More newsworthy than Israeli fighter jets: An evacuation helicopter lands in Lebanon on the BBC
Israel has opened "windows" for the foreign powers to evacuate their
terrified nationals from Lebanon. Obligingly, the foreign media have turned these
"windows" into an opportunity to avert their gaze further from the death
and destruction in Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank.
On BBC World, for example, we have been following the progress of one 12-year-old
British boy fleeing Beirut. When he observed that he was worried for the Lebanese
family members he was leaving behind, reporter Clive Myrie noted his was a "very
British students studying in Lebanon are interviewed by the BBC
If only the BBC was demonstrating such maturity.
I have to keep reminding myself that this is BBC World, not its domestic news
service. You would hardly know it watching the coverage of the past couple of
On Tuesday, when at least 35 Lebanese were killed -- possibly many more as
no one seems to know who is lying under the rubble or has been incinerated in
their fleeing cars -- we had the BBC's Ben Brown in Beirut giving a blow-by-blow
account of every facet of the evacuation of foreign nationals in general and
British nationals in particular.
If anyone doubted the racism of our Western media, here it was proudly on display.
The BBC apparently considers their Beirut reporter's first duty to find out
what meals HMS Gloucester's chef will be preparing for the evacuees. Lebanese
and Palestinian civilians die unnoticed by the Western media (though not by
the Arab channels) while we learn of onboard sleeping arrangements on the ship
bound for Cyprus.
Did we really need to hear a lengthy live speech from the commander of HMS
Gloucester telling us how "delighted" he was to be in Beirut? With
the long minutes of rolling news to fill this might have been justified had
the other minutes been stuffed with reports from the areas where civilians are
dying by the dozen each day. But such reports are the mean filling in the thick
sandwich of the main story of the evacuees.
In the 4pm GMT broadcast, I watched 45 mins of coverage, most of it dedicated
to "live" footage of the British warship's arrival and the relieved
faces of the Brits about to leave.
Even so, the BBC still managed to squeeze in other bits of reporting in the
lulls in the drama of evacuation. At different points there was a interview
from Tel Aviv with former Israeli cabinet minister Yossi Beilin and a live link-up
between Ben Brown and Lyse Doucet in Haifa. She informed us of the "barrage"
of 50 Katyushas that had landed on northern Israel that day, killing one man.
Supportively, Ben Brown, added that there was "shock" at the death
and destruction spread by Hizbullah's rockets and opined that what the Israeli
army was "really after" was Hizbullah's long-range missiles.
So we had the BBC in Haifa and Beirut speaking with one voice -- that of Israel.
Back in Beirut, Brown repeated with bafflement statements by the British ambassador
that some British nationals preferred to stay put for the time being and would
not be taking advantage of Israel's "window". It occurred to neither
of them that many of these British nationals have loved ones in Beirut and may
not want to leave them in the coming desperate hours.
Ben Brown also told us that it was "understandable" that the British
evacuees were "pretty scared" because they were not accustomed to
this kind of bombing. Not like, he added, war correspondents such as himself
or the people of Beirut, who had grown used to such assaults.
The outrageous racism implicit in this comment was clear the moment one paused
to consider its possible meanings. Did Brown mean that the Lebanese do not mind
being bombed? Did he mean that Lebanese children understand from birth that
it is their fate to be attacked by Israel, that they get used to the explosions
around them? Did he mean that their parents are less terrified than a British
mother and father by the thought that their family might be obliterated at any
moment? Or did he mean that Lebanon's civilians will not be as traumatised by
their experiences as other human beings would be?
This is the racist subtext of the foreign media's evacuations story. That once
the foreigners have been moved to safety, we in the West can leave those who
understand only the language violence -- the Israeli army and, apparently, the
whole population of Lebanon -- to carry on with their unfinished business.
And we can be sure that this is exactly what will happen as soon as Israel's
"window" is shut. When the foreign powers no longer have even a small
vested interest in the safety of Beirut, can we expect the coverage to improve?
