Western Media Parrots “Israeli” Lies: July 2006 War An Example
By Dr. Ibrahim al-Moussawi*
Western media generally has always played a pivotal role in misinforming rather misleading the public instead of supplying them with correct information and news; in short not telling them the truth.
All preaching and rhetoric of honesty, fairness, accuracy and transparency become obsolete, especially when it comes to our region and specifically to what used to be called the Arab Israeli conflict. To be more specific, the Western-backed ‘Israeli’ occupation to Palestine has the lions share in the field of propaganda. A propaganda which aims at polishing the ‘Israeli’ Image and distorting the Palestinian one.
This issue was not only limited to occupied Palestine and the resistance there but it has extended and stretched to include all those who resist or fight the US ‘Israeli’ occupation in any place in the region. Lebanon is not an exception.
The examples about the Western media bias towards ‘Israel’ are numerous. If we recall the ‘Israeli’ occupation of Lebanon we can find so many.
First and most importantly, the terminology.
The Western media presents ‘Israel’ as "a peaceful democratic ‘state’ which is always “defending itself against fanatic terrorists and dictator regimes and countries.” These definitions are not only misleading and incorrect but they are very dangerous because they justify the ‘Israeli’ continuous crimes against its enemies in most of the cases they are innocent civilians and children.
The big lie that ‘Israel’ and its Western allies tried to sell was that Palestine was empty without people and the ‘Israelis’ made a miracle as they came and turned the desert into a heaven on earth. This is the translation of the ‘Israeli’ slogan: a land without people to people without land.
In July 2006 war, the writer of this article has had the opportunity to meet scores of Western journalists from different European and American nationalities. I did so many interviews and answered hundreds of questions. It was a real and complete shock how most of the media personnel are grossly misinformed about the basics or the alphabet of the issue.
I had to inform many of them about the nature of the struggle and how it started and how does it unfold and manifest itself every now and then.
The ‘Israeli’ narrative is the one prevalent: “‘Israel’ is a civilized tolerant entity, it is a victim, and it is seeking to live in harmony, coexistence and peace with its surroundings, while its ‘enemies’ are pursuing every effort to destroy it.”
The ‘Israeli’ aggressions, incursions, occupations are crucial and necessary and they are actions of “self-defense.” ‘Israel’ resorted to them as a last choice and only after it has exhausted all other means.
The mainstream media in the West and in many so-called Arab outlets especially in the Gulf region has the ‘Israeli’ narrative as their official line of news. This is very telling about the size and severity of the distortion taking place.
If the journalists and media people who are supposed to inform people with accuracy about the real ongoing events and the facts are that ignorant, manipulated and biased, what one can expect from the average person in the street. This is a systematic distortion of facts with catastrophic consequences on many levels.
If the Western official line of media is biased to ‘Israel’ and telling lies to people to support ‘Israel’, then the responsibility of the informed activists and human rights advocates is very big. With the presence of social media and public applications and platforms the alternative media should be activated.
An urgent action is needed to be organized and coordinated by all those individuals and organizations who are fully aware of the situation to inform the world public about the real facts.
The task and mission performed by our media outlets as an axis of resistance is very distinguished and significant but it is not sufficient to strike the necessary balance with pro-‘Israeli’ media.
More voices are needed here, they are there we only need to make them join the circle to build our system and narrative. This is very urgent, crucial and vital now more than any time in the past.
*Dr. Ibrahim al-Moussawi is a Member of Hezbollah’s Bloc at the Lebanese Parliament. He is also a Professor of Media Studies and Social Studies at the Lebanese University. He obtained his PhD from the University of Birmingham, UK.