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The Media has been Apologizing for Hezbollah and Lebanon for Six Years: Case in Point, the Financial Times

Full text of "Palestinians hear Hizbollah message," reprinted from Financial Times, 28 October 2000

Comments by Jared Israel:

* "Financial Times Does Public Relations (PR) Work for Hezbollah..."

* "...and for Syria and Lebanon as well"

* "More Financial Times PR for Hezbollah and Lebanon"

* "Propaganda Without Shame, a Self-Improvement Manual"

==============================================

It is increasingly clear that Hezbollah has played a key role in the onslaught of violence known as the second intifada. Not only did Hezbollah's TV station, Al Manar, broadcast Hassan Nasrallah's call on Palestinian Arabs to launch a campaign of unpredictable terror against Israeli Jews -

"Let a (Palestinian) reach a settler, let him stab him fiercely and let him die afterwards. They (Israelis) love worldly matters, we love martyrdom. Hit them in their weak points," he shouted as thousands chanted: "Allahu Akbar," or God is greatest.

-- Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, quoted by Agence France Presse, 4 October 2000 [1]

-  but in addition, a top leader of Al Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades publicly admitted that Hezbollah's weapons, money and coordination have made West Bank terror possible. [2]

The Western media, which for the most part reported nothing about Nasrallah's call for Arabs to murder Jews, has accepted the Palestinian Authority claim that the second intifada was justified as a spontaneous response to the "provocation" of Ariel Sharon's September 2000 visit to the Temple Mount. [3]

For his part, Nasrallah did not dwell on the 'we're-doing-it-because-of Sharon's-visit' claim. Rather, in addressing his Arabic-speaking audience, he got right to the point: his proposed campaign of terror was justified because it would drive Jews from the Mideast and thereby destroy Israel:

"'The rule is: you kill and then you die. You will see that the results will be different...The Falasha Jew will say: I prefer hunger in Ethiopia to knives in Palestine, and the Russian Jew will say: I prefer to earn 50 dollars a month and then he will pack his belongings and leave.'" -- Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, quoted by Agence France Presse, 4 October 2000 [4]

The Financial Times article posted below was one of the few that mentioned Nasrallah's call for Arabs to plunge their knives into the chests of Israelis.  Yet the article was written in such a way as to a) frame Nasrallah's call for merciless holy war as a call for using violence as a negotiating tactic, and b) present Hezbollah's ongoing attack on Israeli soldiers and civilians in the Shebaa Farms area and in Northern Israel as legal because, the Times falsely claimed, Israel did not comply with the UN terms for withdrawal from Lebanon.

The strategy of Islamist terror has two goals: the first is to intimidate the target population. The second is to convince ordinary people worldwide that the terrorists have been driven to desperate deeds by oppression by a supposed Jewish conspiracy.  This second goal cannot succeed absent the help of the international media.  In 2000 those fomenting terror needed to tell Arabs that Jews are monsters, that they should be driven from the Mideast (if not the world) and that an offensive strategy of terror would accomplish  these goals.  But at the same time, they needed to tell the rest of the world that Arab terror was fundamentally defensive - something Arabs were driven to out of desperation, because all other methods had failed to win redress of legitimate grievances from the supposed Jewish oppressors. The Financial Times article below set a media standard in apologizing for the Arab terror of the past six years.

Jared Israel
Editor, Emperor's Clothes

===============================================

"Palestinians hear Hizbollah message: The Islamic group is promoting its ideas about waging war on Israel beyond its Lebanese heartland," Financial Times, 28 October 2000

Source: "Middle East & Africa: Palestinians hear Hizbollah message: The Islamic group is promoting its ideas about waging war on Israel beyond its Lebanese heartland", Financial Times (London, England), October 28, 2000, Saturday, Middle East & Africa, Pg. 7, by Gareth Smyth
(As archived by Lexis-Nexis)

===============================================

The Hizbollah flag flies not just in its strongholds in Lebanon these days but in the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank.

The word "Hizbollah" is written across the flag, and its tall central letter, the Arabic "lam", holds high an AK47, symbolising the belief that force is the only language the Israelis understand.

