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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Israel Taking a Pounding in the Press

Watching a segment on NBC's Meet The Press this morning was infuriating. When Tim Russert asked a Lebanese Special Envoy, Nouhad Mahmoud, whether Lebanon would have responded with military action had Israel, unprovoked, crossed its border with Lebanon, kidnapped two Lebanese soldiers, killed six more, and launched rockets at Lebanese civilian targets, and the response he received was a flat-out "No". Does anyone watching really believe that????

Ambassador Dan Gillerman, who was featured in the first segment on the program, put up a great fight, defending Israel for its tragic airstrike of a building in Qana, Lebanon, in which at least 56 Lebanese civilians were killed, while still apologizing and expressing deep regret for the deaths. He pointed out that hundreds of Katushyas had been shot from that exact area, and that the civilans in the area of the airstrike had received numerous warnings to evacuate the area.

I am a person who does not find it difficult in the least to mourn civilan deaths on either side of the Lebanese-Israeli border. These deaths are tragic and unfortunate, and Israel made a grave error, regardless of whether the error is a defensible one. That being said, I am surprised to see how slow the facts are to catch on that Hizballah embeds themselves among civilians, and how in doing so, directly affects the disproportionate civilian death count. In addition, as this picture (left) shows, Hizballah soldiers dress in civilan clothes, and move their rocket launchers around civilian areas on flatbed trucks. More on Hizballah's cowardly tactics here. LGF has a translation up of a flyer, widely distributed by the IDF in the village it struck today, which warns civilans to vacate the area:
To all citizens south of the Litani River

Due to the terror activities being carried out against the State of Israel from within your villages and homes, the IDF is forced to respond immediately against these activities, even within your villages. For your safety! We call upon you to evacuate your villages and move north of the Litani River.
This isn't that complicated a case to make. It seems to be falling on willfully deaf ears. The press has been just so rabidly anti-Israel this morning that it's truly painful to watch. I have to say, it really feels like the Nine Days.

22 Comments:

Anonymous Seculardad said...

Orthomom - I agree with everything you said in principle. Unfortunately, there is a larger issue here. I fail to understand why the rest of the world holds us Jews to a higher moral standard. And please do not tell me because we are G-d's chosen. I sometimes wonder if that is a blessing or a curse. The issue here is the accidental tragic loss of innocent life that occurs during a war, sometimes called, and this is one of my favorite euphemisms, "collateral damage". Why does the World keep quiet when Muslim kills Muslim. Just look at Iraq, 100 civilian deaths a day, and these are intentional. Sunni killing Shiite and vice versa. Look back into our bloody past, history is full of examples of Christians killing Christians, my G-d, the Crusaders killed more Christians than any other persuasion. Christians killing Muslims, Muslims killing Christians, Muslims killing Hindus, etc. And of course, everybodys favorite - everybody killing Jews. The World keeps quiet until Jews, accidentally or otherwise, kill some people. Then all of the righteous people of the world come out of the woodwork and condemn us. In this case, Israel tragically and accidently targeted a building containing refugees. I will not try to defend this action, it is morally indefensible, no matter who does it. It happened and that's that and no amount of explaining or finger pointing is going to change it. No, my concern is why are we Jews expected to be different.

I have pondered this for a long time and I have come to a rather disturbing conclusion. The World gets upset when Jews kill because they are simply not supposed to defend themselves. The idea that the rest of the world will lose their favorite punching bag and scapegoat is repugnant and frightening to people of other faiths. How dare you Jews defend yourselves!!! I suppose that the reality that Jews are capable of being just as savage and brutal as everbody else is still too new a concept. I only wish that we as a people had this reputation prior to the Holocaust, perhaps we wouldn't have lost 6 million souls, or maybe we would have taken a lot more of our enemy with us if we had gone down fighting. Just look at the Warsaw ghetto uprising. I think it is time that we realize that Israel is never going to get a break in the press wars and no matter what happens is going to be condemned. What we can do is continue to defend ourselves and not march blindly like little sheep to our doom. Perhaps with time the rest of the world will wake up, accept the new reality, and find a different punching bag.

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, on "Planet Reality", this is called taking a pounding:

34 Youths Among 56 Dead in Israeli Attack...

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This picture does not prove that Hizballah operates from within high-density civilian populations.

1:51 PM  
Blogger eem said...

On walla.co.il you can see a real-time video of a hizballah launcher being driven to and taken inside of a civilian home,then shooting a missile. The fighters then flee the scene and leave the launcher there.

1:58 PM  
Blogger bluke said...

The IAF has said that it is not sure how the building collapsed as it attakced the building around 12:30AM and it didn't collapse until 8:00AM. See What happened in Kfar Kana (as of 8PM IDT 7/30)? fro more information.

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you ortho. Israel made a horrible mistake but these things happen during war especially with an enemy that hides and shoots from civilian enclaves. Ambassador Gillerman was excellent on Meet The Press you are correct. Especially when he asked Russert if the US would do the same as Israel if Cuba was firing on Florida. I dont think anyone doubts the answer to that is yes. I mean we are at war with Iraq killing thousands of civilians and they havent even been proved to be the ones who were behind 911. This false morality is sickening. The Sunday rounds of the newshows were painfull to watch.

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Al Gore said...

LGF has a translation up of a flyer, widely distributed by the IDF in the village it struck today, which warns civilans to vacate the area:

Vacate the area? Where are they supposed to go? The middle of a pasture? The top of a hill?

Escape? How? With their SUVs and mini-Vans? Camels? Over bombed-out terrain no less.

Ask the people of New Orleans how easy it is to evacuate when there is destruction all around.

