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The racist subtext of the evacuation story

Posted in the database on Wednesday, July 19th, 2006 @ 14:21:54 MST (4124 views)
by Jonathan Cook    Electronic Lebanon  

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More newsworthy than Israeli fighter jets: An evacuation helicopter lands in Lebanon on the BBC

Israel has opened "windows" for the foreign powers to evacuate their terrified nationals from Lebanon. Obligingly, the foreign media have turned these "windows" into an opportunity to avert their gaze further from the death and destruction in Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank.

On BBC World, for example, we have been following the progress of one 12-year-old British boy fleeing Beirut. When he observed that he was worried for the Lebanese family members he was leaving behind, reporter Clive Myrie noted his was a "very mature attitude".

British students studying in Lebanon are interviewed by the BBC

If only the BBC was demonstrating such maturity.

I have to keep reminding myself that this is BBC World, not its domestic news service. You would hardly know it watching the coverage of the past couple of days.

On Tuesday, when at least 35 Lebanese were killed -- possibly many more as no one seems to know who is lying under the rubble or has been incinerated in their fleeing cars -- we had the BBC's Ben Brown in Beirut giving a blow-by-blow account of every facet of the evacuation of foreign nationals in general and British nationals in particular.

If anyone doubted the racism of our Western media, here it was proudly on display. The BBC apparently considers their Beirut reporter's first duty to find out what meals HMS Gloucester's chef will be preparing for the evacuees. Lebanese and Palestinian civilians die unnoticed by the Western media (though not by the Arab channels) while we learn of onboard sleeping arrangements on the ship bound for Cyprus.

Did we really need to hear a lengthy live speech from the commander of HMS Gloucester telling us how "delighted" he was to be in Beirut? With the long minutes of rolling news to fill this might have been justified had the other minutes been stuffed with reports from the areas where civilians are dying by the dozen each day. But such reports are the mean filling in the thick sandwich of the main story of the evacuees.

In the 4pm GMT broadcast, I watched 45 mins of coverage, most of it dedicated to "live" footage of the British warship's arrival and the relieved faces of the Brits about to leave.

Even so, the BBC still managed to squeeze in other bits of reporting in the lulls in the drama of evacuation. At different points there was a interview from Tel Aviv with former Israeli cabinet minister Yossi Beilin and a live link-up between Ben Brown and Lyse Doucet in Haifa. She informed us of the "barrage" of 50 Katyushas that had landed on northern Israel that day, killing one man. Supportively, Ben Brown, added that there was "shock" at the death and destruction spread by Hizbullah's rockets and opined that what the Israeli army was "really after" was Hizbullah's long-range missiles.

So we had the BBC in Haifa and Beirut speaking with one voice -- that of Israel.

Back in Beirut, Brown repeated with bafflement statements by the British ambassador that some British nationals preferred to stay put for the time being and would not be taking advantage of Israel's "window". It occurred to neither of them that many of these British nationals have loved ones in Beirut and may not want to leave them in the coming desperate hours.

Ben Brown also told us that it was "understandable" that the British evacuees were "pretty scared" because they were not accustomed to this kind of bombing. Not like, he added, war correspondents such as himself or the people of Beirut, who had grown used to such assaults.

The outrageous racism implicit in this comment was clear the moment one paused to consider its possible meanings. Did Brown mean that the Lebanese do not mind being bombed? Did he mean that Lebanese children understand from birth that it is their fate to be attacked by Israel, that they get used to the explosions around them? Did he mean that their parents are less terrified than a British mother and father by the thought that their family might be obliterated at any moment? Or did he mean that Lebanon's civilians will not be as traumatised by their experiences as other human beings would be?

This is the racist subtext of the foreign media's evacuations story. That once the foreigners have been moved to safety, we in the West can leave those who understand only the language violence -- the Israeli army and, apparently, the whole population of Lebanon -- to carry on with their unfinished business.

And we can be sure that this is exactly what will happen as soon as Israel's "window" is shut. When the foreign powers no longer have even a small vested interest in the safety of Beirut, can we expect the coverage to improve? Don't hold your breath.


The BBC: A Zionist Propaganda?

By Ghali Hassan
Axis of Logic

The portrayal of the BBC as independent and impartial public broadcaster is sadly misleading. The BBC is a global instrument of Zionist propaganda. In addition to defending Israel’s terrorism and the illegal occupation of Palestinian land, the BBC is an active complicit in Zionism war crimes throughout the Middle East.

