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COMMENTARY:

Open Letter to the American Media

by MAY IBRAHIM
How much self-defending does Israel really need to do with the Superpower of the day standing so closely behind, disbursing billions, deploying masses of weapons, invading countries opposed to Israel's policies and biting ferociously at any reproachful finger that may be pointed in Israel's direction?
Dear Members of the American Media,

I have been following your coverage of the Israeli attack on Lebanon, and I am appalled to see the lack of information provided to your audience on the ACTUAL escalation of events that has truly led to this inconceivably unjust and criminal military onslaught onto Lebanon and its citizens by the government of Israel.

Lebanon and the Lebanese population will suffer for months, if not years, to recover from this heinous offensive on their territory and their sovereignty, all in the name of Israel's self-defense. Without justifying the kidnappings themselves, it must be pointed out that Israel's existence and well-being have not come under any real threat as a result of the kidnappings, or as a result of any other event in recent history for that matter. How much self-defending does Israel really need to do with the Superpower of the day standing so closely behind, disbursing billions, deploying masses of weapons, invading countries opposed to Israel's policies and biting ferociously at any reproachful finger that may be pointed in Israel's direction?

The majority of articles published in the U.S. state that the Israeli hostilities against Lebanon are a retaliation to Hezbollah kidnapping two Israeli soldiers, echoing President Bush's sentiment that the kidnappings give Israel the 'right to defend itself.' Has not one author in your team, nor any of your editors, thought it relevant to mention the months and years of Israeli kidnappings of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, officials and public figures that have gone un-retributed? What about the hundreds, nay thousands of Lebanese, Palestinians and Syrians rotting away in Israeli prisons without charge or trial for years on end? And what of the tens of Palestinians assassinated daily in the Palestinian territories for alleged crimes against Israel which have never been substantiated in front of an international court?

What of the Palestinians’ rights to defend themselves or retaliate when their homes, schools, hospitals and livelihoods are destroyed, and their fathers, sons, brothers, mothers and sisters are murdered?

Do the US and Israel alone decide which governments are terrorist and which aren't?
What has happened to the rule of law? Or has Bush also relieved Israel of adhering to international laws on occupation, war and human rights? Once in violation of these laws, and Israel IS without a doubt in violation, does that not constitute it a criminal and terrorist state? Do international laws apply to all governments except that of Israel? Do the US and Israel alone decide which governments are terrorist and which aren't?

You have conveniently chosen not to pose such questions nor seek their answers, though their relevance to the coverage of the current crisis is imperative.

Any good piece of reporting would present the reader with all the facts and allow them to reach their own conclusions. You have consciously and unforgivably colluded to misinform your readers as to the real causes behind the current (and continuing) Middle East crisis, and you have failed to depict Israel's contribution to the disastrous events in the region. Your news department has shown cowardice in its decision not to criticize, let alone condemn, Israel's disproportionate and murderous military actions in Lebanon. How can such a show of an unbalanced and exaggerated response of force to the kidnappings be deemed as self-defense?

How should Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority respond to hundreds already kidnapped by Israel? What could be viewed by you as a proportional response to those crimes? By your apparent standards, the answer to such a question would certainly be terrifying.

You have proven to be a disappointment to your readers, both to those who are not aware of the history of this conflict and those who, as a result of your coverage, have been led to a reach the wrong conclusions, and to those readers who are aware of the history of the conflict and have been let-down by the blatant bias in your reporting and the un-explicable misinformation you have provided in favor of the Israeli government.

I will spare no effort on my part to ensure that this opinion of your news agency is circulated to friends, associates and contacts all over the globe, and to local newspapers worldwide, so that as many people as possible may be propelled to question your credibility as a news agency, and so that as many people as possible may be compelled to look elsewhere for their source of international news.
May Ibrahim writes from Montreal, Canada.



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This story was published on July 27, 2006.