Victim’s father defends award for slain daughter’s photo – ‘This is history’

The woman in the photo, German-Israeli tattoo artist Shani Louk, was brutally murdered at the Nova Festival.

By World Israel News Staff

The awarding of one of photojournalism’s top prizes to a photographer who captured an image of Hamas terrorists transporting the half-naked corpse of an Israeli woman into the Gaza Strip sparked outrage among Jewish groups and the victim’s loved ones late last month, but the father of the victim has come out in defense of the decision to select the photograph.

The woman in the photo, 23-year-old German-Israeli tattoo artist Shani Louk, was brutally murdered at the Nova Festival.

A photograph of her limp body, face-down in the back of a pickup truck surrounded by armed terrorists, was one of the first images of the October 7th massacres and sent shockwaves throughout Israel and the world.

The decision to honor Associated Press photographer Ali Mahmud with a Pictures of the Year International Award for the image came as an affront to many of Louk’s friends.

But there is a surprising defender of the award and photographer – the victim’s father, Nissim Louk.

“It’s good that the photo won the prize. This is one of the most important photos in the last 50 years,” he told Hebrew-language outlet Ynet.

“These are some of the photos that shape human memory, the Jew raising his hands [a famous Holocaust image], the paratroopers at the Western Wall, photos that symbolize an era,” he continued.

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“This documentation of Shani, and of Noa Argamani on the motorcycle” have become critical symbols of the war, he said.

“If I start crying, what will come of it? This is history. In 100 years they will look and know what happened here. I travel the world and everyone knows who Shani is,” he added.

Many of Louk’s friends disagreed with her father.

“I don’t think it’s ethical, I think it’s completely ridiculous,” Shani Cohen told the Daily Mail.

“We took it very personally. Some [of Louk’s friends] cried…to see something like this is beyond ridiculous and beyond antisemitic.”

Cohen added that she was suspicious regarding the award going to a Gazan who was embedded with Hamas terrorists and likely had advance knowledge of the attacks.

“I’m not sure this photographer is even a legit photographer or someone professional. All the friends and family don’t think it’s ethical or legit for this to be happening.”