A study by Greg Philo and Mike Berry of the Glasgow University Media Unit in Scotland reveals that the British media, including the BBC denying the public an opportunity to understand the rights of the Palestinian people resistance to Israel’s terror and Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. As a result of the BBC Zionist propaganda, the British public remain confused and unable to differentiate between the gross violence of the oppressors (the Israelis) and the retaliatory self-defence of the oppressed (the Palestinians). It is sad that the majority of the British public are unaware of the fact that since 1967 Palestinians are under illegal Israeli military occupation; the longest and most brutal in modern history. The so-called Palestinian “authority” is a myth created by Israel and the U.S. to manipulate public opinion and cover-up Israel’s crimes.

With its veneer of English sophistication and global audience, the BBC is a formidable propaganda instrument. Just after the Israeli army murdered an entire family (the Ghalia’s family) and wounded many more Palestinians while picnicking on a northern Gaza beach, the BBC was the first Western media to defend Israel and volunteered to cover-up Israel’s crimes. The BBC went along to unchallenged the Israeli lies, and happily repeated the Israeli army (Israeli occupation forces [IOF]) claims that Israel is an innocent bystander. The BBC version was that; “Israel is not responsible for a blast that killed an entire Palestinian family enjoying a picnic on a Gaza beach last Friday, Defence Minister Amir Peretz says”. The BBC deliberately ignored hard evidence – Palestinian eyewitnesses, hospital records, the U.S.-based Human Right Watch (HRW) and even Israelis – that refuted the Israeli military version of events.

The Nazareth-based British writer and journalist, Jonathan Cook wrote that the BBC “credulously reports preposterous arguments seeking to exonerate the Israeli army of responsibility for the shelling of the beach in Gaza that killed a Palestinian family of seven. It treats as equally credible the army's belated version in which Palestinian militants are said to have laid a single mine at a favourite seaside picnic spot in the futile hope of preventing the Israeli navy landing along the [Gaza] Strip's miles of coastline”. It follows, that the BBC is complicit in Israel’s crimes cover-up against the Palestinian people, and this is not an isolated incident.

The BBC has a history of defending Israel’s terror since the creation of Israel by British imperialists. Israeli Zionists and their supporters in the West, the likes of the racist Zionist Maureen Lipman, are the unchallenged permanent guests on BBC programs, while Palestinians and pro-Palestinian voices are shut-off. It is noteworthy that in order to deceit the public, the BBC (occasionally) criticises Israel’s terror against the Palestinians. However, any thing critique of Israel is said in an apologetic and vague form that praises Israel.

Furthermore, the current BBC coverage of the Israeli invasion and barbaric attacks on Gaza and the indiscriminate aggression on Lebanon shows that the BBC favours the Israeli-Zionist narrative at the expense of millions of defenceless Palestinian and Lebanese civilians. While the BBC called Israeli indiscriminate attacks on civilians – using U.S.-made Apache helicopter gunships, F-16s bombers and artillery shells – acts of “self defence”, the BBC blames the Palestinian and Lebanese resistant to Israel’s aggression as “major escalation”.

It should be borne in mind that while Palestinian and Lebanese resistant attacks were on legitimate Israeli military targets, all Israeli attacks and blockades were indiscriminate and deliberately targeting innocent civilians, mostly children, and civilian infrastructures. Israel’s “self-defence” must baffle any ‘expert’ trying to define terrorism.

In the mean time, Israel continues to impose its trademark, collective punishment – barbaric and coercive measures used by Israel (and the U.S. in Iraq) against Gaza and indiscriminately killing innocent Palestinian civilians. In flagrant violations of international law and the Geneva Conventions, Israel is deliberately terrorising the Palestinians – children and infants in particular – by using sonic booms, destroying Gaza’s civilian infrastructures, including electricity and water supplies, health care services, and leaving the population venerable to starvation and chronic diseases. UN envoy John Dugard, told an emergency session of the Human Rights Council, that Israel is violating the “most fundamental norms of humanitarian law and human rights law” by deliberately imposing a barbaric siege on the Palestinian population. However, the UN has no teeth to bite with, and remains mute to act to stop Israel’s terror.

According to a communiqué by the Swiss Government (custodian of the Geneva Conventions), there is “no doubt Israel has not taken the precautions required of it in international law [including the Geneva Conventions] to protect the civilian population and infrastructure … The destruction of a power station, the attack on the offices of the Palestinian prime minister, the arbitrary arrests of a large number of democratically-elected representatives of the people and ministers... cannot be justified”. The 1949 Geneva Conventions (Article 54) state clearly that: “Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is prohibited”. It is also “prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population” (Article 51). The willingness of the BBC in particular and Western media in general to be on the side of the Israeli military and deliberately blaming its victims for the violence is evidence that Western media are complicit in Israeli crimes against innocent civilians.