It is a message that "the party of God" is keen to preach to the Palestinians. Hizbollah's satellite TV channel Al-Manar continues to beam into the Palestinian territories a clip of its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, urging Palestinians to "carry a knife and fiercely stab a settler".

[Comment: "Financial Times Does Public Relations (PR) Work for Hezbollah..." starts here]

The above text is the first but not the only example of how this article distorts the facts to justify a terrorist offensive. The expression, 'force is the only language X understands,' is commonly used to suggest that X is unwilling to resolve some dispute through peaceful means and that the only way to get X to meet halfway or otherwise behave reasonably is through violence. Thus, if, during a coal miners' strike, the mine owners bring in armed thugs, the strikers might advocate arming picketers because the mine owners can only be expected to bargain reasonably after their thugs are defeated.  But what is the change in behavior or reasonable concession in pursuit of which Hezbollah "is keen to preach to the Palestinians" the necessity of force? Let us let Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah explain:

[Excerpt from 4 October 2000 Agence France Presse dispatch starts here]

"Let a (Palestinian) reach a settler, let him stab him fiercely and let him die afterwards. They (Israelis) love worldly matters, we love martyrdom. Hit them in their weak points," he shouted as thousands chanted: "Allahu Akbar," or God is greatest.

"The rule is: you kill and then you die. You will see that the results will be different," he said in a fiery speech that immediately drew many live phone calls from Gaza and Jordan to express "gratitude" to Nasrallah's stand and vows to "follow his heroic path."

[Excerpt from 4 October 2000 Agence France Presse dispatch ends here]

And again:

"[Nasrallah said] 'The Falasha [i.e., black Ethiopian] Jew will say: I prefer hunger in Ethiopia to knives in Palestine, and the Russian Jew will say: I prefer to earn 50 dollars a month and then he will pack his belongings and leave.'"
-- Agence France Presse, 4 October 2000

So the goal for which "Hizbollah's satellite TV channel Al-Manar continues to beam into the Palestinian territories a clip of its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, urging Palestinians to 'carry a knife and fiercely stab a settler'" was not some concession or redress of grievances, as implied by the Financial Times. Rather, the goal was to turn life for Israeli Jews into a nightmare in which any Jew might at any time be murdered by a religious fanatic who "love[d] martyrdom" - i.e., death. The "grievance" therefore was the existence of Israel and 'redress' meant frightening the Jewish population into flight. - JI

[Comment: "Financial Times Does Public Relations (PR) for Hezbollah..." ends here]

Sheikh Nasrallah advises the Palestinians to form small cells for such operations. "If one is arrested he can inform on only one or two other people. There is no need for a central command structure."

The Palestinians are listening. Ahmad Yassin, head of the Palestinian Islamist organisation, has been calling on Yassir Arafat, the Palestinian leader, to back operations against Israel in the same way that the Lebanese government backed Hizbollah.

Hizbollah's example is not just words. The group now holds three Israeli soldiers and Elhanan Tannenbaum, a man it claims is a colonel in Mossad, Israel's intelligence service. It intends to trade them for prisoners held in Israeli jails.

The seizure of the three soldiers at Shebaa Farms, an area occupied by Israel on the Lebanese-Syrian border, and the colonel, in circumstances that remain unclear, has reinforced Hizbollah's stature in the Arab world.

But in asking for the release of Palestinian prisoners, it is moving beyond the role of a national resistance movement and thereby threatening the basis of its support from the Lebanese and Syrian governments.

[Comment: "...and for Syria and Lebanon as well," starts here]

The Times alternates between PR for Hezbollah and PR for Lebanon and Syria.   Earlier, they misdescribed Hezbollah's call to drive Israelis from Israel through terror as a call for Palestinian Arabs to use violence to gain concessions from stubborn Israelis.  Now they suggest that Lebanon and even Syria have only backed Hezbollah insofar as the latter fought strictly for national goals.  What  national goals?  Was Syria concerned about Lebanese national goals?  On the contrary, Syria has never abandoned the stance that Lebanon is rightfully part of Syria, from which it follows that Lebanon has no valid national goals.  As for  Hezbollah's incitement of Palestinian Arabs endangering Lebanese government support for Hezbollah, consider what a Lebanese Cabinet Minister told a million-odd TV viewers on 19 October 2000 on the US news program Nightline.

