‘Israelis Don’t See Images From Gaza Because Our Journalists Are Not Doing Their Job’
‘Israelis Don’t See Images From Gaza Because Our Journalists Are Not Doing Their Job’

‘Israelis Don’t See Images From Gaza Because Our Journalists Are Not Doing Their Job’


‘Israelis Don’t See Images From Gaza Because Our Journalists Are Not Doing Their Job’

Haaretz Weekly
A photo by Ilia Yefimovich for DPA shows a police station in the Israeli town of Sderot, where a long battle between Israeli forces and Hamas militants took place on October 7.

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From the horrifying live videos broadcast by Hamas terrorists on the morning of October 7 during their invasion of Israeli communities, to IDF soldiers entering Gaza, bombarded buildings, and long lines of refugees with few belongings – the Israel-Hamas war is probably the most visually documented war in history.

Pictures have great power. And that means those in power have a great interest in directing images toward their political narrative.

On this episode of the Haaretz Weekly podcast, Israeli journalist and activist Anat Saragusti, who has lived and reported from both southern Israel and the Gaza Strip, and is recognized as Israel’s first woman war photographer, talks to Esther Solomon about the striking visuals we have been exposed to since the October 7 massacre, the stories those images tell us and the Israeli obsession with a “victory photo.”

Saragusti is currently curating an exhibition called “Local Testimony”: a collection of the most iconic press photographs from the past year. It’s on show at Tel Aviv’s Eretz Israel Museum until February.
The curation process for the exhibit started before October 7 and originally, Saragusti shares, “the two major themes were the protests against the Netanyahu government’s judicial overhaul and clashes in the West Bank between settlers and Palestinians, as well as between Palestinians and the military.”

A photo taken by Amir Levy for Getty Images shows soldiers carrying a body in Kibbutz Kfar Azza, in October.
A photo taken by Amir Levy for Getty Images shows soldiers carrying a body in Kibbutz Kfar Azza, in October.Credit: Courtesy of Local Testimony

The exhibition had to be completely rethought, of course. In the space that is dedicated to the Israel-Hamas war, the visitor is first met by a video that Roee Idan, a photographer for the news website Ynet and resident of Kibbutz Kfar Azza, took on the morning of October 7.

“It’s a short video showing Hamas militants paragliding into his kibbutz. Idan managed to send it to the newsroom, and when he went back to his home he was murdered. His wife Smadar was murdered too. Two of their children hid in the closet and survived. Their young daughter Avigail, who is 4 years old, was kidnapped to Gaza and was only recently released. It’s a very chilling image,” says Saragusti about seeing the beginning of the attack through the eyes of someone who didn’t survive it.

Tents in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza, set up to shelter Palestinians fleeing the fighting in northern Gaza, in October.
Tents in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza, set up to shelter Palestinians fleeing the fighting in northern Gaza, in October.Credit: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

In the conversation, Saragusti also addresses the fact that Israeli mainstream media barely shows images of what’s happening in Gaza and isn’t regularly reporting on the dire situation in the Strip.

“The fact that Israeli audiences don’t see images from Gaza means that journalists are not doing their jobs,” she says. “They have to show the images. Hebrew-speaking Israelis watching television news are not exposed at all to what’s going on in Gaza. We don’t see the atrocities, the rubble, the destruction and the humanitarian crisis. The world sees something completely different.”
Israelis fear that the world doesn’t see their pain and is only sympathizing with the Palestinians. Saragusti sees things differently. According to her, “The world saw the October 7 massacre. Journalists came to Israel, they saw the bodies, the remains of the Nova partygoersthe destruction in the kibbutzim. They delivered the message, they reported on it. But now the focus is somewhere else.
“The fact is that people outside of Israel are seeing a completely different picture of reality. If we don’t see what they are seeing, we won’t be able to understand the growing sentiment against us. The majority of people know what happened, they know there was a massacre, they understand Israel went through something devastating. The fact that we Israelis are living in a completely different dimension doesn’t work to our advantage. We need to deal with it.”

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Malachite Green


With Haaretz’s reports, let alone unfettered access to independent news channels over the Internet, don’t let any Israeli ever dare say, “we had no idea what was going on”.

Paul K


Channel 11, 12, 13 and all the minor local journalist celebs who fill hours, night after night, of naval gazing pontificating don’t dare ask this question….let alone dare to show the images…they will be remembered….



Israelis don’t have the internet? Shame on them if they don’t know what is going on in Gaza…


09:12 14.12.2023

A cultural difference. In Gaza and big part of the Muslim world watching atrocities against Jews or dragging their mutilated unanimate bodies is welcome with joy, candies and above all, celebration. In Gaza a dead naked 17 years girl was spitted on and dragged in the street like a trophy. There is tolerance to violence. no empathy to the enemy /Jews.
In the western world the same scenes are horrific and traumatic to people. They’re censured. But in israel they’re censured even harder for 2 resons.
1. empathy is much higher toward humans in israel like in all western countries /culture , images of suffering, death and devastation in Gaza will decrease heavily the support for this war among the israely citizens.
2. it will decrease the intensity of the fighting. Both things are seen as deadly weaknesses for this war by the israely government.
Different culture react to different scenes in opposite way. And this is very important to understand during this conflict.
Reply to comment

Deborah Weiss


People always resort to this kind of language to justify atrocities and even war crimes—even, if history is any guide, genocides. “Theydon’t value human life the way We do.”

This is what US war profiteers declared loftily as US bombs fell on Vietnam and Cambodia. The fact that the people of Vietnam and Cambodia continued to fight even as the cherishers of human life drenched their land in blood was brandished as a sort of proof.
If they had “valued human life,” the notion went, then they’d have surrendered and relieved the US of the necessity of trying to kill as many of them as possible.
All right then. Without arguing the relative merits of this or any conflict, one should at least shy away from claiming a superior capacity for empathy as the bodies stack up like cordwood.

Avi L.

07:31 14.12.2023

The world doesn’t see those rapist of hamas crimes because the “international media” don’t do their job neither. Is it some endemic disease of the media in general? Why this auto flagelation? Israeli media are still among the best. Are there self hating journalist like Hass and G. Levy abroad?
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18:54Avi L.

Have a good long look in the mirror. Do you see why the world hates you ?

Avi L.

18:56Avi L.

For my good looks?

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