A few days ago, Israel released formerly classified photos that detailed Hezbollah weapons caches and soldiers nestled deeply within southern Lebanese civilian villages and towns. The world media dutifully passed along the information just as eagerly as they passed along news about the Gaza flotilla incident.
No, not really.
The AP spun the story around so much that you can barely tell what it’s about. Two days ago, it released an article that actually described the event. But subsequent updates watered it down so much you can’t even tell what the story is about.
Note the headline: “Israel says images show Hezbollah’s intentions.” This was doubtless taken from one of the sentences in the article, but where does it indicate that Hezbollah is building up weapons and infrastructure in civilian areas? Certainly not in the headline. In fact, nowhere in the entire AP article will you find a word mentioning the fact that the weapons are in civilian areas.
The Israeli military says aerial photographs of alleged Hezbollah weapons depots in southern Lebanon demonstrate the threat from the group, but officials say imminent military action against the Islamist militants is unlikely.
[..] Israeli security officials said another round of violence between Israel and Hezbollah did not appear imminent. Rather, Israel made the material public to warn Hezbollah to get rid of the munitions or face consequences.
The entire story is only four paragraphs long, and the omitted grafs don’t mention the civilian angle, either. So you have the AP releasing an article about IDF photos of Hezbollah weapons caches in civilian areas without a single mention of civilian areas. Because that’s what the AP is all about, passing along Hezbollah propaganda. I mean, news. What, you think I’m making this up? Well, the AP also passed along the information that Hezbollah was really ticked that CNN fired its Middle East editor after she tweeted her praise of Hezbolla’s spiritual leader. They whitewashed the anti-Israel (and pro-Hezbollah) background of the man behind the Lebanese flotilla that was heading for Gaza. Instead of writing the words “UN Security Council Resolution 1701,” AP refers to “A U.N. deal to end the 2006 war between Israel and the Shiite militants required Hezbollah to disarm.” A binding UN resolution becomes a deal. Non-binding General Assembly resolutions? Well, of course, Israel is in “violation” of those. (But I digress.)
But honestly passing along the news that Hezbollah is hiding weapons caches in civilian areas? Forget about it. That one’s gone. And it will stay gone, if Israel has to go into those villages and civilians die. Wait for it.