Don't hold your breath.
The BBC: A Zionist Propaganda?
By Ghali Hassan
The portrayal of the BBC as independent and impartial public broadcaster is
sadly misleading. The BBC is a global instrument of Zionist propaganda. In addition
to defending Israel’s terrorism and the illegal occupation of Palestinian
land, the BBC is an active complicit in Zionism war crimes throughout the Middle
A study by Greg Philo and Mike Berry of the Glasgow University Media Unit in
Scotland reveals that the British media, including the BBC denying the public
an opportunity to understand the rights of the Palestinian people resistance
to Israel’s terror and Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. As a result
of the BBC Zionist propaganda, the British public remain confused and unable
to differentiate between the gross violence of the oppressors (the Israelis)
and the retaliatory self-defence of the oppressed (the Palestinians). It is
sad that the majority of the British public are unaware of the fact that since
1967 Palestinians are under illegal Israeli military occupation; the longest
and most brutal in modern history. The so-called Palestinian “authority”
is a myth created by Israel and the U.S. to manipulate public opinion and cover-up
With its veneer of English sophistication and global audience, the BBC is a
formidable propaganda instrument. Just after the Israeli army murdered an entire
family (the Ghalia’s family) and wounded many more Palestinians while
picnicking on a northern Gaza beach, the BBC was the first Western media to
defend Israel and volunteered to cover-up Israel’s crimes. The BBC went
along to unchallenged the Israeli lies, and happily repeated the Israeli army
(Israeli occupation forces [IOF]) claims that Israel is an innocent bystander.
The BBC version was that; “Israel is not responsible for a blast that
killed an entire Palestinian family enjoying a picnic on a Gaza beach last Friday,
Defence Minister Amir Peretz says”. The BBC deliberately ignored hard
evidence – Palestinian eyewitnesses, hospital records, the U.S.-based
Human Right Watch (HRW) and even Israelis – that refuted the Israeli military
version of events.
The Nazareth-based British writer and journalist, Jonathan Cook wrote that
the BBC “credulously reports preposterous arguments seeking to exonerate
the Israeli army of responsibility for the shelling of the beach in Gaza that
killed a Palestinian family of seven. It treats as equally credible the army's
belated version in which Palestinian militants are said to have laid a single
mine at a favourite seaside picnic spot in the futile hope of preventing the
Israeli navy landing along the [Gaza] Strip's miles of coastline”. It
follows, that the BBC is complicit in Israel’s crimes cover-up against
the Palestinian people, and this is not an isolated incident.
The BBC has a history of defending Israel’s terror since the creation
of Israel by British imperialists. Israeli Zionists and their supporters in
the West, the likes of the racist Zionist Maureen Lipman, are the unchallenged
permanent guests on BBC programs, while Palestinians and pro-Palestinian voices
are shut-off. It is noteworthy that in order to deceit the public, the BBC (occasionally)
criticises Israel’s terror against the Palestinians. However, any thing
critique of Israel is said in an apologetic and vague form that praises Israel.
Furthermore, the current BBC coverage of the Israeli invasion and barbaric
attacks on Gaza and the indiscriminate aggression on Lebanon shows that the
BBC favours the Israeli-Zionist narrative at the expense of millions of defenceless
Palestinian and Lebanese civilians. While the BBC called Israeli indiscriminate
attacks on civilians – using U.S.-made Apache helicopter gunships, F-16s
bombers and artillery shells – acts of “self defence”, the
BBC blames the Palestinian and Lebanese resistant to Israel’s aggression
as “major escalation”.
It should be borne in mind that while Palestinian and Lebanese resistant attacks
were on legitimate Israeli military targets, all Israeli attacks and blockades
were indiscriminate and deliberately targeting innocent civilians, mostly children,
and civilian infrastructures. Israel’s “self-defence” must
baffle any ‘expert’ trying to define terrorism.
