Latest update: July 15th, 2013
Repeat anything often enough, regardless of accuracy, and eventually it becomes engraved in people’s minds as the truth: “Lizzie Borden took an ax” and butchered her parents; Mama Cass choked to death on a ham sandwich; Israel launched a war on Lebanon in 2006.
A new and uglier variation on the “Israel invaded Lebanon” myth appeared recently in inaccurate, inflammatory headlines posted by leading media outlets in the United Kingdom that have a history of bending the facts to fit a predetermined storyline in which it’s always the Jews poisoning the Middle East well.
“Olmert ‘planned Lebanon war before soldiers’ kidnap’” was the Independent’s headline of a story about a leak of the prime minister’s testimony to the Winograd Commission. Countless Internet readers, who tend to scan news sites for a quick overview, no doubt read and believed the eye-opening headline without stopping to carefully read the part about what Olmert actually said – testimony that dramatically contradicts the headline, if one reads far enough into the story.
Six paragraphs down, the article says Olmert “had decided that in the event of abductions [emphasis added] there should be air attacks, accompanied by a limited ground operation. He told the military that he wanted to decide ahead of any such event rather than make a snap decision at the time” – in other words, nothing more than a plan to respond if attacked. Having no military strategy against a heavily armed terrorist army with announced genocidal aims would have been gross negligence.
Similarly, the BBC announced on its website, “PM says Israel pre-planned war.” Reuters carried the headline “Israeli PM says Lebanon war was pre-planned: report,” and the article’s lead sentence painted Olmert as the initiator of hostilities who “launched last year’s war against Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon…” The next phrase, “…in line with a contingency plan…” begins to hint at the reality that the plan was for self-defense.
The Guardian headlined the story “Israel planned for Lebanon war months in advance, PM says,” and on the same day, published “A Predator Is More Dangerous When Wounded,” by Noam Chomsky – and it’s a sure bet that this author’s “predator” can only be one of two countries and that they’re not the genocidal regimes of Communist China and jihadist Sudan.
Chomsky’s predator in this case is the U.S. in relation to Iran (whose poor leader has been mistranslated and “demonized,” he complains), but he also changes the subject in order to repeat a familiar mantra, reminding readers that “Israel invaded Lebanon…”
Even though Chomsky’s outspoken endorsement of neo-Nazi Holocaust denial, and encouragement of Hizbullah terrorists in a visit he paid them shortly before they launched their killing spree last year, have been well-documented, the article lends credibility to what playwright David Mamet recently called Chomsky’s anti-Semitic “filth” by identifying him to unknowing readers simply as an author.
(The U.S. is not immune to the same madness. The PBS program “Now” urged viewers to read its worshipful interview with “esteemed intellectual” Chomsky on its website, where it still appears, paid for by our tax dollars.)
Because these media outlets are widely considered “mainstream,” they lend an aura of respectability to defamatory falsehoods that are eagerly picked up and posted on numerous websites of the strange new hate alliance – radical leftists, neo-Nazis, and Islamic extremists.
Tragically, the latest anti-Israel smear is business as usual. This is the same BBC whose correspondent openly wept because the biggest serial killer of Jews since Hitler, Yasir Arafat, was dying; the same Reuters whose global managing editor admitted, incredibly, that their pro-terrorist slant stemmed from a fear that doing otherwise might anger the terrorists and thus “endanger its reporters;” the same Independent whose Robert Fisk blamed Israel and the United States for the 9/11 attacks the day after they occurred; the same Guardian that printed the delightful “Israel Simply Has No Right to Exist.”
The bias appeared to reach its lowest point with the reporting of outright falsehoods last year. Describing what she termed the BBC’s “sickening role” in demonizing Israel following the murders and kidnapping of its soldiers, author/journalist Melanie Phillips noted that the news service “denied the fact that Israeli soldiers had been kidnapped on Israel’s own soil, calling the kidnapping of Cpl Shalit a ‘capture in [sic] Gaza’ and the kidnap of the two soldiers in the north of Israel a capture in ‘south Lebanon.’”
(Last year the BBC commissioned a review of its Israeli-Palestinian coverage and concluded that its reporting needed improvement because it was too soft on Israel.)
London’s Daily Mail reported last month that “attacks on Britain’s Jews have risen to the highest level since records began.” How many of these hate crimes were inspired to some degree by daily reporting that misinforms and incites?
The beliefs and attitudes that erupt into violence do not arise in a vacuum – even in “civilized” nations, many are being slowly, surely trained to associate Israel and Jews with the modern blood libels of “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” “genocide” and “planned invasion of Lebanon.”
In a recent BBC World Service-commissioned poll, asking 28,000 people in 27 countries to rate 12 countries and the European Union as positive or negative influences, respondents ranked Israel as the most negative of the nations, beneath Iran and North Korea.
Perhaps the woman carrying the sign at last year’s London march proclaiming “We are all Hezbollah now” was not evil, but simply misinformed, accepting without question the upside-down, Orwellian version of reality she had been fed.
Israel risks going down in history as the Lizzie Borden of nations, demonized forever as the truth is drowned out by endless declarations of its guilt. In reality, Miss Borden was found not guilty on all counts, but who remembers or cares?
About the Author: Edward Olshaker is a longtime freelance journalist whose work has appeared in various publications and websites including History News Network, American Thinker, FrontPageMagazine and The Jewish Press.
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