Speaking of Hezbollah's TV station, Al Manar, Nightline reporter Sheila MacVicar asked "So just what kind of messages are they putting on the air?" She noted that Al Manar was broadcasting Sheikh Nasrallah's call to Palestinian Arabs to knife Israelis.

MacVicar asked three people about this - first, the manager of Al Manar; then the editor of the Lebanese English language newspaper, The Daily Star; and last, a Lebanese government cabinet member, the Minister of Information.  Below is the relevant text. A longer excerpt from the transcript is published at
http://emperors-clothes.com/archive/nightline.htm

 [Excerpt from Nightline, 19 October 2000 starts here]

MacVICAR (OC, or OFF CAMERA) Do you think you are inflaming the situation?

Mr. KRAYEM: (Foreign language spoken)

MacVICAR: (VO, or VOICEOVER) 'It's not about incitement,' says Mr. Krayem. 'It's about the people's right to regain their land.'

Mr. [Jamil] MROUE [of the Lebanese newspaper, The Daily Star]: They capitalize on the emotional side that will push a few people to go that one extra step of hatred.

Mr. ANWAR EL KHALIL (Lebanese Minister of Information): Why do we call them messages of hate?

MacVICAR: (VO) Anwar el Khalil is the Lebanese minister of information. His department regulates and licenses television stations, including Al Manar. [My emphasis-JI]

(OC) We're talking about messages which suggest that if you don't have a gun, you should take a knife.

Mr. KHALIL: I believe that these are really minor issues that cannot be the basic problems of the area. These are messages...

MacVICAR: Then what are?

Mr. KHALIL: These are politically--tools that are used.

[

[Excerpt from Nightline, 19 October 2000 ends here]

So much for Lebanon supporting Hezbollah only insofar as it pursued national goals.

[Comment: "...and for Syria and Lebanon as well," ends here]

"The principal responsibility for liberating their own land is with the Palestinians, not with Hizbollah," said Mohammed Raad, head of Hizbollah's politburo. "But when we can serve the Palestinian cause while maintaining Lebanese national interest, nobody will stand as an obstacle."

Born in the bloody aftermath of Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon, Hizbollah gradually became a force that fought the Israelis with precision.

Meanwhile, the Israeli media, despite military censorship, was reflecting an increasing war weariness. The campaign in Israel to bring their soldiers home contrasted with the commitment of Hizbollah fighters. The paintings of fallen "martyrs" on walls in south Lebanese villages are often adorned with words from the

Koran: "Should I cry for you or for the living?"

The disorderly withdrawal in May of Israeli troops from Lebanon, ending a 22-year occupation, sent waves around the Arab world. "Hizbollah are being portrayed as heroes, while the Palestinians look like losers," noted Mr Arafat.

Many Hizbollah leaders trained either in Iran or in the Shia holy cities of southern Iraq. All see the struggle for Jerusalem - home to the al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest shrine in Islam - as the concern of all Muslims.

But Hizbollah has strongly portrayed itself as a movement of Lebanese nationalism, and on this basis has enjoyed support from the Lebanese and Syrian governments.

Since the Israelis left south Lebanon in May, both Hizbollah and the Lebanese government have said that the withdrawal could not be considered complete as long as Israel remained in Shebaa Farms and held Lebanese prisoners. Its seizure of the four Israelis, Hizbollah argues, is legal.

The three soldiers taken on October 7 were on territory that Israel occupies in defiance of UN resolutions.

