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Fact or Fiction?

GS Don Morris, Ph.D.
July 15, 2006

It took but 4 days and the international media and many western leaders started to direct the events unfolding here in Israel. You now, on your talk radio and on many news stations, are being told that Israel is the aggressor. Online there are multiple polls to determine if you think Israel has a right to go into Lebanon. The Pope asks that we stand down; the French say we are collectively punishing the innocent people of Lebanon, and the usual suspects have all indicated we are "disproportionately" responding. Here's the last thing you hear: Israel, a sovereign nation, was illegally attacked by a terrorist group operating with full governmental permission inside Lebanon. Hizzbollah is part of the official Lebanese government. In addition, no context for our response is heard on the media nor does any of the so-called polls frame their questions with this perspective stated.

According to this same set of international laws being incorrectly bantered about by pundits and terrorist spokesmen, Israel must protect its citizens and respond-yes, we, Israel, would be in violation if we did not respond. Israel did what any other country would do if they found themselves in the same position. It is easier for the media and officials to call us names, this requires no facts, no energy to determine what the truth may be and it enables you to garner headlines all over the world. Before you believe what is being reported, the other side must provide you "facts on the ground".

You are not seeing this because media outlets are choosing not to show you and/or to not present these facts to you. I know for a fact that the major media outlets are provided the video footage; the information that I have shared with you in this short message-you might inquire why the editors or producers are turning a blind eye to the facts.

I am likewise not suggesting that Israel has not killed innocents. The one distinct difference is that it is not our policy to target civilians. The truth is we are at war, in a war, and war is ugly and despicable. This is why Israel has done its level best to avoid this "confrontation". It now appears that the puppet master of Hizzbollah is directly responsible for its beginning. Notice how the entire world, the leaders and their "people" at the G8 Summit have had their attention directed away from what was to be the main topic-Iran's emerging nuclear capability. Additionally Syria has had the international community's attention turned away from its up coming results of the inquiry into its participation into the murder of one of Lebanon's leaders. Perhaps it would behoove the media to question these players as to their motives.

Finally, to suggest that we are "collectively punishing" the people of Lebanon demonstrates the ignorance and/or the naivete of the press and those who believe everything they hear. Why has this same media not applied the same behavior standard to Hizzbollah-are they not collectively punishing Israeli citizens for upsets it says it has with the Israeli government? Why has the media also not queried Hizzbollah about their disproportionate response to our actions-simply a desire to secure the return of our soldiers? Again I remind you, the soldiers they kidnapped in the first place. Why no outrage with their behavior?

The use of the terms "collective punishment and proportionality" are bankrupt concepts when it comes to war. I understand their meanings and their applications-I simply argue that they are used to homogenize one of human beings most grotesque behaviors: destruction and killing via war! I suggest these have become code words for bashing Israel in a sophisticated manner that plays to each media's base.

So I ask those who have jumped on the "bandwagon" called misrepresentation of the conflict if you were under fire every day and the citizens you vowed to protect were being wounded and killed, what would you do? Talk? You actually believe that you can talk to a group of terrorists to return the soldiers they kidnapped? Remember, this is the same group who has as its policy the destruction of Israel, you really believe you can talk them into returning your soldiers? If you do, then I have a bridge for sale.

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