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Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 04:59:17 -0500
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>>> Item number 7722, dated 96/05/11 03:36:50 -- ALL
Date: Sat, 11 May 1996 03:36:50 GMT
Reply-To: rbleier@igc.apc.org
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU>
From: rbleier@igc.apc.org
Subject: Cockburn: Media Treatment of Israeli Lebanon Attack

Israel's Blitzkreig (excerpt)

By Alexander Cockburn, The Nation, 20 May 1996

NOTE: The following excerpt is from Alexander Cockburn's Beat the Devil column in The Nation, May 20, 1996 (which was actually delivered to subscribers by May 1).

Amid the Israeli onslaught on Lebanon, ABC's This Week with David Brinkley managed the astonishing feat of featuring Secretary of State Warren Christopher in an exchange of platitudes into which the difficult word Israel never substantively intruded. For its part, NPR described the onslaught as a conflict which would be like describing the Nazi invasion of Poland as a mutual exhcange of hostilities. After the Israelis had killed seven women and children in an ambulance and 105 in the refugee camp, Jim Leherer said on his NewsHour that the struggle between Israel and Hezbollah continued, with fatalities now numbering 160 on both sides. [ed.'s note: There were no Israeli fatalities in connection with the 16 day Israeli barrage in April 1996. There were about 30 Israeli wounded, two seriously.]

Edward Said calls it `the worst American coverage I've ever seen, which is saying a lot. The New York Times ran not a single Op-Ed or editorial that was critical of Israel, and its coverage wad dictated, virtually word for word, to its correspondent Serge Schmemann by Israeli foreign and defense ministry officials. Theirs was the only perspective on the onslaught permitted.'

The Hezbollah, naturally, was offered as an Iran-backed, Syrian-manipulated terror gang. But why shouldn't Hezbollah exercise the right of resistance against an illegal Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon (the security zone) that has lasted for fifteen years? You would not know from the coverage that Hezbollah is a political party that has elected representatives in the Lebanese Parliament.

Ted Koppel, always a tiger when interrogating the lowly, was meek as a lamb wehn Shimon Peres had the effrontery to inform the Nightline audience that he had never heard the story that the United Nations had repeatedly warned the Israeli forces that there were refugees in the Fijian camp at Qana and that on no account should they approach. After Peres's brazen lie, Koppel deferentially held his tongue. CNN's Judith Miller actually blamed Hezbollah for the Israeli attack on Qana, saying it had put the women and children there to tempt Israel, the same way she writes drivel in order to tempt one to acts of violence.