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At start of 2nd Intifada, a Lebanese government spokesman backed Hezbollah's call for Palestinian terrorists to murder Jews and its attack on Israel's northern border

Excerpt from Transcript of ABC TV Program, Nightline, 19 October 2000

Comments by Jared Israel:

* Does MacVicar Coordinate Misrepresentations with the (London) Financial Times?

* On the Matter of Shebaa Farms

* Is Nightline Paid by the Misrepresentation?

Source: "Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah And Hezbollah Claim Right To Israeli Land And Decry Bias Of Americans Towards Israel," ABC News, ABC News: Nightline (11:35 PM AM ET), October 19, 2000, Thursday, 3292 words, Ted Koppel, Jim Wootenso
Exactly as archived by Lexis-Nexis


On 19 October 2000, the US TV news program Nightline was devoted to Lebanon.  Below I have excerpted the part of the program in which Nightline reporter Sheila MacVicar asked prominent Lebanese about Hezbollah chief Nasrallah's 4 October 2000 speech calling for Palestinian Arabs to murder Israeli Jews, a speech re-broadcast many times on Hezbollah's TV station, Al Manar. (For more on Nasrallah's 4 October 2000 speech go to )

Especially noteworthy are the remarks made by Anwar el Khalil, Lebanon's Minister of Information, whose "department regulates and licenses television stations, including Al Manar," and whose responsibilities included representing the positions of the Lebanese government before the media. El Khalil told MacVicar he had no problem with Al Manar's incitement to murder Jews and he endorsed Hezbollah's kidnapping of Israelis.  I have highlighted these remarks. 

I have also posted three comments. One concerns the Shebaa Farms dispute, which has provided the rationale for Hezbollah's attacks on Israel, and Lebanese government support for those attacks. My comment includes a quote from Lebanese Prime Minister Siniora who says, matter-of-factly, that Lebanon has never really legally pursued its claim that Shebaa Farms is part of Lebanon. Quite a statement, given that Lebanon's claim of sovereignty over Shebaa Farms has been Lebanon's the justification for six years of attacks on northern Israel, the kidnapping and murder of Israeli soldiers, terrorist raids into Israel, and so on. To read a report on Prime Minister Siniora's unreserved endorsement of Hezbollah, following his appointment as Prime Minister in July 2005, see "Lebanese Cabinet faces House debate," in Lebanon's Daily Star, 29 July 2005. The full text is archived at

Jared Israel
Editor, Emperor's Clothes


Excerpt from ABC TV program Nightline, 19 October 2000
Source: Lexis-Nexis. This
excerpt is internally unabridged.


MacVICAR: (VO or Voiceover) May 2000. Suddenly, after 22 years of occupation, the Israelis left. Hezbollah played the role of liberator. The Israelis were greatly relieved and the people jubilant.

Unidentified Man #1: (Foreign language spoken)

MacVICAR: (VO) 'We have liberated the south,' he says. 'Next we'll liberate Jerusalem.' And over and over they said, 'We are the only Arab nation to have beaten the Israelis.'

(OC or Off Camera) It was a lesson for Palestinians in the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, a lesson that Hezbollah is now exporting via the airwaves. Israel, they say, responds only to the use of force. Engage the Israelis in violent confrontation, they argue, and you can win your battle.

[Comment, "Does MacVicar Coordinate Misrepresentations with the (London) Financial Times?" starts here]

Saying that some opponent "responds only to force" suggests that in pursuing a specific goal, force is the only way to get said opponent to be reasonable, and/or to institute some long-overdue reform, and/or to stop being rigid and accept compromise.  Thus, by claiming that Hezbollah told Arabs that Israel "responds only to force," Nightline was suggesting that Hezbollah has advocated violence in order to get Israel to budge from some inflexible stance.

