THE BLOG
02/02/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Reading The Pictures: Is That A Snuff Film The Israeli Air Force Has Posted On YouTube?

Three days into the Israeli bombing campaign on Gaza, when the media was still reporting separate Hamas and civilian statistics for injuries and fatalities, it looked like the Jewish state might actually succeed in carrying our a largely successful surgical bombing campaign.

On the 31st, I even wrote a post at BAGnewsNotes crediting Israel's for "substantial tactical and PR strides" since the Hizbullah/Lebanon engagement, while acknowledging the propaganda value of the IDF's YouTube channel and the Israeli Consulate's application of Twitter.

That, however, was before my readership called me out for linking to an IDF bombing video I, following the Israeli Air Force, read as a direct hit on Hamas members loading a flatbed truck full of rockets. Going back and investigating what one reader went so far as call an "IDF-YouTube snuff film," I amended my post with the following update:

Research from a number of sources, including the Israeli-Palestinian B'Tselem group in Gaza, indicate that the owner of the truck in the Israeli Defense Force bombing was not a Hamas member transporting rockets, but instead a civilian transporting gas welding canisters from his metalworking shop.

According to B'Tselem, eight people were killed in the bombing, including the son of the shop owner, Ahmad Sanur. As best as I can tell at this point, the video I linked to yesterday from the Israeli military's YouTube Channel (posted above, for as long as it remains on-line) documents the same attack on Mr. Sanur's shop. The second image of the gas canister was taken by B'Tselem field workers after the fact.

There are many issues this story raises, not the least involving the fallacy of aerial precision. What troubles me most, however, is how the IDF, in the name of transparency and smart public relations, has not only posted quite a few videos of bombing runs, but continues to show the one in question (at least, as of Thursday night), as if this apparent evisceration of civilians doesn't merit correction.

For more visual politics, visit BAGnewsNotes.com (and BAGnewsNotes @Twitter).