Culture, Israel

Jerusalem-based CNN Camera Man's Keffiyeh Fetish

I’ve been meaning to share this photo for a while, and today’s NY Times piece reminded me of it:
During the Israeli-Palestinian Comedy Tour‘s performance at the American Colony, the folks from CNN stepped out for a second and the camera man (who was quite clearly European) asked me to keep an eye on his gear.
I noticed something a little, um, funny about this man’s camera. Perhaps you’ll notice it as well.

I won’t bother to presume anything at all, but I do wish to ask: Precisely why does this man have a keffiyeh wrapped around his camera? Is it an expression of solidarity? And if so, does that not indicate a rather overt bias? And if it does indicate bias, is he really so strategically inept that he’ll then flaunt it unabashedly?

17 thoughts on “Jerusalem-based CNN Camera Man's Keffiyeh Fetish

  1. My guess is that it indicates an insensitivity as to how the display may be negatively perceived.
    Another possibility: I sometimes think that reporters or crew who wear keffiyehs may believe that it makes them somehow safer. I don’t know if it does or doesn’t. But, this cameraman may not work exclusively in Israel. And, if you’re in the middle of filming a Palestinian riot, you may do anything to make yourself a less conspicuous target.

  2. gee, I thought he was trying to be like Steven Tyler from Aerosmith. you remember how he would always wrap his mike stand in pretty, silky, flowing scarves? I mean, do camera men have to be macho ALL the time? c’mon mobius, fight the patriarchy!

  3. The keffiya is really useful to have around, like the towel in hitchhiker’s guide.
    It wouldn’t occur to me that it’s indicative of anything, and I’m not convinced that the cnn guy isn’t Israeli, or someone who holds dual citizenship. You never know – I met a lot of dual citizen reporters in Israeli working for foreign networks.

  4. OMG !! does no one have any important technical gear out in the F’ing SAND!! you’ve got to grab the nearest thing and keep it wrapped around your shit. You wouldn’t want sand getting in to your f’ing expensive camera. it’s not a pollitical statement but a utalitarian one!

  5. I’d say this indicates a ridiculous bit of paranoia on Mobius’ part. Which isn’t to say he’s definitely wrong. Just quite probably.
    Looks to me like the keffiyeh is tied pretty tightly and serves the purpose of padding or protecting whatever’s underneath.
    Or maybe the cameraman thinks it’ll make it less likely he’ll be kidnappped by Hamas.
    When I was 16 on the obligatory Bnei Akiva Israel summer “machaneh,” a lot of us wore keffiyehs, together with our “Dubons” or “DIB Jackets,” as we called them. Maybe times have changed (in those days Beni Akiva was focused more on religious kibbutzim and less on rabid right-wing lunatic racist messianism – ah the good old days), but for us they were fashion statements, not political ones.

  6. I agree, mostly. Haviong known a few camermen in my time, it’s likely that it’s there for utility.
    At most, the fashion statement is of the “Please don’t kill me, Mr. ‘Freedom Fighter’ ” variety.

  7. Alternatively,
    You can take the other stance;
    “How dare he desecrate the kafiya, which has come to represent the palestinian struggle, by using it as a mere padding for his camera.”
    “We must unite in solidarity with our palestenian brethren to protest this gross and blatant act of humiliation”
    “allah akbar!”

  8. Wow, you are really a bigot.
    I bet you wouldn’t have any problem with him wearing a star of david, though, huh?

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