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VIDEO: Israeli and Arab TV show different sides of war

David Edwards
Published: Saturday July 15, 2006

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It is probably not surprising that Middle East conflict reports are entirely different on Israeli TV compared to Arab TV news. While the US media broadcast the latest sensational images of military power, the foreign broadcasts reflect the local fear, sadness and rage of the affected cultures.

The following video is a compilation of news broadcasts from different points of view. The first clip from Israel's IBA News appears to be similar to an American news report. At no time is the legitimacy of military action or level of force questioned by the Israeli broadcast. Images of mild to moderate damage from Hezbollah attacks are also shown.

The second clip is a news report from Beirut broadcast via the United Arab Emirates (Abu Dubai TV from Link TV program Mosaic). This station provides some of the more accurate, rational and reliable Arab news reporting. This report focuses on telling the story about concerns of conditions for Lebanese in Beirut. The clip shows significant damage to bridges and other infrastructure compared to the damage in the Israeli report. Just as the Israeli news report didn't question the legitimacy of Israeli military action, the Arab news report does not seriously question the motives of the Hezbollah "resistance" fighters.

The third and final clip is a short CNN interview with former U.S. Abassador to Lebanon John Kelly. The former Ambassador provides analysis of today's violence. His conclusion is that the violence has escalated to a level that may indicate a long Israeli occupation in southern Lebanon. Kelly echoes the idea that Israel's goal is to destroy Hezbollah during the current military action. He also expresses concerns over the health of Lebanon's fledgling democracy.

The Lebanese now realize that Israel's goal is no longer simply to recover the kidnapped soldiers. They, along with some American analyst, now recognize that Israel is committed to completely destroying Hezbollah during this military campaign.

Earlier this week, a Strategic Forecasting alert said:

The more fundamental issue is this: Israel withdrew from Lebanon in order to escape low-intensity conflict. If Hezbollah is now going to impose low-intensity conflict on Israel's border, the rationale for withdrawal disappears. It is better for Israel to fight deep in Lebanon than inside Israel. If the rockets are going to fall in Israel proper, then moving into a forward posture has no cost to Israel.
From an international standpoint, the Israelis expect to be condemned. These international condemnations, however, are now having the opposite effect of what is intended. The Israeli view is that they will be condemned regardless of what they do. The differential between the condemnation of reprisal attacks and condemnation of a full invasion is not enough to deter more extreme action. If Israel is going to be attacked anyway, it might as well achieve its goals.

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