In the mean time, Israel continues to impose its trademark, collective punishment
– barbaric and coercive measures used by Israel (and the U.S. in Iraq)
against Gaza and indiscriminately killing innocent Palestinian civilians. In
flagrant violations of international law and the Geneva Conventions, Israel
is deliberately terrorising the Palestinians – children and infants in
particular – by using sonic booms, destroying Gaza’s civilian infrastructures,
including electricity and water supplies, health care services, and leaving
the population venerable to starvation and chronic diseases. UN envoy John Dugard,
told an emergency session of the Human Rights Council, that Israel is violating
the “most fundamental norms of humanitarian law and human rights law”
by deliberately imposing a barbaric siege on the Palestinian population. However,
the UN has no teeth to bite with, and remains mute to act to stop Israel’s
According to a communiqué by the Swiss Government (custodian of the
Geneva Conventions), there is “no doubt Israel has not taken the precautions
required of it in international law [including the Geneva Conventions] to protect
the civilian population and infrastructure … The destruction of a power
station, the attack on the offices of the Palestinian prime minister, the arbitrary
arrests of a large number of democratically-elected representatives of the people
and ministers... cannot be justified”. The 1949 Geneva Conventions (Article
54) state clearly that: “Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare
is prohibited”. It is also “prohibited to attack, destroy, remove
or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population”
(Article 51). The willingness of the BBC in particular and Western media in
general to be on the side of the Israeli military and deliberately blaming its
victims for the violence is evidence that Western media are complicit in Israeli
crimes against innocent civilians.
The advertised pretext for this criminal wanton destruction and deliberate
collective punishment being carried out by the Israeli army is that Israel trying
“to free” one soldier. The soldier was taken prisoner during a legitimate
military operation by Palestinian resistance against Israeli military post from
which the Israeli army routinely fired thousands of artillery shells into Gaza
that have killed more than 30 Palestinians, including several children in the
past few weeks. One day before the operation, Israeli commandos or the IOF abducted
two brothers, Osama and Mustafa Abu Muamar, and took them to Israel, probably
murdered. The heroic operation was called by an Israeli military expert as “a
daring commando action” which scared other soldiers nearby.
Since the invasion of Gaza on 25 June 2006, the Israeli army has since killed
more than 100 innocent Palestinians, including many children, some as young
as 6-years old, and injured more than 200 Palestinians, including more than
110 children. On the day (12 July) the U.S. vetoed a UN Resolutions condemning
Israel’s terror against the Palestinians, more than twenty five Palestinians,
including nine members of one family with their seven children, were murdered
by the IOF. The besieged territory is the largest concentration camp on the
planet, completely controlled by Israeli army. Gaza is constantly and heavily
bombed from air, sea and land. These deliberate and indiscriminate acts of terrorism
are war crimes against defenceless civilian population.
Furthermore, the Israeli invasion of Gaza is designed to terrorise the Palestinians,
destroy a democratically elected legitimate leadership of the resistance movement
(HAMAS), and to provide Israel with a cover to annex more Palestinian land in
the West Bank and Jerusalem for illegal Jewish settlements (colonies). The Israeli
army has been preparing for an attack on Gaza several months earlier and was
constantly pushing for it, with the goal of destroying the Hamas infrastructure
and its government and has very little to do with “freeing” one
soldier. In fact Israel’s terror on Gaza is endangering the life of the
soldier, who is being well treated by the Palestinians.
While the Israeli soldier is portrayed as an “innocent” clean-shaven
teenager, there are some 10,000 Palestinian prisoners languishing in Israeli
prisons. They include, 132 Palestinian women, 388 children and a dozen of infants
as young as 3 months old, separated from their mothers and under brutal conditions.
Many of the prisoners are imprisoned without charge as “Administrative
Detainees”. They were kidnapped from their homes at midnight, imprisoned
and subjected to torture, sexual abuses and denied their human rights and fair
trial. For the BBC, Palestinians are nameless, voiceless and without identity.
As Jonathan Cook reported, the British media in general and the BBC in particular,
“preferred to use words that misleadingly suggested [the soldier] was
a victim, an innocent whose status as a soldier was not relevant to his fate.