[Comment, "More Financial Times PR for Hezbollah and Lebanon," starts here]

The two paragraphs above are spectacular.  There are indeed many UN resolutions which chide Israel for alleged actions in what the UN calls occupied Arab territories.  There is none that I can find that specifically demands Israel withdraw from the Golan heights, of which the Shebaa Farms area is an internationally recognized part. In any case, there is also the famous UN Security Council resolution 242,[5] which deals directly with the territories Israel seized during the 1967 war (including the Golan Heights) and which, while calling for "withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from [unspecified - JI] territories occupied in the recent conflict," also calls for:

"Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force."
---
http://tinyurl.com/ds2u3

This clause is certainly violated by Lebanon, whose government, according to the Financial Times article we are studying, "backed Hezbollah," which incites Palestinian Arabs to murder Jews, proclaiming:

"Our commitment to the resistance - its rifles, bullets and the blood of its martyrs - is represented in seeking death to Israel."
[my emphasis - JI]
-- Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah
http://emperors-clothes.com/nasr.htm#seeking

In any event, the Financial Times assertion that the Israeli soldiers kidnapped on 7 October 2000 "were on territory [known as Shebaa Farms ] that Israel occupies in defiance of UN resolutions" told readers that the UN supported the Lebanese government/Hezbollah claim that Israel never fully withdrew from Lebanon because it still occupied Shebaa Farms. 

How could the writer and the editors of the Financial Times all be unaware that, just a few months earlier, the UN publicly confirmed Israel's withdrawal behind a line determined by the UN?

Noting that Lebanon had reservations about the UN's 'blue line,' because it left Shebaa Farms in Israeli hands, Secretary General Kofi Annan reported that both Lebanon and Israel had agreed to accept the UN withdrawal line despite any reservations. The relevant UN Security Council Press Release, entitled "Security Council Endorses Secretary-Generalís Conclusion on Israeli Withdrawal from Lebanon as of 16 June," includes the following:

[Excerpts from UN Security Council's 18 June 2000 Press Release starts here]

[...] the Secretary-General advises that Israel has met the requirements established in his 22 May report for the implementation of resolution 425. Those requirements were that Israel completely withdraw from Lebanese territory, that the Israeli auxiliary force known as the South Lebanon Army (SLA) be dismantled, and that all detainees in Al-Khiam prison be released.

[...]

[The Secretary General's report described Lebanese, Israeli and Syrian government objections to the UN's withdrawal line.  Among these objections:] Concerning the Shab'a farmlands, both Lebanon and Syria state that this land belongs to Lebanon. [...] Notwithstanding their reservations, both governments [apparently meaning Israel and Lebanon, not Syria and Lebanon] have confirmed that establishing the identifying line was the sole responsibility of the United Nations, the Secretary-General notes, and that they would respect the line the United Nations' identified.

[The Press release included a statement by then Security Council President Jean-David Levitte  of France that: ] "The Security Council welcomes with satisfaction the report of the Secretary-General of 16 June 2000 (S/2000/590) and endorses the work done by the United Nations as mandated by the Security Council, including the Secretary- General's conclusion that as of 16 June 2000 Israel has withdrawn its forces from Lebanon in accordance with resolution 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978 and met the requirements defined in the Secretary-Generalís report of 22 May 2000 (S/2000/460). In this regard, the Council notes that Israel and Lebanon have confirmed to the Secretary-General, as referred to in his report of 16 June 2000 (S/2000/590), that identifying the withdrawal line was solely the responsibility of the United Nations and that they will respect the line as identified."

[...]

--The full text of this Press Release is at: http://www.un.org...2000....sc6878.doc.html
and is archived at:
http://www.tenc.net/archive/unsc6878.htm

[Quote from UN Security Council Press Release SC/6878 of 18 June 2000 ends here]

So, the three soldiers whom Hezbollah kidnapped on 7 October were not "on territory that Israel occupies in defiance of UN resolutions." They were on territory Israel withdrew to in fulfillment of a UN-brokered deal that, according to the UN, Lebanon agreed to respect, despite its stated reservations about Shebaa farms and other issues.

I will deal with UN and Shebaa (or Shabaa or Shab'a) Farms more thoroughly in the future. For now let me point out that the Financial Times deliberately misled its readers, falsely suggesting that Hezbollah's campaign of anti-Israeli terror and incitement of terror, a campaign supported and aided by the governments of Lebanon, Syria, and of course Iran, was legal.