3:28 PM  
Blogger bluke said...

Here you can see a video taken from the air of Hezbollah shooting rockets from right next to Kfar Kana and then driving right into the village.

3:45 PM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

I agree that the deaths of civilians are a tragedy, but HEZBOLLAH HAS BEEN INDISCRIMINANTLY LAUNCHING ROCKETS FROM HEAVILITY POPULATED AREAS TOWARD CIVILIANS FOR ALMOST THREE WEEKS! Should Israel just let Hezbollah continue firing rockets without trying to stop them? What SHOULD Israel do?

And where is the criticism of Hezbollah?

Suppose some Mexican terror group started staged a raid over the US border, killing and/or kidnapping some Americans, and/or launching rockets over the border. How many seconds would it be before the US intervened? Something like this did happen in 1916, when Gen. Pershing took a large army into Mexico trying to chase down Pancho Villa.

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ITA with Al Gore. Haven't groups like Hamas and Hizbollah been telling Israelis for years that they should just move somewhere else for their own safety? These are their homes and they are innocent people. Despite what any talking heads say, regular Joe American is counting the deaths on either side and is not liking what he sees. The media has to reflect that death count.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Israelis living in the north all moved. MANY families in lower Israel are housing people from the North. If the people in Lebanon wanted to leace they very well could go up north just as the Israelis go south. Israelis are not being killed because their government takes care of them and makes sure there are bomb shelters and because most of them left their homes. Are we just smarter than the Lebanese? Do we just love our people more? Are our lives worth more to our government than Lebanese lives are to theirs?

11:46 AM  
Blogger MUST Gum Addict said...

Back to the point of your original post, I do think that what some of the "leaders" -- or should I instead say "spokespersons" from some of these countries, are qite ridiculous. Take a discussion between Chris Matthews of MSNBC's Hardball with the ambassador from Syria (I can't remember his name). Chris asked point blank "How small does Israel have to get in order for Syria -- and Hezbolla -- in order to be happy?" and he immediately responded that Israel has occupied the Golan which is their land. Chris responded, "Israel didn't occupy that land, Syria ATTACKED Israel and started a war. You were shooting down from the mountains into their land" to which the ambassador responded "no, this is misinformation". He then went on to spew more idiotic remarks such as "the whole issue with the Golan Heights is all Israeli propoganda anyway. The Golan" he said, "is not a heights. That is Israel giving it a name. It is not a heights, it is a mountain."

And here I thought watching Comedy Central would make me laugh -- I now watch MSBNC...

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The world would love to forget all of these "minor details" they don't really care who started what so long as Israel looks bad and is blamed. It makes me sick to watch the news and commentaries. I want to jump into the TV and shake these people. I wouldn't mind causing some Shaken Idiot Syndrome.

12:18 PM  
Blogger bluke said...

Check this out What really happened in Kfar Kana II?

Hezbollywood? Evidence mounts that Qana collapse and deaths were staged
....
But the accumulating evidence suggests another explanation for what happened at Kana. The scenario would be a setup in which the time between the initial Israeli bombing near the building and morning reports of its collapse would have been used to "plant" bodies killed in previous fighting -- reports in previous days indicated that nearby Tyre was used as a temporary morgue -- place them in the basement, and then engineer a "controlled demolition" to fake another Israeli attack.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous ToddV said...

for those who care, Out Of Step Jew has started blogging again solely on the war.

http://outofstepjew.blogspot.com/

7:30 PM  
Anonymous goyguy said...

"If the people in Lebanon wanted to leace they very well could go up north just as the Israelis go south."

While I am in full support of Israel here, I think this statement is a little simplistic. After all, the first things the IDF blew to smithereens were bridges, gas stations and parking garages. Crucial moves to disrupt the terrorist lines of communications but in effect making civilian evacuation almost impossible. Which of course is fine with the terrorists since it makes hiding in the general population so much easier.

It's a tough one, that's for sure.

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Israel sent warnings before blowing up the infrastructure. In addition, I saw on the news (even the Arab leaning news)after the Kana incident a woman screaming that she and her children asked people for rides out and nobody wanted to help her. They all refused and just went away. That is the difference between those animals who think death and martydom is something to aspire to and thoase of us who cherish life.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

Who are we kidding that it excuses Israel from the tragedy because they sent warning pamphlets-if Hezbollah sent warnings to Northern Israel -we are sending rockets does that excuse Hezbololah? Of course, not.

BTW I believe that either israel should have attack3ed much more or just retaliated declared victory and go on. Not the tragedy we have now. Israel has justification for going to war.

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Al Gore said...

The Israelis living in the north all moved.

Good for them. But they aren't getting the same amount of ordnance dropped on them.

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Al Gore said...

That is the difference between those animals who think death and martydom is something to aspire to and thoase of us who cherish life.

I wish that was always the case. The King David Hotel attack killed 92 people (mostly civilians), including 17 Jews.

Oh, I know, they made a phone call before the explosion. How magnanimous.

10:51 PM  
Anonymous Al Gore said...

When Tim Russert asked a Lebanese Special Envoy, Nouhad Mahmoud, whether Lebanon would have responded with military action had Israel, unprovoked, crossed its border with Lebanon, kidnapped two Lebanese soldiers, killed six more, and launched rockets at Lebanese civilian targets, and the response he received was a flat-out "No". Does anyone watching really believe that????

I can. In July 1947, the Irgun Zvei Leumi kidnapped two British soldiers. The Royal Air Force (RAF) didn't bomb Tel Aviv in retaliation. The Royal Artillery (RA) didn't bomb suspected Irgun hideouts among the civilian population.

12:05 AM  
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