The Palestinians, as kidnappers and hostage-takers, were clearly not behaving
in a legitimate manner”. Cook added; “Not only do [the BBC] reporters’
exhibit the biases associated with its institutional racism – as an organisation,
the BBC chooses to identify with Israeli concerns before Palestinian ones –
but they then compound this distortion by repeating uncritically Israel's own
misrepresentation of events”. Racism is central to the BBC propaganda.
Racism is the BBC’s convenient tool to demonise the “Others”
and justify killing them. Let’s not forget that Israel is built on violence
and racism, and continue to use racism to identify itself as a “Jewish
State” only. The notion that Jews are superior to other human beings and
entitle to dominate and rule those who do not is just a case in point. In his
seminal work Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years
(2002), the late Israeli historian and academic, Israel Shahak argued that Israel
is inherently racist society.
Like Israel, the BBC is devoid of any moral principles and objectivity. Again
we are reminded of how the BBC transforms not only the Israelis from oppressors
into victims but also the Palestinians from victims of Israel’s terror
into perpetrators of what the BBC called Palestinian “violence”.
The BBC strips the Palestinians from their humanity and justifies their murder
at the hands of Israeli terrorists. For the BBC, the Palestinians are “militants”,
regardless of their age or gender, embarking on “destroying” the
fourth largest army in the world. In other words, Israel is portrayed as a victim
of Palestinian “terrorism”, not the opposite.
For the BBC, one Israeli soldier, enforcing an illegal and criminal occupation
is ranked far above those innocent Palestinian civilians. There are no murdered
Palestinian children, and pregnant women dying at Israeli check points, and
there are no BBC reports on the malnutrition and starvation of Palestinian caused
by months-long Israeli blockades. As mentioned earlier, the BBC is global propaganda
and its main goal is to mislead not only the British people but millions around
the world in order to manipulate public opinion and cover-up Israel’s
crimes against the Palestinian people.
In the Wes Bank and Jerusalem, the IOF and the Israeli police are on their
rampage of terrorising Palestinians throughout the Occupied Territories, destroying
and vandalising Palestinian charities, offices, and businesses. Schools and
medical centres have been looted by Jewish extremists. Some 130 Palestinian
lawmakers, government officials, cabinet ministers and ordinary activists were
taken hostages without charge. The BBC described this mass midnight kidnapping
as “arresting”. Furthermore, Israel has rejected peace and a ceasefire
proposal put by the elected Palestinian Prime Minister, Ishmael Haniyeh, and
threatened to assassinate him. Like many previous acts of terrorism committed
by Israel, the BBC ignored to condemn Israel’s acts of naked state terrorism.
(For more on Haniyeh’s peace initiative, see his Washington Post, 11 July
On another front in Israel’s war of aggression, the BBC pro-Israel propaganda
is in full swing. To justify Israel’s war of aggression against Lebanon,
the BBC argued “[i]t is Hizbullah’s who have taken Lebanon hostage
… and Israeli is reacting in ‘self-defence’”, (Claire
Balderstone, BBC News Hour, 13 July, 2006). How simple it is?
Only a complicit BBC will call Israel’s indiscriminate attacks –
from the air, sea and land – on population centres and civilian infrastructure
of Lebanon, including the Beirut Airport, roads, bridges, ports, power plants,
water supply and TV stations, the blockade of Lebanon and the deliberate massacre
of innocent civilians as Israel’s “self-defence”.