But that is false.  As Hezbollah leader Nasrallah made clear in the 4 October 2000 speech to which Nightline refers, Hezbollah's idea was for Palestinian Arabs to institute a campaign of random terror, certainly counter-productive if the goal were to win some needed reform, but grimly logical if the goal was to destabilize Israeli society

And that is exactly what Hezbollah's Nasrallah said.  Calling on Palestinian Arabs to kill Israelis and then die - i.e., to engage in suicide terror - Nasrallah promised that:

"'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

For Nasrallah, the point of violence was not to shock Israelis into taking seriously some grievance but to make Israel unlivable, thereby destroying the Jewish state.

The Nightline program aired on 19 October 2000.  Nine days later, another important media voice, the (London) Financial Times, made much the same point about Nasrallah's speech. The Financial Times piece began:

[Excerpt from Financial Times starts here]

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".

--"Palestinians hear Hizbollah message" Financial Times, 28 October 2000  Posted in full at 

[Excerpt from Financial Times ends here]

So, in the fall of 2000, at the wstart of the current six year campaign of Arab terror, both Nightline and the Financial Times falsely described Hezbollah's message as "force is the only language the Israelis understand," i.e., that violence was needed to stun Israel into taking seriously and alleviating some grievances. This falsification of Hezbollah's goal coincides with the media's replacement, over the past six years, of the word 'terrorist' with the word 'militant.' Historically, 'militant' was used to describe people (especially trade unionists) who advocated tough measures to redress working class suffering. Thus the switch from 'terrorist' to 'militant' creates the impression of similarity between Arab terrorists and trade union activists who are fighting for the underdog.  But, as I have noted in my comment on the Financial Times article: "The [stated] 'grievance' was the existence of Israel and 'redress' meant frightening the Jewish population into flight."

[Comment, "Does MacVicar Coordinate Misrepresentations with the (London) Financial Times?" ends here]

(VO) Hezbollah has added a new weapon to the struggle between Israelis and Palestinians, beamed from Beirut via satellite to the Middle East and Europe. Three weeks ago Almanar TV began broadcasting 18 hours a day. They claim 15 million people are now watching every day.

Nayef Krayem is the general manager.

Mr. NAYEF KRAYEM: (Foreign language spoken)

MacVICAR: (VO) 'We are stressing to the Palestinians that they should struggle for their freedom,' he says, 'and Lebanon is a good example.' So just what kind of messages are they putting on the air?

(Clip shown of Hezbollah video)

MacVICAR: (VO) There's a video that equates the behavior of the Israelis with Nazi Germany. And then there is this, a new speech from Hezbollah leader Sheikh Nasrallah. 'Put a knife in your shirt,' says the sheik, 'then get close to an Israeli occupier and stab him.'

(OC) Do you think you are inflaming the situation?

Mr. KRAYEM: (Foreign language spoken)

MacVICAR: (VO) 'It's not about incitement,' says Mr. Kriem [sic! They use two different spellings for the man's name. JI]. 'It's about the people's right to regain their land.'

Mr. MROUE [Editor of Lebanese English-language paper, 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 Almanar. [Should be Al Manar - 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 [they - JI]?

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

MacVICAR: (VO) These tools, as they call them, are widely accepted. Hezbollah is no longer just a guerrilla army. It now holds 12 seats in Parliament. Take a tour, as we did today, through their stronghold in the southern suburbs of Beirut in the company of a Hezbollah guide to see their social welfare organizations, a brand new school, one of many, with more than 1,000 pupils.

(OC) (Foreign language spoken) Good morning.

School Children: (In unison) Good morning.

MacVICAR: (VO) Or visit their hospital with one of the best diagnostic centers in all of Lebanon and meet the American university-educated hospital director.

Mr. MOHAMMED HIJAZI (Al Rassoul Al Aazam Hospital Director): American university, they teach you that you have to fight for your land. They teach you that have you to be free, but we believe that freedom is for everybody, not only for the Israelis.

