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AP unhappy with photo exhibition on Israeli-Palestinian conflict

September 2, 2009 |  5:16 pm

Hatemmoussa An upcoming photography exhibition in the Netherlands depicting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has raised hackles with the Associated Press, which is providing some of the photos for the show.

According to a report in Photo District News, organizers of the Noorderlicht International Photofestival removed a text essay about the Middle East conflict from the exhibition, saying that the decision was due to pressure from the AP.

The AP stated that it agreed to participate in a non-political show and that the essay, by Stuart Franklin, advocated a political position.

Franklin's essay reportedly describes Palestinians as victims of disproportionate force by Israel.

An AP spokesman was quoted as saying that festival organizers voluntarily withdrew Franklin’s text after a series of e-mail conversations with the AP.

In a separate report in the British Journal of Photography, organizers of the festival said the AP "is expressly interfering with the content of the political discourse, and thereby is acting in conflict with its own guidelines."

The AP denied that it was in effect censoring the exhibition and said that Franklin's text "was unacceptable under the clear agreement that had led to AP's involvement in the exhibition," according to the report.

The exhibition, titled "Point of No Return," also received support from Agence France Press, the European Pressphoto Agency and Getty Images.

-- David Ng

Photo: one of the images in the controversial photo exhibition. Credit: Hatem Moussa / Associated Press / Courtesy Noorderlicht, via Photo District News