Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Soldiers with Hobbies and Children Without Names

As many of you know, As'ad Abu-Khalil has been posting photos of the civilian victims of Israel's bombs, the newest of which can be seen here and here. I have asked for and obtained his permission for copying and dissemenating these photographs. It is the responsibility of the "free" press to show us the victims on both sides, but since the lives of only some people are important for the U.S. press, I guess we should be showing them what they should be showing us.

Radio news has been no better, and I was so infuriated at what I just heard on the American broadcast of BBC world
, that I wrote them a note. If you happened to catch their show today and want to hold them accountable for their one-sided reports, I hope you will write them as well.

And here is my letter, in case you are interested:

I am listening with interest to your coverage of Israel's attacks on Lebanon, which so far has included a piece on Iranian hardliners' demonstrations in support of Hizbollah and a rather extensive interview with a brother (an ex-soldier himself) of one the captured Israeli soldiers. We hear that this soldier, whom your interviewer endearingly calls by his nickname, is a newly-wed who likes bikes and the ocean, and is overall a stand-up guy.

Yet as dozens of innocent Lebanese are being killed on daily basis by Israel, your program has given them but a passing thought. They remain nameless, voiceless. The only time your interviewer notes Lebanese victims is as an aside, using the occasion to get her Israeli interlocuter to display his humanity. She asks him what he thinks about what the Lebanese are enduring, thus giving him a platform for repeating empty claims about Israel's quest for peace.

This may be an alien concept for your journalists, but if they want to assess the situation for Lebanese civilians under attack, it is a good idea to speak to the civilians themselves rather than to the ex-soldiers of an army that has been relentlessly attacking them for the last several days.