Where is this outrage when Israeli soldiers drop bombs on Palestinian babies, use Palestinian civilians as human shields and massacre entire families?

Why has an Israeli Soldier’s Instagram Photo Sparked More Outrage than Israeli War Crimes?

by Rania Khalek

The Instagram photo posted by an Israeli soldier showing what appears to be a Palestinian child in the crosshairs of his rifle has sparked outrage, as it should. Ali Abunimah was the first to report on this at the Electronic Intifada and it has since gone viral with major news outletspicking up the story.


Instagram photo posted by 20-year-old Israeli sniper, Mor Ostrovski. (Source: Electronic Intifada)


This photo is not only disgusting but it’s also symbolic of the callousness with which Israel views Palestinian lives. Still, I find it unsettling that this picture has elicited far more outrage than the routine killing of unarmed Palestinian civilians ever has.

Where was this outrage last month when Israeli soldiers shot dead four unarmed Palestinians, among them children, inunder a week?

Where is this outrage when Israeli soldiers drop bombs on Palestinian babies, use Palestinian civilians as human shields and massacre entire families?

This picture is not, as some would like to believe, the product of one bad apple among many good soldiers. It’s the product of decades of dehumanization that is inherent in military occupation. Just ask Breaking the Silence, a group of former Israeli soldiers committed to shedding light of the routine abuse of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers. “This is what occupation looks like. This is what military control over a civilian population looks like,” wrote one member of the organization in a Facebook comment about the Instagram photo.

Yes, this photo should certainly spark outrage but so should the war crimes that precipitated it. In fact, I would argue that anyone surprised by the photo is absolutely clueless about what occupation and dominance over another people means.

I recall a similar uproar in response to American soldiers keeping body parts of Afghans they murdered as trophies. The same type of controversy erupted when a video surfaced showing US soldiers urinating on Afghan corpses. Meanwhile, just last week a NATO airstrike killed 10 Afghan civilians, including five women and four children, and barely anyone noticed.

As David Swanson observed on Twitter, “It’s not the murder we’re supposed to oppose but the photography, urination, mutilation, and inappropriate flag use.”


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  1. owainglyndwr1416 said,

    February 22, 2013 at 09:10

    The mutilated would shake more people up if their names and ages were provided.. I know that is not possible in all cases but giving a name to a corpse is thousands times more powerful than a dead child on a slab.. You give a child a name and the story becomes even more powerful and relative. Numbers and statistics are in their very nature dehumanizing.. One story can propel a thousand if it is relayed humanistic-ally.. For far too long human interest stories whether it is intentional or not reduce the value of life by highlighting the statistical value and avoiding the personal effect.. The overall effect tends to desensitize the viewer to the point that death has no meaning. Attitudes would surely change if one was to contemplate how they would feel if that was ‘their’ child lying dead on a slab. Responsible reporting could go a long way eliciting such a response though judging by the refusal of MSM to shock i doubt responsible coverage will be forthcoming ..

  2. Ponce said,

    February 22, 2013 at 16:03

    To tell you the truth I no longer read or see anything about the abused Palestinias by the Zionists……it hurts to much not to be able to do anthing about it………but…….the time of the Zionist will come, oh yes it will come.


  3. February 25, 2013 at 23:01

    […] Where is this outrage when Israeli soldiers drop bombs on Palestinian babies, use Palestinian civilians as human shields and massacre entire families? * Why has an Israeli Soldier’s Instagram Photo…  […]

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