Feb 13, 2008

distorting reality with pictures

The picture on the right side is a real picture of that angle. The picture on the left is the picture on the banners and posters being used by the Ministry of Education as part of the announcements of celebrations for the upcoming 60th birthday of Israel.

The differences are clear. They added an abbey that does not exist in real life in between the Dome of the Rock and the Al Burak Mosque. Also, the Al Burak Mosque was moved to be closer to the Dome. If you want to see for yourself, go to the Old City and take a look, or you can look at pictures taken that appear on Google Images...

NRG reports that a member of the Jerusalem City Council has lodged a complaint with the Ministry and with the PMO that corrupting reality and using this picture to display Jerusalem as a more international city is damaging to Jerusalem's standing as the capital of the Jewish people and of the State of Israel. He calls upon them to remove the corrupted banner and replace it with one that accurately depicts the reality.

Yehuda Glick, Director of the Temple Institute in Jerusalem, has issued a statement as well. He says, "It is a shame that those that run the offices responsible for the education of our children don't learn history and are ashamed of the Jewish roots of Jerusalem. The Jewish Nation is the only nation that prays towards the place of our Temple and pine to its rebuilding. Attempts to distort this will not change history.
It is interesting to see if the Ministry will put out banners of the Supreme Court with the Vatican and Sharia Court beside it. Alternatively they can create a banner with Mt. Herzl with the graves of George Habash and Stalin upon it, with a note that it is for sensitivity to all the nations."

Glick concludes, "It would have been appropriate for the 60th year celebrations of the State of Israel that the Education Ministry would create a banner displaying Temple Mount with the Beis Hamikdash upon it. At the same time they should also work to unite the people around what is really holy to the Jewish People."

The Ministry of Education issued a response that "Pictures for the 60th year of the State include central symbols of the State of Israel. The picture will be distributed among all the schools - public, religious, minority... [blah blah blah]

Regarding the specific issue: In order to give a visual appearance of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, holy to three religions, a Jerusalem abbey was added to the image. It is simply an act of design meant to give over that concept (Jerusalem being holy to three religions)"

I think they should have kept the image as real. if it does not display the concept desired, find a different picture. Once you start distorting pictures and reality, there is no end. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. People looking at the picture will receive an unreal impression, and if that can be justified, than who is to stop people form distorting other images and passing them off as real, with the sole excuse being that one wants to posit a specific concept.

Real must remain real.

Regarding what Yehuda Glick said, I think that he meant (and if not, this is my opinion) that Israel should be using a real image and not distorting it. Once we have decided that we want to publicize a specific concept and therefore distort the image to fit that concept, we should distort it in a way that is Jewish and gives over what is holy to the Jews.


  1. OK
    I agree that messing with E Israel or its status/history is wrong.
    But, its just a picture,get a grip!
    What difference does it really make?
    Besides if you walk to the left, eventually the Al Burak Mosque will be to the right of the dome!

    So, I ask you again, why the fuss?

  2. A friend of ours has a very large poster in his sukkah that shows a breathtaking ariel view of the kotel and surrounding areas with the dome photoshopped completely out. Wishful thinking? We tease him about it!

  3. Rafi, good post.

    As for "why the fuss?"

    1) Truth in advertising
    2) We have enough Tza'ar over Yishma'el being there - we need Edom there too?

  4. He he, it's a good one definitely. Apparently someone thinks he is entitled to poetic license when fixing the pictures of Jerusalem.

    I think the viewers should be entitled then with a license to break that someone's naughty fingers...


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