MacVICAR: (VO) Two weeks ago three Israeli soldiers were taken prisoner in a corner of land about the size of Central Park still occupied by Israel and claimed by Lebanon.

[Comment, "On the Matter of Shebaa Farms," starts here]

MacVicar is referring to the Shebaa Farms area, part of the Golan Heights.  By saying that this strategic piece of land is "still occupied by Israel," MacVicar seems to accept the position of Lebanon and Hezbollah, that a) Shebaa Farms is part of Lebanon and b) because Israel controls this area, its May 2000 withdrawal from Lebanon was incomplete.  In fact, no country in the world except Lebanon considers Shebaa Farms part of Lebanon. It is part of the Golan Heights, seized by Israel from Syria during the Six Day War in 1967. Israel's position is that it will negotiate the status of Shebaa Farms and the rest of the Golan Heights if and when it negotiates a peace treaty with Syria.

In order to support Hezbollah's low-intensity war against Israel, a war justified, following Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon, by Israel's continued control of Shebaa Farms, Syria has given verbal support to the Lebanon-Hezbollah stance, that Shebaa Farms is Lebanese, but Syria has refused to take a legal stand backing Lebanon on the issue. Lebanese Prime Minister Siniora complained about this Syrian doubletalk in an interview on the US TV program, The Charlie Rose Show on 21 April 2006. Siniora and interviewer Jane Arraf were discussing Siniora's charge that Syria was not cooperating with the Lebanese government.  I have highlighted the text in which Siniora complains that Syria says Shebaa Farms is Lebanon's but then adds that the Syrians are "not really going to the point where [they] really are signing the necessary  documentations...." (He's trying to say they won't sign anything stating that it belongs to Lebanon.) I have also highlighted the text in which Siniora admits that his government has not yet made a legal case for Lebanon's sovereignty over Shebaa Farms. He says: "what we have to do is ... really go together to the United Nations, where this thing is really done as part of the international law and international borders between any two neighboring  countries. On that business, if we do so, then what will happen is that this land will become subject to the Resolution 425 of  the Security Council. And by doing so, then Israel has to withdraw completely."

UN Resolution 425 is the one calling for Israel to withdraw from Lebanon, at which time Lebanon was supposed to take full military control of their side of the border.  So Siniora is admitting here that as of April 2006, 425's requirement of Israeli withdrawal could not apply to Shebaa Farms, which means that Israel's continued occupation of Shebaa Farms did not mean Israel  was continuing to occupy Lebanese territory after its May 2000 withdrawal from Lebanon. Which in turn means that Hezbollah's attacks, justified by the (as Siniora admits) phony Shebaa Farms "dispute," and Lebanon's open support for these attacks, have constituted plain gangsterism. And by the way, the UN itself confirmed Israel's full withdrawal from Lebanon as far back as June 2000. [1]

[Excerpt from Prime Minister Siniora's inerview on The Charlie Rose Show starts here. My emphasis added - JI]


JANE ARRAF: And you say you're not getting cooperation from the Syrians. Have you received any indications whatsoever that as a starting point they will welcome you in Damascus?

FOUAD SINIORA: Not yet. And there is something else, which is actually the Shebaa Farms area and the establishment of  diplomatic relations and the control of the borders between the two countries.

The Shebaa Farms is -- is in fact -- is this plot of area about 42 kilometers. And this area is Lebanese, but it was not really that clearly indicated that it is Lebanese in the United Nations. In fact, Israel came into that area and  occupied it in 1967, and it continued occupying that part gradually, piece after piece, over a period of 21 years, until  1989. Actually, since then, still the land is occupied.

What we are really saying, this is Lebanese. And we are telling the Syrians what do you think about this plot of  land, and they say it's Lebanese. Then actually what we have to do is that to really go together to the United Nations, where this thing is really done as part of the international law and international borders between any two neighboring  countries.

On that business, if we do so, then what will happen is that this land will become subject to the Resolution 425 of  the Security Council. And by doing so, then Israel has to withdraw completely. We believe that every inch from which  Israel withdraws is something good for Lebanon as well as for Syria.