On the morning of Thursday 13 July 2006, U.S.-made F-16s bombed the home of
Sayyed Adel Akkash, killed Akkash, his wife and their 10 children, including
Akkash's 6-month-old daughter, and leaving just a pile of body parts. On the
day (15 July 2006) the UN Security Council rejected pleas for an immediate ceasefire,
at least 35 civilians, including 15 children, were deliberately murdered by
Israeli jets while fleeing Israel’s indiscriminate bombardments after
they were ordered by the Israeli army to leave their homes and villages, a criminal
policy of using civilian to put pressure on their government. The U.S. was the
sole member of 15-nation UN Security Council to endorse Israeli aggression and
to block any Security Council’s call for a ceasefire between Israel and
In five days of deliberate acts of aggression against the sovereign state of
Lebanon, at least 130 innocent Lebanese civilians, including some 40 children
have been massacred by the Israeli army in cold blood and in the most cowardly
fashion. There is mounting evidence that Israel is using internationally prohibited
and banned weapons to attack civilians. It is unknown how the BBC and the Western
media in general justify these war crimes as acts of “self-defence”.
It is important to remember, that this is the same fanatical and extremist line
propagated by George Bush and his two lackeys, Tony Blair and John Howard.
Again, the advertised pretext for these deliberate war crimes and state terrorism,
is that Israel acting hysterical in order “to free” three Israeli
soldiers taken in a legitimate military operation by the Lebanese Hizbullah’s
fighters, because Israel refuses to adhere international law and exchange prisoners
in a peaceful way. Lebanese prisoners (mostly prominent leaders) were abducted
by Israeli military on Lebanese soil and detained as bargaining chips and to
keep an ongoing conflict with Hizbullah. In addition, the BBC ignored to elaborate
that Israel continues to occupy land in Lebanon, known as the Sheba Farms, where
Israeli soldiers have often abducted and murdered Lebanese shepherds and farmers.
Israel also routinely assassinated prominent Palestinians and Lebanese in cold
blood. Furthermore, Israel – backed by the U.S. – is looking to
widen the aggression by unfairly accusing and threatening Syria and Iran.
The aim of the Zionist state and its main backer (the U.S.) is to divide the
Lebanese people, seek revenge against a legitimate political and resistance
movement, and in the process trigger a broader war in the region, through acts
of provocation and pre-emptive aggression. Israel creates a violent environment
and uses violence to shape its miserably failed Zionist strategy in the region.
The Arab regimes, particularly those of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, should be ashamed
for their cowardice, treason of the Arab cause and for not being able to stand
up to Israel’s aggression.
With journalists in Israel, Lebanon and the Occupied Territories, Western media
and the BBC in particular have ample opportunities to tell the truth and expose
Israel’s war crimes against the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples to the
outside world. Instead, Israel’s war crimes are covered-up with a veneer
of disinformation and propaganda. There are no photographs of murdered Palestinian
and Lebanese children and pregnant women dying at Israeli check-points or tortured
and humiliated Palestinian prisoners on the BBC web site. There are no BBC reports
on the living conditions, malnutrition and starvation of Palestinians caused
by the months-long Israeli criminal blockade.
The illegal invasion of Iraq is another barbarity where the BBC was and continues
to be an active complicit. The war on Iraq by the U.S. and British Governments
was the most violent premeditated act of aggression against defenceless people.
The BBC deliberately and systematically ignored much publicly available information
on Iraq's weapons programs, and instead played a very dishonest and warmongering
role. The BBC unchallenged and repeated Blair and Bush fabricated pack of lies
about the (none)-existence of Iraq Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD); the result
was up to half a million Iraqis, mostly women and children killed by U.S. and
British armies, and the total destruction of the Iraqi society. The BBC continues
to actively aiding and abetting a murderous Occupation and murderous occupying
forces who are committing gross crimes against the Iraqi people.
After three years of illegal and murderous Occupation, the BBC is fully aware
of the Occupation-generated violence and destruction. Yet the BBC continues
to play ball and distort facts on the ground in Iraq. How an illegal invasion
and a murderous occupation that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis
– mostly women and children – could be described as just “melancholy
thoughts”? How could the scares of torture, rape and sexual abuses of
tens of thousands of Iraqis by U.S. and British soldiers be described just mere
“memory”? The complicity of the BBC in the crimes against the Iraqi
people is crimes against humanity, as it was rightly
The complicity of the BBC and other corporate media in the war crimes was summarised
by the World Tribunal on Iraq in its 27 June findings. After a four day session
hearing of evidence, the charges laid against the corporate media, including
the BBC are war crimes and crimes against humanity. (Here is WTI findings).
