Friday, February 22, 2008
By Raid Khoury, Electronic Lebanon, 22 February 2008
"....What we know for sure is the pro-Israel, mainstream US media which accepts the Israeli narrative as the basis for all its coverage of the Middle East cannot be relied upon for an accurate and reliable portrayal of Moughniya or Hizballah. We also know Moughniya was an effective commander of a lightly-armed civilian militia that waged a successful guerilla campaign against a much stronger and brutal enemy army and won. It's also safe to assume that his role and importance has been greatly exaggerated by all sides for different reasons. The killing of Moughniya and its surrounding circumstances is obviously a serious security blow to Hizballah, but while it has provided Hizballah's enemies some momentary satisfaction, it is unlikely to diminish its operational capability in the future.
The most unrealistic and misleading aspects of news coverage of Lebanon, Palestine, and the Arab-Israeli conflict in general is the focus on single individuals or groups as the root cause of conflict, and the characterization of all of Israel's enemies as terrorists. The same approach has been applied in covering Hamas and other Palestinian resistance factions in occupied Palestine. All these organizations were products of the Israeli occupation and they were created to resist and thus enjoy widespread popular support. To continue to reduce such groups and their leaders to nothing more than crazed terrorists is not only false and counterproductive, but, in its dismissal of the vast majority of Lebanese and Palestinians as murderers and supporters of terrorism, is also racist.
The Arab-Israeli conflict will continue for the foreseeable future. According to reports, Imad Moughniya has already been replaced, and in short time, the media will find another shadowy, intriguing figure to focus its attention on while continuing to ignore the prevailing conditions that inevitably gives rise to both legitimate acts of resistance, and terrorism. Israel continues to occupy Palestine, the Syrian Golan Heights, and parts of Lebanon. It is holding over 11,000 kidnapped Palestinians, and several Lebanese in jail. It is arguably committing a form genocide in Gaza, and it recently launched an attack on Syria. It continues to deny the Palestinians their inalienable right of return and may be preparing for its next military adventure. It is only within this context of ongoing warfare that people like Moughniya will come to be known, and can be understood."