WASHINGTON: The Israeli government momentarily reversed a long-standing media policy last month when it posted graphic video of a recent suicide bombing on the internet in an attempt to humanize the event for foreign audiences.
Unlike in the US, Israeli paramedics routinely remove the bodies of bombing victims from crime scenes as quickly as possible, often before investigators have had an opportunity to examine the site. The idea is to clear the area before the media arrives, keeping gory images off the air and "showing the terrorists that we can get back to normal very quickly," said Mark Regev, spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in the US.
But on January 29, the Israel Foreign Ministry placed a graphic, five-minute video depicting the aftermath of that morning's suicide bombing in Jerusalem, an attack that killed 11 people, on its website.
"Unfortunately, these bombings have become so routine in Israel that they've become an accepted part of reality, like the weather. People hear about it and just move on to the next thing," said Regev. "I think there is a desire to remind people what Israelis are going through."
That desire is hitting a peak as the International Court of Justice in The Hague prepares to consider the legality of a fence the Israelis are building around the Palestinian territories. Regev cited the upcoming case as a prime reason behind the decision to post the video.