The BBC continues to cover-up horrendous war crimes committed against the Iraqi
people by US and British soldiers. The destruction of Iraqi towns and cities,
the countless massacres of innocent civilians, and the torture and sexual abused
of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib and hundreds of other US and Britain-run prisons
do not feature in the BBC program lists or on the BBC website. The BBC is deliberately
misleading the public and continues actively aiding and abetting in war crimes
against the Iraqi people.
Finally, it is baffling that the BBC is unable to tell the British public where
is Israel and if Israel has recognised international boarders. The British people
ought to know that the Apartheid Wall is not Israel’s “security
fence”. The Wall was rightly condemned by the International Court of Justice
(ICJ) at The Hague for it “imposes immense and unnecessary suffering on
the Palestinian people”. It is a formidable wall designed to fractionate
Palestinian communities, isolate them into ghettos and steal their land and
Due to its reliance on government sources and its support for the policies
of the British Government, the BBC failed to be independent and impartial public
broadcaster. The BBC betrays its Charter and the trust of the people in Britain.
As a result, the people of Britain are misled by the BBC disinformation and
denied an opportunity to understand the conflict. The British people have the
right to know that their government and military are committing cross crimes
There can be no peace in the Middle East until the occupation of Palestine
and Iraq end and the injustices committed by the Israeli and the U.S. governments
against the people of the Middle East cease. The British public must hold the
BBC accountable for its failure to provide independent and impartial information.
Ghali Hassan lives in Perth, Western Australia.
In U.S., Not All Casualties Are Equal
Numerous U.S. groups, intellectuals, politicians and media outlets are mobilising
in the United States to back Israel in its ongoing assault on neighbouring Lebanon
with one main idea to promote -- that Israel is always the victim.
On Sunday morning, millions of U.S. citizens watched as the former speaker
of the House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, a Republican from Georgia, argued
on the network television news show "Meet the Press" that the Israeli
demolition of Lebanese infrastructure, targeting of civilians and total blockade
of the small Arab nation was an act of self-defence.
He and many other public figures in the United States also echoed the Israeli
line of blaming Iran and Syria for recent events.
There is, Gingrich said, a "Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas alliance trying
to destroy Israel."
"You clearly have Iranian involvement, there are at least 400 Iranian
guards in south Lebanon," he added, without citing any evidence.
The reason the United States should continue to back the Israeli campaign with
weapons and aid is because this is "World War III", which includes
the United States, Gingrich claimed.
"I mean, this is absolutely a question of the survival of Israel, but
it's also a question of what is really a world war," he said
The so-called U.S. mainstream media has also largely avoided depicting the
scenes of civilian carnage on the Lebanese side, with many referring to the
onslaught as one that has targeted Hezbollah. In fact, the targets have so far
included women and children, a lighthouse, a medical truck and a dairy factory.
On Monday, for example, the front page photo on the Washington Post was of
stressed out Israeli rescue workers operating in Haifa, where eight people were
killed by Hezbollah rocket fire on Sunday.
However, the previous day, when 13 members of one family, including children
and women, were killed in an Israeli air attack, the paper ran a relatively
bland picture of an explosion near advertising billboards in Lebanon.
Most headlines have also either favoured Israel or remained so general that
the intensity of the Israeli attack was hardly conveyed.
Many television stations here sought to present the current crisis in terms
of equal suffering, with Israeli civilians hit by Hezbollah rockets as savagely
as Lebanese civilians were targeted by Israel's U.S.-made bombs.
More than 250 Lebanese, most of them civilians, including women and children,
have bee killed in Israeli air sorties using 500-pound laser guided U.S.-made
bombs. The Lebanese economy suffered billions of dollars worth of damage after
Israel targeted Beirut's airport, bridges, roads and factories.
To date, 25 Israelis have been killed, half of them uniformed soldiers in combat
with Hezbollah fighters.
