The standard assumption in the news is that Hezbollah provoked Israel by crossing over the border and abducting two Israeli soldiers and that the subsequent bombings of Lebanon have been acts of self-defense.
This assumption is pure propaganda. Israel’s actions are those of an aggressor, not a defender. Take a look.
To fully understand what’s going on in Lebanon, it’s important to go back to the start of the present conflict. The vast majority of people will say it started on June 25th, when Hamas abducted an Israeli corporal. Soon after, Israel began strikes against Gaza. Then, a little more than a week ago, Hezbollah abducted two Israeli soldiers and the intense bombing came as a result.
What these reports leave out is an extremely important event that occured on June 24th. On that day, two people from Gaza were abducted by the Israeli Army. Israel claims they were terrorist plotters, while their neighbors in Gaza claim they were civilians – a doctor and his brother. Given bias on both sides, I think we can’t draw conclusions on that count. Keep in mind this is the day before Hamas abducts the Israeli corporal.
Now, from what I’ve read, barely anybody even knows that this abduction occured, which is extremely interesting since it occured in such close proximity to the other events and is at least comparable in news worthiness. And yet no mention outside of a few lines in newspapers (like here), and essentially nothing since. I’m not saying this event caused the capture of the Israeli corporal, but it clearly is the beginning of this stretch of violence and it seems like an awfully important event to leave out of the background, doesn’t it? Back to this in a second.
Without this information, we our left with the idea that Hamas started the present conflict and that Israel is exercising its right to self-defense (which, even if it were true, is grossly disproportionate). With it, it’s clear that Israel started the current wave of violence and is pursuing it backed by a false picture of what’s happened. In essence, the victim has been made into the enemy.
The media in this matter has been negligent to the point of being criminal. Let’s take the Washington Post, which seems to be a representative case. The Israeli abduction of the two people from Gaza is given exactly four sentences and, for all intents and purposes, has disappeared from newspapers since. However, Hamas’ abduction of Corporal Shalit merits 22 separate articles.
And that’s not all. Note the language used in the articles. The Israeli corporal is “kidnapped” and the soldiers a week ago are “abducted.” In contrast, look at the blurb about the captured Gazans – they are “arrested.”
Doesn’t make sense, does it? Why such a disparity? I believe this is simply another example of a prevailing bias (most likely subconscious at this point) in the Western media towards Israel when it comes to this occupation and the conflicts surrounding it. Otherwise, there is no logical reason to omit vital information like the Israeli “arrests.”
The result is that misinformed people have supported and justified Israel’s aggression against Lebanon, which has now caused the death of close to 200 civilians.