The advertised pretext for this criminal wanton destruction and deliberate collective punishment being carried out by the Israeli army is that Israel trying “to free” one soldier. The soldier was taken prisoner during a legitimate military operation by Palestinian resistance against Israeli military post from which the Israeli army routinely fired thousands of artillery shells into Gaza that have killed more than 30 Palestinians, including several children in the past few weeks. One day before the operation, Israeli commandos or the IOF abducted two brothers, Osama and Mustafa Abu Muamar, and took them to Israel, probably murdered. The heroic operation was called by an Israeli military expert as “a daring commando action” which scared other soldiers nearby.

Since the invasion of Gaza on 25 June 2006, the Israeli army has since killed more than 100 innocent Palestinians, including many children, some as young as 6-years old, and injured more than 200 Palestinians, including more than 110 children. On the day (12 July) the U.S. vetoed a UN Resolutions condemning Israel’s terror against the Palestinians, more than twenty five Palestinians, including nine members of one family with their seven children, were murdered by the IOF. The besieged territory is the largest concentration camp on the planet, completely controlled by Israeli army. Gaza is constantly and heavily bombed from air, sea and land. These deliberate and indiscriminate acts of terrorism are war crimes against defenceless civilian population.

Furthermore, the Israeli invasion of Gaza is designed to terrorise the Palestinians, destroy a democratically elected legitimate leadership of the resistance movement (HAMAS), and to provide Israel with a cover to annex more Palestinian land in the West Bank and Jerusalem for illegal Jewish settlements (colonies). The Israeli army has been preparing for an attack on Gaza several months earlier and was constantly pushing for it, with the goal of destroying the Hamas infrastructure and its government and has very little to do with “freeing” one soldier. In fact Israel’s terror on Gaza is endangering the life of the soldier, who is being well treated by the Palestinians.

While the Israeli soldier is portrayed as an “innocent” clean-shaven teenager, there are some 10,000 Palestinian prisoners languishing in Israeli prisons. They include, 132 Palestinian women, 388 children and a dozen of infants as young as 3 months old, separated from their mothers and under brutal conditions. Many of the prisoners are imprisoned without charge as “Administrative Detainees”. They were kidnapped from their homes at midnight, imprisoned and subjected to torture, sexual abuses and denied their human rights and fair trial. For the BBC, Palestinians are nameless, voiceless and without identity.

As Jonathan Cook reported, the British media in general and the BBC in particular, “preferred to use words that misleadingly suggested [the soldier] was a victim, an innocent whose status as a soldier was not relevant to his fate. The Palestinians, as kidnappers and hostage-takers, were clearly not behaving in a legitimate manner”. Cook added; “Not only do [the BBC] reporters’ exhibit the biases associated with its institutional racism – as an organisation, the BBC chooses to identify with Israeli concerns before Palestinian ones – but they then compound this distortion by repeating uncritically Israel's own misrepresentation of events”. Racism is central to the BBC propaganda. Racism is the BBC’s convenient tool to demonise the “Others” and justify killing them. Let’s not forget that Israel is built on violence and racism, and continue to use racism to identify itself as a “Jewish State” only. The notion that Jews are superior to other human beings and entitle to dominate and rule those who do not is just a case in point. In his seminal work Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years (2002), the late Israeli historian and academic, Israel Shahak argued that Israel is inherently racist society.

Like Israel, the BBC is devoid of any moral principles and objectivity. Again we are reminded of how the BBC transforms not only the Israelis from oppressors into victims but also the Palestinians from victims of Israel’s terror into perpetrators of what the BBC called Palestinian “violence”. The BBC strips the Palestinians from their humanity and justifies their murder at the hands of Israeli terrorists. For the BBC, the Palestinians are “militants”, regardless of their age or gender, embarking on “destroying” the fourth largest army in the world. In other words, Israel is portrayed as a victim of Palestinian “terrorism”, not the opposite.

For the BBC, one Israeli soldier, enforcing an illegal and criminal occupation is ranked far above those innocent Palestinian civilians. There are no murdered Palestinian children, and pregnant women dying at Israeli check points, and there are no BBC reports on the malnutrition and starvation of Palestinian caused by months-long Israeli blockades. As mentioned earlier, the BBC is global propaganda and its main goal is to mislead not only the British people but millions around the world in order to manipulate public opinion and cover-up Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people.