Syria in this regard, what is happening is that they are saying that this, the Shebaa Farms, is Lebanese, but we are stopping short of doing anything else. They are not really going to the point where really are signing the necessary  documentations. This is one of the things that was discussed today at the Security Council. I had -- I really attended a  special meeting of the Security Council, in which we discussed this matter in a very friendly manner and among all the  Security Council members, as well as the -- the member -- the representative of the Syrian government was there, and he   expressed his point of view.

And this following the -- the report that was prepared by Terje Roed-Larsen and submitted to the secretary-general,  which was adopted by the secretary- general, which is in line with the routine and -- and periodical report that is done  by the representative of the secretary-general, Terje Roed- Larsen. He prepares every six months a report about the  progress on -- on the implementation of the Security Council Resolution 1559.

JANE ARRAF: And in that report, in the report that is going to be discussed at the Security Council,  Secretary-General Kofi Annan says that there cannot really be a sovereign independent Lebanon without the integration of  Hezbollah. Do you agree?

FOUAD SINIORA: Well, what we say in this is that Hezbollah, first of all - - let's -- let's put things straight and  clear. Hezbollah is -- is a party, is a Lebanese party, which played a very effective and important role -- and  everybody appreciates the role that Hezbollah played -- in really arranging for the withdrawal of the Israelis from the   occupied territories.

Now, what you are saying is that there remains a part of Lebanon which is still occupied. We are trying to arrange  for the withdrawal of the Israelis. There, I mean, definitely if we can manage to get this withdrawal diplomatically  through the United Nations and through the auspices of the friendly countries, then this would be good. Or else,  actually, this will be the right of Lebanon to seek every possible route that will really arrange for the withdrawal of   the Israelis from these occupied territories.

However, we are trying to exact every possible effort to go through the diplomatic means, and that's what really I  have been in Washington to seek the support and help of President Bush and the -- and the American administration, as  well as our friends everywhere.


-- "Interview With Fouad Siniora; Interview With Miuccia Prada," The Charlie Rose Show, 11:00 PM EST, April 21, 2006 Friday, NEWS; International, 7801 words, Jane Arraf, Ingrid Sischy

[Excerpt from Siniora interview ends here]

[Comment, "On the Matter of Shebaa Farms," ends here]

Sheikh NASRALLAH: (Foreign language spoken)

MacVICAR: (VO) Last weekend Sheikh Nasrallah announced Hezbollah had captured a fourth Israeli. His supporters erupted in applause. Even the Lebanese government is in favor.

(OC) Do you think the capture of the Israeli soldiers was legitimate?

Mr. KHALIL [the Lebanese minister of information - JI]: Very legitimate. And I'm certain that it will be done again and again if the opportunity arises again because this is our land.

MacVICAR: (VO) And they say their history tells them force is the best way to get the Israelis to listen. I'm Sheila MacVicar for NIGHTLINE in Beirut.

[Comment: "Is Nightline Paid by the Misrepresentation?" starts here]

As noted above Hezbollah's message is not that Israel listens only to force; it is that force is the only way to destroy Israel. The way she distorts that message misrepresents these most violent of antisemites, who want to kill all Jews, everywhere, as members of a resistance movement fighting for social change and national liberation.

[Comment: "Is Nightline Paid by the Misrepresentation?" ends here]


[Footnotes & Further Reading follows funds appeal]


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Footnotes & Further Reading


[1] Regarding the UN's mocking rejection in May 2000 of Lebanese claims about Shebaa Farms, see
"Lebanonís Bankruptcy & UN Treachery: The Shebaa Farms Mock-Dispute," at

Regarding the UN's report that Lebanon had agreed to abide by the UN ruling about what constituted Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon, see 

Regarding the UN confirmation that Israel did indeed fully withdraw from southern Lebanon by June 2000, see


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