The Israeli Invasion of Lebanon: Seeing Through Some Media Myths

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By Paul Murphy

  • Myth: The current fighting started on 12th July when Hezbollah fighters captured two Israeli soldiers.

  • Truth: Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers but with the intention to use them in a prisoner swap for Lebanese, and possibly some of the more than 9000 Palestinians, being held captive by Israel. The Israeli invasion follows months of cross-border shelling, aerial attacks and almost daily incursions by Israel in a tit-for-tat cycle with Hezbollah.

  • Myth: Israel is just trying to get its two captured soldiers back.

  • Truth: The capture of these soldiers was used as a pretext to launch the Israeli invasion. As the army chief of staff said, they actually intend to “turn back the clock in Lebanon by 20 years”. The deliberate mission has been to destroy Lebanon. The invasion is part of a wider strategic power plan on the part of Israel and the United States.

  • Myth: Israel withdrew completely from Lebanon in 2000.

  • Truth: Israel continued to occupy the Shebaa Farms area of Lebanon. It is in this area that the fighting between Hezbollah and the Israeli army erupted most recently. Israel remains in illegal occupation of large areas of Palestine, Syria and Lebanon. This is the primary cause of these conflicts.

  • Myth: The Israeli army only carries out targeted attacks on Hezbollah militants.

  • Truth: The Israeli offensive in South Lebanon and the southern suburbs of Beirut has laid waste to large residential areas, destroying everything. They have deliberately targeted houses, apartment blocks, schools, ambulances, buses and factories. The countries infrastructure has been deliberately smashed; roads, airports, power stations etc. They have repeatedly attacked the Lebanese Army. They have stated that they will attack any vehicle moving in South Lebanon. Israel has used cluster bombs in civilian areas and there is evidence to suggest that Israel has used chemical weapons.

  • Myth: The Israeli government is a moderate one which is acting in a measured way and with concern for Lebanese and Palestinian civilians.

  • Truth: Israel is a religious state in the same sense as Iran.

Actions speak louder than words:

Civilian Deaths in the most recent fighting:

  • Lebanon: at least 900 - Palestine: at least 160 - Israel: 46