In the Wes Bank and Jerusalem, the IOF and the Israeli police are on their rampage of terrorising Palestinians throughout the Occupied Territories, destroying and vandalising Palestinian charities, offices, and businesses. Schools and medical centres have been looted by Jewish extremists. Some 130 Palestinian lawmakers, government officials, cabinet ministers and ordinary activists were taken hostages without charge. The BBC described this mass midnight kidnapping as “arresting”. Furthermore, Israel has rejected peace and a ceasefire proposal put by the elected Palestinian Prime Minister, Ishmael Haniyeh, and threatened to assassinate him. Like many previous acts of terrorism committed by Israel, the BBC ignored to condemn Israel’s acts of naked state terrorism. (For more on Haniyeh’s peace initiative, see his Washington Post, 11 July 2006).

On another front in Israel’s war of aggression, the BBC pro-Israel propaganda is in full swing. To justify Israel’s war of aggression against Lebanon, the BBC argued “[i]t is Hizbullah’s who have taken Lebanon hostage … and Israeli is reacting in ‘self-defence’”, (Claire Balderstone, BBC News Hour, 13 July, 2006). How simple it is?

Only a complicit BBC will call Israel’s indiscriminate attacks – from the air, sea and land – on population centres and civilian infrastructure of Lebanon, including the Beirut Airport, roads, bridges, ports, power plants, water supply and TV stations, the blockade of Lebanon and the deliberate massacre of innocent civilians as Israel’s “self-defence”.

On the morning of Thursday 13 July 2006, U.S.-made F-16s bombed the home of Sayyed Adel Akkash, killed Akkash, his wife and their 10 children, including Akkash's 6-month-old daughter, and leaving just a pile of body parts. On the day (15 July 2006) the UN Security Council rejected pleas for an immediate ceasefire, at least 35 civilians, including 15 children, were deliberately murdered by Israeli jets while fleeing Israel’s indiscriminate bombardments after they were ordered by the Israeli army to leave their homes and villages, a criminal policy of using civilian to put pressure on their government. The U.S. was the sole member of 15-nation UN Security Council to endorse Israeli aggression and to block any Security Council’s call for a ceasefire between Israel and the resistance.

In five days of deliberate acts of aggression against the sovereign state of Lebanon, at least 130 innocent Lebanese civilians, including some 40 children have been massacred by the Israeli army in cold blood and in the most cowardly fashion. There is mounting evidence that Israel is using internationally prohibited and banned weapons to attack civilians. It is unknown how the BBC and the Western media in general justify these war crimes as acts of “self-defence”. It is important to remember, that this is the same fanatical and extremist line propagated by George Bush and his two lackeys, Tony Blair and John Howard.

Again, the advertised pretext for these deliberate war crimes and state terrorism, is that Israel acting hysterical in order “to free” three Israeli soldiers taken in a legitimate military operation by the Lebanese Hizbullah’s fighters, because Israel refuses to adhere international law and exchange prisoners in a peaceful way. Lebanese prisoners (mostly prominent leaders) were abducted by Israeli military on Lebanese soil and detained as bargaining chips and to keep an ongoing conflict with Hizbullah. In addition, the BBC ignored to elaborate that Israel continues to occupy land in Lebanon, known as the Sheba Farms, where Israeli soldiers have often abducted and murdered Lebanese shepherds and farmers. Israel also routinely assassinated prominent Palestinians and Lebanese in cold blood. Furthermore, Israel – backed by the U.S. – is looking to widen the aggression by unfairly accusing and threatening Syria and Iran.

The aim of the Zionist state and its main backer (the U.S.) is to divide the Lebanese people, seek revenge against a legitimate political and resistance movement, and in the process trigger a broader war in the region, through acts of provocation and pre-emptive aggression. Israel creates a violent environment and uses violence to shape its miserably failed Zionist strategy in the region. The Arab regimes, particularly those of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, should be ashamed for their cowardice, treason of the Arab cause and for not being able to stand up to Israel’s aggression.

With journalists in Israel, Lebanon and the Occupied Territories, Western media and the BBC in particular have ample opportunities to tell the truth and expose Israel’s war crimes against the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples to the outside world. Instead, Israel’s war crimes are covered-up with a veneer of disinformation and propaganda. There are no photographs of murdered Palestinian and Lebanese children and pregnant women dying at Israeli check-points or tortured and humiliated Palestinian prisoners on the BBC web site. There are no BBC reports on the living conditions, malnutrition and starvation of Palestinians caused by the months-long Israeli criminal blockade.

