Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Journalists not as anti-Israel this time around

Since yesterday, Lebanon has admitted that it fired at Israel first and now is only making the easy-to-refute claim that IDF soldiers were in Lebanese territory.

As a result, the media has come around to being much more fair (although I have yet to read a MSM article that shows the road in the picture of the Israeli cherry picker is the same one that can be seen to be quite a distance from the Blue Line.)

Reuters published a surprisingly (for them) sympathetic piece, which begins this way:

Blood-stains mark the rocky ground by the entrance to a camouflaged army bunker where the Israeli military says one of its colonels was killed by a Lebanese army sniper team on Tuesday.

"There were only two or three shots," said an Israeli military spokeswoman. "They were standing there, where the blood is."

The battalion commander was hit in the head and a fellow officer struck in the chest and gravely wounded from a range of about 700 meters, she told Reuters at the scene of the brief battle.

Israeli artillery fire, launched in retaliation at a Lebanese army post, left scorched hillsides on the Lebanese side of the steep valley that divides them.
I cannot remember the last time a Reuters piece about any Israeli conflict started off with anything from Israel's perspective.

The Guardian started, as usual, with the Lebanese statement, but at least gave the IDF as much space in its response:

Yesterday's clash broke out after the Israeli army cut down a tree on the border.

The Lebanese army admitted that its soldiers opened fire on IDF troops in the confrontation, the most serious along the border since the war between Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah four years ago.

In a statement issued to the news agency AFP, a spokesman said: "The Lebanese army opened fire first at Israeli soldiers who entered Lebanese territory ... This constituted defence of our sovereignty and is an absolute right."

Israel continued to insist that its forces did not cross the Blue Line, the UN name for the border. It says an IDF unit was carrying out routine maintenance work to remove a tree obscuring its sight lines into Lebanon – but from Israeli territory – when the firing began.

Unifil, the UN force that monitors the border, today said the tree was in Israeli territory.

An Israeli battalion commander was shot dead, and another officer seriously wounded. In Israeli shelling which followed, three Lebanese soldiers and a Lebanese journalist were killed.

The IDF claimed that its forces were the subject of a planned ambush, citing the presence of Lebanese media close to the border. "We have reason to believe this was planned in advance," IDF spokeswoman Avital Liebovich said. She added that the initiative could have come from Lebanese army units under the influence of Hezbollah.
Certainly better than usual.

Of course, Lebanon's finally admitting that it fired at the IDF first does make it hard to spin this as Israeli aggression, so in this case the usual meme just couldn't be shoe-horned into the MSM narrative. Now, if only the media would figure out that Israel's record of telling the truth from the outset is far better that that of her enemies.....

And some "journalists" will never change.
(h/t v1)