[Comment, "More PR work for Hezbollah and Lebanon," ends here]

When Ehud Barak, the Israeli premier, claimed earlier this month that Mr Tannenbaum was captured in Europe, Sheikh Nasrallah replied that the capture was legitimate as Mr Tannenbaum was apprehended on Lebanese territory.

For many Arabs the details are less important than the simple success in confronting Israel's might.

"Why need we be afraid?" asked Walid Jumblatt, the Lebanese Druze leader, "when a small unit of Hizbollah members can destroy the Israeli military machine?"

[Comment, "Propaganda Without Shame, a Self-Improvement Manual," starts here]

 On the one hand, the propaganda value for Arab extremism of the May 2000 Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, carried out by the Israeli government under international pressure, without commitments from Lebanon, carried out hurriedly because of declining Israeli public support for withdrawal - the effect of this in permitting Hezbollah and others to present the withdrawal as proof of Hezbollah's strength and Israel's weakness should not be downplayed. On the other hand, it is remarkable how effortlessly Lebanese politicians can jump from claims that "a small unit of Hezbollah members can destroy the Israeli military machine" to the claim they have made during the current war, that Israel is a monstrously great military power, battering helpless Lebanon - and this in 2006, after Hezbollah had six years of unrestricted training and weapons importation from Iran. Whatever happened to the Jews who would flee the moment Palestinian Arabs brandished a knife?

[Comment ,"Propaganda Without Shame, a Self-Improvement Manual," ends here]

Copyright 2000 The Financial Times Limited * Posted for Fair Use Only

Footnotes and Further Reading follows the fundraising appeal

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 Footnotes and Further Reading

=====================================

[1]  "Hezbollah calls for Palestinian armed resistance against Israel," Agence France Presse -- English, October 4, 2000, Wednesday, International news, 858 words, Beirut, Oct 4

-- For a critique of AFP's use of the term "resistance" to describe what Hezbollah leader Nasrallah advocated, see "Agence France Presse Adopts Hezbollah's View," at
http://emperors-clothes.com/archive/hez.htm#adopts

[2] The admission, made in an  interview with the German paper, Welt am Sonntag, can be read at
http://emperors-clothes.com/interviews/zubeidi.htm
We have posted the full text in German and have translated a long, unabridged excerpt into English.

[3]  At a meeting of the UN Security Council on 18 December 2000, two and a half months after the start of the second so-called intifada, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Yehuda Lancry cited a statement by the Palestinian Authority Transportation Minister to the effect that, under Yasar Arafat's leadership, the second intifada was carefully organized well before Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount. In other words, the visit was used as a phony excuse for what was falsely presented as a spontaneous popular response.

Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah has sometimes presented his call for violence as an attack on the PLO's supposed strategy of negotiations.  But Lancry argues that Yasar Arafat's strategy was to create a "variable-intensity conflict," combining negotiations and terror. Ambassador Lancry's testimony, which went unopposed by the representatives of Tunisia and Malaysia, can be read here:
http://tinyurl.com/m36ln

Ambassador Lancry's October 2000 letter to UN Secretary Kofi Annan about Arab strategy can be read here:
http://tinyurl.com/qaftr

 [4] "Hezbollah calls for Palestinian armed resistance against Israel," Agence France Presse -- English, October 4, 2000, Wednesday, International news, 858 words, Beirut, Oct 4

-- For a critique of AFP's use of the term "resistance" to describe what Hezbollah leader Nasrallah advocated, see "Agence France Presse Adopts Hezbollah's View," at
http://emperors-clothes.com/archive/hez.htm#adopts

[5]Eugene Rostow, who was U.S. Undersecretary of State when Resolution 242 was negotiated and passed by the UN Security Council, wrote two informative New Republic articles analyzing Resolution 242, what it means regarding the West Bank and Gaza, and so on. We will post them as soon as possible. When posted, they will be accessible at
http://emperors-clothes.com/archive/rostow.htm

Please forward this text or send the link to a friend.
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