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[The following is an excerpt from a CAMERA Alert.]
It's difficult to understand why so many in the world are outraged at Israel — rather than Hizb'Allah — over the deaths of civilians in Kana. After all, it was Hizb'Allah that deliberately chose to launch rockets from close to buildings housing civilians, knowing full well that Israel would strike back against the launchers, potentially killing nearby civilians. Since Israel had repeatedly warned civilians to leave the area days earlier, it was reasonable for them to assume no civilians were there and the rocket-launching site could be fired on.
At worst, Hizb'Allah launched rockets close to a civilian area with lots of women and children specifically to lure Israel to inadvertently kill the civilians, giving Hizb'Allah more fodder for their propaganda machine. At best, Hizb'Allah simply has no regard for the protection of civilians and was reckless in locating its rocket launchers next to buildings housing civilians.
Has the media done an adequate job of covering this context? In their interviews with world leaders and people on the street, do they ask people questions such as:
- What do you think of Hizb'Allah's launching rockets close to buildings where civilians live, knowing the Israelis will strike back at the site of the rocket launcher?
- "After the deaths of so many civilians in Kana, is it time to tell Hizb'Allah to stop launching rockets in civilian areas?
- Is this a turning point for the Lebanese government and people; after seeing the destruction and civilian deaths that Hizb'Allah has provoked, are they now more determined to assert their authority over southern Lebanon and work to marginalize or disarm Hizb'Allah?
- Did Hizb'Allah prevent civilians from leaving southern Lebanon?" Sabrina Tavernise reported in the New York Times (July 28) that a Lebanese woman told her "Hizb'Allah fighters had killed a man who was tryng to leave Bint Jbail.
Let's remind the media that these questions need to be asked, particularly if they don't want to be a tool for Hizb'Allah. It is Hizb'Allah that is ultimately responsible for the carnage in Kana.