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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

How the media skewed the news of Tuesday's skirmish

Let's look at video of how Tuesday's skirmish started, which was shown on Channel 2 on Tuesday night and was not part of the video that I posted on Tuesday night.

Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Israellycool).

The IDF and UNIFIL both agree, as I have mentioned several times since the incident happened, that the area in which the crane was working in the last part of that video is on the Israeli side of the border. But that's not how the international media reported it, says Barry Rubin.
So how did Reuters and Yahoo report this? By saying that Israeli soldiers had crossed into Lebanon and been fired on, thus implying the Lebanese army was acting in self-defense! Other news agencies merely reported: Israel says the soldiers were inside Israel; Lebanon says they were on Lebanese territory.

Reuters: "An Israeli soldier is seen on a crane on the Lebanese side of the Lebanese-Israeli border near Adaisseh village, southern Lebanon August 3, 2010. Israeli artillery shelled the Lebanese village on Tuesday, wounding two people, after Lebanese Army troops fired warning shots at Israeli soldiers."

Yahoo: "A Lebanese officer spoke on condition of anonymity under military guidelines, said the clash occurred as Israeli troops tried to remove a tree from the Lebanese side of the border." No Israeli is quoted.

AP also missed explaining the story properly: "The violence apparently erupted over a move by Israeli soldiers to cut down a tree along the border, a sign of the high level of tensions at the frontier where Israel fought in 2006 with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah....There was no sign of any extensive Israeli preparations for a large-scale operation - an early indication the clash might not trigger a wider conflict."

By the way, AP was so "accurate" as to correct the name of their photographer but not the biased inaccuracy of its facts!
There's more too. Read the whole thing.

Even if the media were to correct their mistaken accounts (which is highly unlikely), the corrections never get anywhere near as much exposure as the originals. And so, yet again, the mainstream media cannot get the story straight.


At 12:11 AM, Blogger Sunlight said...

This is exactly what I was talking about when I posted the link to the Wyoming paper yesterday, where they had the AP caption that the IDF guys were cutting a tree on the Lebanese side of the border. To the Wyoming News site's credit, the link is now a 404 error redirect.


I don't know whether that means they figured out there was an error or the AP sent out a "pull the page" notice. Or maybe it just went behind the archives wall. But who cares because the damage is already done. Is there a way to sue AP for incitement when their participation on the side of people attacking Israel is causing huge death-resulting attitudes even among reasonable people all over the U.S.?

I was going to put together a summary for some people at U.S. policy think tanks who still rely on the AP, NYT, etc. for their "real" news, but then your link this morning had this:

"trim some bushes near the border, in our [Israeli] territory. It was on both sides of the border but still within [Israeli] territory."


I gave up because the story by Gen. Eizenkot is muddled (or is it a translation problem). Is it on "both sides of the border"? Or both sides of the access road fence, which is x meters inside the Israeli territory blue line border at that point.

So, unless the officials have the facts straight, there is a problem that drags on for days and is ultimately lost because the damage is huge. The story never makes the rounds that is needs to that an IDF work crew was ambushed, beginning with the sniper assassination of the task commanding officer well back from the border inside Israel.

At 12:54 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

As Barry Rubin noted, if the mass media cannot report a simple situation like that which happened yesterday accurately, how is it going to explain more complicated events in the Middle East?

Israel managed to get through this one. However, the IDF should assign Israeli reporters to all army units so they can dispatch whatever happens first to the world. Political warfare is too important to be left to a biased world media.

At 12:59 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


I don't recall what he said in Hebrew (the interview is up here somewhere), but I think he meant, "both sides of the fence, but our side of the border," which would make sense.

At 12:59 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


I don't recall what he said in Hebrew (the interview is up here somewhere), but I think he meant, "both sides of the fence, but our side of the border," which would make sense.

At 1:15 AM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Carl - Your evaluation does make sense. But the time goes by and only the choir pays attention to how it sorts out. Maybe we just need more editors working with the principals to make sure there isn't a missed detail that confuses the facts. Maybe this Gen. Avi Benayahu (link below) should be given message control over the other generals... they aren't allowed to speak without him there and then he can correct things as they go. He actually summarized it well here, although even he is too nice. Instead of "defies common sense", I would urge him to point out that this was a work crew clearing brush and their supervisor (commander) was just taken down by a sniper assassin's bullet with no provocation. He has xx children, a wife, etc. living without him tonight.:


"The real truth was laid out earlier by Gen. Avi Benayahu, the Israel army spokesman, who told Israel Radio:

'Our forces, in one of our positions, inside our own territory, were carrying out a task that was notified in advance to UNIFIL. The area is not disputed and is not claimed by Lebanon or anyone else,” he said. “The Lebanese army plainly and clearly opened fire in an unprecedented manner on Israeli soldiers, and our soldiers returned fire. It’s a clear provocation by sources within the Lebanese army. It’s an action that defies common sense.'"

At 1:19 AM, Blogger Sunlight said...

And, a mock up of this situation could be used to support the case for one of the purposes of the "settlement" apartment buildings in the hills around Jerusalem. Those hills would provide similar firing positions (and rocket launching sites) onto the civilian population of the city if the line of sight were handed over to the Palestinians. This could supplement the title search info I keep hammering for.


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