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Shooting Gaza: Israel’s visual war

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Craig JonesORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Institute for Human Geography, 2011.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


In this paper I show how the imaging and representation of war is becoming ever more central to its conduct: warfare is being fought through what I call ‘image-fare’. I focus on the 23-day war on Gaza that began on the 27th December 2008, and make four interconnected claims about the relationship between visuality, law and violence. First, the strategic use of images by the Israeli military in Gaza served a legitimizing function that positions Israel as always and already the lawful victim, scripting Hamas as terroristic perpetrators, belonging to a resolutely “hostile” space (i.e. Gaza). Second, these visualities ‘work’ via the appeal to the immediacy of images; Israel insists on the factual, and thus legal, veracity of its own visual forms while rendering their – Palestinian – visual forms voyeuristic and intrinsically biased. Third, contesting these visualities and exposing the inconsistencies of the Israeli framing is difcult when taking into account the ways in which the visual felds of war are structured by ‘visual economies’ which regulate and mediate global media, and which construct new publics in the process of doing so. Wary of overstating the power of Israeli framings, while understating the possibilities of challenging those framings, I finish by considering what role the circulation of the visual archive might have in challenging Israeli visualities.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Jones C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Human Geography

Year: 2011

Volume: 4

Issue: 1

Date deposited: 17/12/2018

ISSN (print): 1942-7786

Publisher: Institute for Human Geography