"Syrian President May Hold Key to Mideast Crisis" read the Wall Street
Journal's headline on Tuesday.
"Toll Climbs in Mideast as Fighting Rages On," was the Washington's
Post generic headline for the same day.
In editorial after editorial, Israel was portrayed as the victim.
"Make no mistake about it: Responsibility for the escalating carnage in
Lebanon and northern Israel lies with one side, and one side only. And that
is Hezbollah, the Islamist militant party, along with its Syrian and Iranian
backers," said the Los Angeles Times editorial on Monday.
Palestine Media Watch, a group monitoring coverage of events in the Middle
East, says it called CNN's International Desk on Sunday to complain about the
network's lack of coverage of civilian suffering on the Lebanese side.
The pro-Arab organisation reported that the answer they got from CNN was "they
did not have enough equipment and could not be everywhere at the same time".
"I think it's been strikingly one-sided in the coverage. The downplaying
of the civilian casualties in Lebanon, I think, is fairly remarkable,"
said Jim Naureckas of the New York media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy
in Reporting (FAIR).
"And the sort of acceptance that Israel is engaging in some kind of normal
behaviour by responding to the one violent incident on the border by declaring
war on an entire country is treated as a matter of course by U.S media commentators
when it is really an amazing escalation."
He said that with the U.S. media coverage so biased, the public and politicians
would be very hard pressed not to take sides with Israel.
"Certainly by giving only one part of the narrative where you have Israeli
victims as the victims of unprovoked violence, it would be hard not to take
Israel's side. If you are taking your information from the U.S. media, it'll
be hard to construct a different way of looking at it," said Naureckas.
Already, several U.S. lawmakers have hurried to the defence of Israel, repeating
the Israeli line that it was provoked and that its military action was in self-defence.
Sen. Hillary Clinton, a Democrat from New York, cited common Israeli and U.S.
values for her support. Clinton, a leading contender for the Democratic presidential
nomination in the 2008 U.S. elections, criticised the "unwarranted, unprovoked
attacks from Hamas, Hezbollah and their state sponsors" and named them
"the new totalitarians of the 21st century."
"We will stand with Israel because Israel is standing for American values
as well as Israeli ones," she said.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate was still preparing a resolution supporting Israel
in its conflict in Lebanon.
Nobel laureate and holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and Israel's ambassador to
the United Nations, Dan Gillerman, joined hundreds of people who rallied outside
the United Nations in defence of the Jewish state as the mobilisation for Israel
picks up pace.
In Washington, a group of right-wing Christian fundamentalists, Christians
United for Israel (CUFI) said they were gathering at least 3,500 people to rally
in the U.S. capital on Tuesday to drum up political backing for Israel in its
offensive against Lebanon.
The organisation, lead by fundamentalist pastor John C. Hagee, says that Jewish
leaders will also take part, including Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon, retired
Israeli defence chief Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon and Republican National Committee
Chairman Ken Mehlman.
The support for Israel in the U.S. comes despite U.S. laws that, if activated,
would mean the end of this backing. The U.S. Arms Export Control Act restricts
the use of U.S. weapons to justifiable self-defence and internal security, meaning
that U.S. weapons cannot be used to target civilians in offensive operations.
The U.S. Foreign Assistance Act also bars U.S. aid to a country with a pattern
of gross human rights violations. Several human rights groups have so far condemned
the Israeli attack.
But despite those injunctions in the U.S. law, on the first few days of the
offensive against Lebanon, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of U.S. munitions
have been used by the Israeli army against a country friendly to the United
States and a government fully supported by the United States.
The fact that civilian structures, including milk factories and houses of worship,
have been targeted may have a left a dent in the position of those backing Israel's
offensive. But it didn't. After all, they say Israel is the victim.
Read from Looking Glass News
Not Ignorance Plagues the Media
Media Faithfully Spins Lebanese Mass Murder
"retaliation" and BBC double standards in Gaza
Glossary of Dispossession: Hiding Behind Words