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Giving the Finger to Accuracy By: HonestReporting.com
Honest Reporting | Thursday, July 23, 2009

In recent days, some ultra-Orthodox residents of Jerusalem violently demonstrated against the decision to open a parking lot on Saturday during the Jewish Sabbath, and against the way authorities handled the case of an ultra-Orthodox woman accused of starving her son.

On Thursday July 16, AFP photographer Ahmad Gharabli snapped this photo of one such protester.

His caption is straightfoward enough:

An Ultra Orthodox Jewish man gestures during clashes with Israeli forces following demonstrations against the arrest of a woman accused of child abuse in Jerusalem on July 16, 2009. Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews clashed with police for a third day in protest at an 'unjustified' arrest of a religious woman and the opening of a parking lot on Saturdays, the Jewish holy day of rest. AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images

On Monday July 20, the same photo appeared in The Australian's coverage of -- the US-Israel disagreement over construction in eastern Jerusalem. The caption's Down Under version doesn't even state what the demonstration is about:

An Ultra Orthodox Jewish man gestures during clashes with Israeli forces following demonstrations in Jerusalem.

So Australian readers could assume this is an example of Israeli defiance of the US. This, despite the fact that the demonstration that the caption refers to has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the published story in The Australian.

Now why would an editor juxtapose a story about Jewish development in eastern Jerusalem with an unrelated image of an ultra-Orthodox demonstrator? What subtle message does The Australian convey here?

Ask The Australian by sending your e-mails to letters@theaustralian.com.au

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