Friday, July 13, 2007

Nobody does propaganda like the BBC

Auntie Beeb currently features the following article in the middle-east news section:
Israel wary of new Lebanon hostilities
By Martin Patience
BBC News, northern Israel
A year ago at the Israeli-Lebanese border, the clear blue sky was streaked with vapour trails of Hezbollah rockets racing southwards into Israel.

The hills echoed with the boom of Israeli heavy artillery being fired back into Lebanon. A year on, the atmosphere on the border is very different - there is quiet. In the Israeli town of Metula, a few metres from the border, locals sedately go about their business, trawling the aisles of the local supermarket for provisions. Outside, a man lugs cases of Coca-Cola to his battered truck - cold drinks for a group of thirsty farm workers. But reminders of last summer's 34-day war between Israel and the Islamist movement Hezbollah are easy to spot. A few hundred metres away from the supermarket, white UN armoured personnel carriers slowly patrol the Lebanese-side of the border, deployed as part of the ceasefire agreement ending the conflict. On the anniversary of the war, many Israelis are wary that hostilities could resume. "It's not nice to live in the shadow of the Katyusha rockets," says Yaniv Yehuda, a 29-year-old student. "You never know when they will land again - maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon."

For many Israelis, last summer's war between Israel and Hezbollah represented the opening shots in a wider war against what they see as Islamic fundamentalism - represented by Islamist groups Hezbollah and Hamas, and Iran. For more than a month last year, more than a million Israelis were forced to live in bomb shelters. Almost 4,000 Hezbollah rockets - packed with hundreds of ball bearings - landed in the north of Israel, killing 43 Israeli civilians.

About 500,000 Israelis packed their bags and left the north of Israel.

'Long nightmare' More than 1,000 rockets hit the town of Kiryat Shmona, home to about 22,000 Israelis. More than half of the town's inhabitants fled during the war. Ami Zinaty, 52, a community leader, and one of his daughters stayed behind. Mr Zinaty was in charge of evacuations from the town. "This is the third time I've had to do it," he says. "I didn't know what to feel, my only concern was to get people to safety." "It doesn't matter how many wars you've been through," he says. "They are always one long nightmare."

But like Mr Zinaty, many Israelis believed that the war demonstrated the resilience of the Jewish people, despite the major failings of the Israeli government and military. Following the war, there were bitter recriminations about the perceived bungling of Israeli political and military leaders. These continue.

In Haifa, Israel's third largest city, Ronan Yonitov, 37, a labourer, says that his 11-year-old daughter still jumps when she hears a bang. "She thinks it's a Katyusha landing," he says. "Now she hates Arabs because of last summer.

Not only does the article focus narrowly on the Israeli perspective, but it also sets out to lie from the very beginning saying that Israeli artillery was fired in response to Katyusha rockets from Hezbollah. In fact the rocket fire did not commence until tens of Lebanese civilians had been killed by Israeli attacks. They evoke sympathy for the people who had to evacuate, to live in bomb shelters and the 43 civilians who died. Of course they will say that we have covered the Lebanese in other articles. In fact they haven't. There is no corresponding article asking the residents of south Lebanon how they felt about being mercilessly targetted by bullets, missiles, cluster bombs and shells. There is no mention of the 1000+ Lebanese civilians slaughtered by the Israeli forces. No mention of the refugees often deliberately targetted whilst sitting in civilian convoys or ambulances. Did they not suffer 'one long nightmare'? What about the thousands of cluster bombs dropped by Israel? No mention that Hezbollah actually killed more soldiers and hit more military targets including an intelligence outpost, than civilians whilst the Israelis killed mostly defenceless civilians. The BBC have already airbrushed these victims from memory. How quickly the historical revision begins these days, whilst under pressure from the zionist lobby.


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