The illegal invasion of Iraq is another barbarity where the BBC was and continues to be an active complicit. The war on Iraq by the U.S. and British Governments was the most violent premeditated act of aggression against defenceless people.

The BBC deliberately and systematically ignored much publicly available information on Iraq's weapons programs, and instead played a very dishonest and warmongering role. The BBC unchallenged and repeated Blair and Bush fabricated pack of lies about the (none)-existence of Iraq Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD); the result was up to half a million Iraqis, mostly women and children killed by U.S. and British armies, and the total destruction of the Iraqi society. The BBC continues to actively aiding and abetting a murderous Occupation and murderous occupying forces who are committing gross crimes against the Iraqi people.

After three years of illegal and murderous Occupation, the BBC is fully aware of the Occupation-generated violence and destruction. Yet the BBC continues to play ball and distort facts on the ground in Iraq. How an illegal invasion and a murderous occupation that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis – mostly women and children – could be described as just “melancholy thoughts”? How could the scares of torture, rape and sexual abuses of tens of thousands of Iraqis by U.S. and British soldiers be described just mere “memory”? The complicity of the BBC in the crimes against the Iraqi people is crimes against humanity, as it was rightly

The complicity of the BBC and other corporate media in the war crimes was summarised by the World Tribunal on Iraq in its 27 June findings. After a four day session hearing of evidence, the charges laid against the corporate media, including the BBC are war crimes and crimes against humanity. (Here is WTI findings).

The BBC continues to cover-up horrendous war crimes committed against the Iraqi people by US and British soldiers. The destruction of Iraqi towns and cities, the countless massacres of innocent civilians, and the torture and sexual abused of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib and hundreds of other US and Britain-run prisons do not feature in the BBC program lists or on the BBC website. The BBC is deliberately misleading the public and continues actively aiding and abetting in war crimes against the Iraqi people.

Finally, it is baffling that the BBC is unable to tell the British public where is Israel and if Israel has recognised international boarders. The British people ought to know that the Apartheid Wall is not Israel’s “security fence”. The Wall was rightly condemned by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague for it “imposes immense and unnecessary suffering on the Palestinian people”. It is a formidable wall designed to fractionate Palestinian communities, isolate them into ghettos and steal their land and water resources.

Due to its reliance on government sources and its support for the policies of the British Government, the BBC failed to be independent and impartial public broadcaster. The BBC betrays its Charter and the trust of the people in Britain. As a result, the people of Britain are misled by the BBC disinformation and denied an opportunity to understand the conflict. The British people have the right to know that their government and military are committing cross crimes their name.

There can be no peace in the Middle East until the occupation of Palestine and Iraq end and the injustices committed by the Israeli and the U.S. governments against the people of the Middle East cease. The British public must hold the BBC accountable for its failure to provide independent and impartial information.

Ghali Hassan lives in Perth, Western Australia.


In U.S., Not All Casualties Are Equal

Emad Mekay
Common Dreams

Numerous U.S. groups, intellectuals, politicians and media outlets are mobilising in the United States to back Israel in its ongoing assault on neighbouring Lebanon with one main idea to promote -- that Israel is always the victim.

On Sunday morning, millions of U.S. citizens watched as the former speaker of the House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, a Republican from Georgia, argued on the network television news show "Meet the Press" that the Israeli demolition of Lebanese infrastructure, targeting of civilians and total blockade of the small Arab nation was an act of self-defence.

He and many other public figures in the United States also echoed the Israeli line of blaming Iran and Syria for recent events.

There is, Gingrich said, a "Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas alliance trying to destroy Israel."

"You clearly have Iranian involvement, there are at least 400 Iranian guards in south Lebanon," he added, without citing any evidence.

The reason the United States should continue to back the Israeli campaign with weapons and aid is because this is "World War III", which includes the United States, Gingrich claimed.

"I mean, this is absolutely a question of the survival of Israel, but it's also a question of what is really a world war," he said

The so-called U.S. mainstream media has also largely avoided depicting the scenes of civilian carnage on the Lebanese side, with many referring to the onslaught as one that has targeted Hezbollah. In fact, the targets have so far included women and children, a lighthouse, a medical truck and a dairy factory.

On Monday, for example, the front page photo on the Washington Post was of stressed out Israeli rescue workers operating in Haifa, where eight people were killed by Hezbollah rocket fire on Sunday.

