza, life expectancy is 73.68 and infant mortality is 17.71 per 1,000 births.-- Tom Gross
For genuine pictures of Gaza, please see www.tomgrossmedia.com/mideastdispatches/archives/001127.html
The Islamic University of Gaza: www.iugaza.edu.ps/enGaza
Al-Quds University: www.qou.edu/homePage/english/index.jsp?pageId=176
The Gaza Grand Palace Hotel: www.aldeira.ps