Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

Photos, 1948

When you’re looking for one thing, often you find something else, equally interesting and distressingly diverting. Today, I came across two examples of the work of John Phillips, the photojournalist who worked for Time-Life for several decades mid-twentieth century.


The first is this rather horrible image, captioned ‘A 13-yr-old Arab boy lying dead on street of Haifa while flies swarm over him’ on the Getty Images website. The child’s head is obscured by a bucket, his shows have come off, and a passing British soldier looks down, his face completely devoid of expression.


The second image, taken about a month later, shows the two senior Rabbis of the Old City of Jerusalem negotiating the surrender of the Jewish community there to Arab League forces. I found it on a website entitled ‘Ben Atlas‘, but what caught my eye was a note in Hebrew added by the website owner, said to be from an Israeli internet forum, and translated thus: “The Rabbis of Jerusalem Rabbi Israel Mintzberg, my grandfather, head of the old city Jewish Court and the Sephardi Rabbi is Rabbi Hazan. Both went in self-sacrifice with a white flag to surrender despite the Haganah commanders objecting and even firing at them because the heads of the [Jewish] government wanted the fate of the people of the Jewish quarter to be that of the people of Masada, that they all will die.”

Which is an interesting perspective.

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This entry was posted on December 20, 2011 by in Art, Middle East, Palestine, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .
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