However, the previous day, when 13 members of one family, including children and women, were killed in an Israeli air attack, the paper ran a relatively bland picture of an explosion near advertising billboards in Lebanon.

Most headlines have also either favoured Israel or remained so general that the intensity of the Israeli attack was hardly conveyed.

Many television stations here sought to present the current crisis in terms of equal suffering, with Israeli civilians hit by Hezbollah rockets as savagely as Lebanese civilians were targeted by Israel's U.S.-made bombs.

More than 250 Lebanese, most of them civilians, including women and children, have bee killed in Israeli air sorties using 500-pound laser guided U.S.-made bombs. The Lebanese economy suffered billions of dollars worth of damage after Israel targeted Beirut's airport, bridges, roads and factories.

To date, 25 Israelis have been killed, half of them uniformed soldiers in combat with Hezbollah fighters.

"Syrian President May Hold Key to Mideast Crisis" read the Wall Street Journal's headline on Tuesday.

"Toll Climbs in Mideast as Fighting Rages On," was the Washington's Post generic headline for the same day.

In editorial after editorial, Israel was portrayed as the victim.

"Make no mistake about it: Responsibility for the escalating carnage in Lebanon and northern Israel lies with one side, and one side only. And that is Hezbollah, the Islamist militant party, along with its Syrian and Iranian backers," said the Los Angeles Times editorial on Monday.

Palestine Media Watch, a group monitoring coverage of events in the Middle East, says it called CNN's International Desk on Sunday to complain about the network's lack of coverage of civilian suffering on the Lebanese side.

The pro-Arab organisation reported that the answer they got from CNN was "they did not have enough equipment and could not be everywhere at the same time".

"I think it's been strikingly one-sided in the coverage. The downplaying of the civilian casualties in Lebanon, I think, is fairly remarkable," said Jim Naureckas of the New York media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR).

"And the sort of acceptance that Israel is engaging in some kind of normal behaviour by responding to the one violent incident on the border by declaring war on an entire country is treated as a matter of course by U.S media commentators when it is really an amazing escalation."

He said that with the U.S. media coverage so biased, the public and politicians would be very hard pressed not to take sides with Israel.

"Certainly by giving only one part of the narrative where you have Israeli victims as the victims of unprovoked violence, it would be hard not to take Israel's side. If you are taking your information from the U.S. media, it'll be hard to construct a different way of looking at it," said Naureckas.

Already, several U.S. lawmakers have hurried to the defence of Israel, repeating the Israeli line that it was provoked and that its military action was in self-defence.

Sen. Hillary Clinton, a Democrat from New York, cited common Israeli and U.S. values for her support. Clinton, a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 2008 U.S. elections, criticised the "unwarranted, unprovoked attacks from Hamas, Hezbollah and their state sponsors" and named them "the new totalitarians of the 21st century."

"We will stand with Israel because Israel is standing for American values as well as Israeli ones," she said.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate was still preparing a resolution supporting Israel in its conflict in Lebanon.

Nobel laureate and holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Dan Gillerman, joined hundreds of people who rallied outside the United Nations in defence of the Jewish state as the mobilisation for Israel picks up pace.

In Washington, a group of right-wing Christian fundamentalists, Christians United for Israel (CUFI) said they were gathering at least 3,500 people to rally in the U.S. capital on Tuesday to drum up political backing for Israel in its offensive against Lebanon.

The organisation, lead by fundamentalist pastor John C. Hagee, says that Jewish leaders will also take part, including Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon, retired Israeli defence chief Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon and Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman.

The support for Israel in the U.S. comes despite U.S. laws that, if activated, would mean the end of this backing. The U.S. Arms Export Control Act restricts the use of U.S. weapons to justifiable self-defence and internal security, meaning that U.S. weapons cannot be used to target civilians in offensive operations.

The U.S. Foreign Assistance Act also bars U.S. aid to a country with a pattern of gross human rights violations. Several human rights groups have so far condemned the Israeli attack.

But despite those injunctions in the U.S. law, on the first few days of the offensive against Lebanon, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of U.S. munitions have been used by the Israeli army against a country friendly to the United States and a government fully supported by the United States.

The fact that civilian structures, including milk factories and houses of worship, have been targeted may have a left a dent in the position of those backing Israel's offensive. But it didn't. After all, they say Israel is the victim.


Read from Looking Glass News

Racism, Not Ignorance Plagues the Media

Corporate Media Faithfully Spins Lebanese Mass Murder

Escalation", "retaliation" and BBC double standards in Gaza

A Glossary of Dispossession: Hiding Behind Words

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