Vardi Kahana, Local Testimony curator
The summer war of 2014 lasted two and a half months. The media, in all its diverse forms, exposed its viewers and readers to gut-wrenching images: the three mothers praying for the safety of their abducted sons, three weeks of searching, the communal funeral for the teens, the revenge in the name of which Jews murdered a teenager from Shu’afat, the following riots in East Jerusalem, thousands of missiles fired from Gaza, parents lying on their children in the middle of the street to shield them from the rockets, aerial photographs of bombed targets, and ground forces entering the Gaza Strip, marching, inwards, to the front line.

And at the heels of this mass of images, photographs of the military funerals started to appear, accompanied by the pages of newspapers, which like the Command-Order #8 (order for wartime reserve duty), were filled with a fixed and familiar pattern: a headshot of a young man flashing a white toothed smile, and a hundred words trying to summarize his world.
Sixty seven military funerals and five civil funerals. We gathered together in grief.

The gut-wrenching pictures from Gaza came in late, parsimoniously mediated by the foreign press. The IDF did not grant the Israeli media access to the front line, as the media, on its part, followed the national "public diplomacy".

At the same time, the Hamas’ speaker pushed the foreign photographers towards his own goals. The rocket launchers, placed between the homes, were only exposed after the reporters returned to their own countries, and between the tens of photographs of the dead bodies and wounded individuals not even one member of the Hamas could be found; they were all civilians

Thus, we have become numb to the images of targeted killings. They flickered on the screen in black and white clips as if they were computer games, and our hearts turned to stone in the face of the pictures of the overcrowded morgues in Gaza, the devastation of wiped out neighborhoods and the hundred thousand of displaced Palestinians.

The media does not possess the stamina of the cultural critic. The critic will examine the chain of events through the perspective of time, and will attempt to mark the mechanisms of power and the generators of perception intertwined into these mechanisms. The press is instantaneous by its very definition. Our contemporary culture with its myriad channels, networks and news, which spread information, have completely changed the rules of the game, fashioning an even shorter response time to events.
The media has lost its balance in favor of instant gratification; thus leaving itself exposed, in its weakness, to the manipulations of the territory’s governing speaker, be it the speaker of the IDF or the speaker of the Hamas.
The media consumer, if he is not naïve, will doubt it all.