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      New Weapon in Battle for Judea, Samaria – a Camera

      Israeli leaders in Judea and Samaria are calling on supporters to help out – and maybe earn money – using their cameras.
      Read their advice.
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 5/6/2011, 9:35 AM / Last Update: 5/6/2011, 10:29 AM

      (file)

      In recent years, grassroots activists in Judea and Samaria have grown increasingly aware of the power of pictures to show their side of the story. The most recent olive harvest wave of libel, an annual tradition, was met with a campaign to show Israel's side of the story through film, and leading religious-Zionist figure Rabbi Dov Lior recently ruled that one may use cameras on the Sabbath, which is normally prohibited, in order to film clashes with Arabs or extremist activists.

      Now the Samaria Residents Council is calling on the public to help, using simple, everyday pictures of Jews in Judea and Samaria and their homes.

      Websites that provide stock photos often have a collection of pictures labeled “settlers” or “settlement” - none of them flattering. The council is seeking to change that by adding pictures in which Jews are pictured living their lives and not fighting evacuation, and their towns are seen as they really are – large, established and green – rather than from unflattering angles.

      Sites listed as needing such photos include: www.bigstockphoto.com, www.sipa.com, www.gettyimages.com, www.alarmy.com, and www.comstock.com.

      Some sites sometimes pay for good photos, meaning supporters could both help boost Jews in the land of Israel and earn money.

      The Samaria Residents Council revealed that it has also begun to arrange photography courses in order to change the situation. “It became clear to us that pictures from the scene can shape perception no less than written articles, and are excellent testimony against left-wing incitement and Arab lies,” they said.

      “In the course, we learned how to use simple photography to get a message across. The angle at which the picture is taken, light and shadow, the meaning of colors, capturing crowds, and the ability to catch the significant moment – make all the difference,” council members added.

      Learning how to use search engines to the best advantage is also important, noted Council Director Esther Karish. “For example, if a person has a picture of a natural spring or another nature site [in Judea or Samaria], if he labels it with 'settlement' and similar words the picture will also appear when someone searches for 'settlement,' and they won't only get pictures of clashes with the Civil Administration,” she said.

      “The more users upload pictures on the various sites, the more positive images there will be on the first pages [of search results],” Karish stated.