speaking truth to power
Posted by adiamondinsunlight on April 24, 2008
Earlier this week, a very interesting – not to mention distressing – story came to light. On March 30, UNIFIL trailed a suspicious vehicle carrying what appeared to be weapons and/or ammunition, but backed down when the drivers (and some others in a second vehicle) stepped out of the car and confronted the UNIFIL patrol with guns drawn.
Wondering who the drivers were?
Here’s what the Jerusalem Post said in an article titled “Hizbullah chases away UNIFIL monitors“:
Hizbullah gunmen chased away UNIFIL inspectors in south Lebanon who identified a truck carrying arms belonging to the guerrilla group, a report published twice a year by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon revealed Tuesday.
Here’s what Ha’aretz said in an article titled “UNIFIL finds Hezbollah arms; gunmen scatter peacekeepers“:
Armed Hezbollah militants warded off members of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) last month when the peacekeepers discovered a truck carrying weapons and ammunition belonging to the Lebanon-based guerilla group. The incident was referred to briefly in a semi-yearly report submitted to the UN Security Council by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
Readers of either article might understandably conclude that the latest UN report did indeed state that the gun-toting drivers were Hizbullah members.
Here’s what the Seventh Report to the UN on Security Council Resolution 1559 actually says:
24. During the night of 30th to 31st March 2008 a UNIFIL patrol encountered unidentified armed elements in its Area of Operation.This serious violation of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1701 (2006) gives cause for concern and will be reported more fully in my next report on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1701 (2006).
The specter of unidentified armed gunmen forcing UNIFIL to back down is terrifying, and deserves serious investigative reporting from serious journalists. The last thing we need here is another summer fighting hitherto-unknown extremist groups.
Instead of reporting the truth, Israeli journalists have chosen to fork their tongues and slither around it. Yes, there are many good reasons to criticize Hizbullah – but as the facts now stand, this isn’t one of them.
Shame on these men for abdicating their responsibilities as journalists. And shame on the US papers who picked up these stories without investigating them for accuracy first.