Border Clash or Unprovoked Assault

Dear HonestReporting Subscriber,Monday, November 21, the Hizbollah terrorist organization unleashed a broad offensive in a number of places along Israel’s border with Lebanon. Following a rocket and border barrage against Israeli military positions, terrorists crossed the border with the objective to kidnap Israeli soldiers. These unprovoked attacks resulted in thirteen Israeli soldiers being wounded, two seriously. Israel responded with artillery fire against the Hizbollah positions. An Israeli soldier was able to shoot four terrorists who were intent on carrying out a kidnapping.

“Blown” coverage by the BBC?

The BBC ran this picture to accompany the article. They did not give its background, and we are left wondering what exactly we are looking at.

Despite what actually happened, a reader gets a very different picture from the BBC’s description of the events.


Headlines are very important. They immediately introduce the story and define its direction. The BBC deliberately chose a “neutral” headline that could be interpreted by a casual reader to indicate that both sides were to blame for the battle instead of  something more accurate like “Israel was attacked on northern border”. Compounding its misleading reporting, the BBC’s first paragraph, in bold, was:

Israeli troops have killed three Hezbollah fighters during a guerrilla attack near the Lebanese border, which also left several Israelis wounded.

The wording gives no sense of how the men died after infiltrating Israel with a goal to kidnap Israeli soldiers. It also gives no clear acknowledgement over which side initiated hostilities. The United Nations Security Council issued an unprecedented condemnation of Hezbollah, declaring that the incident had been instigated from the Lebanese side.

In addition, as usual, terrorists are not referred to as terrorists, but rather “fighters,” which lends them credibility. Did the BBC ever refer to members of the Irish Republican Army as “fighters?” (See our affiliate site “Terror” which urges all media to use the term “terrorist” when referring to Arab terror groups).

Hizbollah is a terrorist group. American officials consider Hizbollah one of the most dangerous terrorist groups in the world ? one that has killed more than 300 Americans over the past 20 years, and served as a model for world terror. (See more on Hizbollah)


The largest error is the BBC’s reporting that the conflict took place in the “disputed” Shebaa Farms area. Shebaa Farms is a small collection of farms on the slopes of Mount Hermon. However, Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon was recognized by the U.S. and the U.N. as being 100% complete.

As reported in “Myths and Facts“:

Despite the UN ruling that Israel completed its withdrawal from southern Lebanon, Hizbollah and the Lebanese government insist that Israel still holds Lebanese territory in eastern Mount Dov, a largely uninhabited patch called Shebaa Farms. This claim provides Hizbollah with a pretext to continue its activities against Israel. Thus, after kidnapping three Israeli soldiers in that area, it announced that they were captured on Lebanese soil.

In January 2005, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution condemning violence along the Israel-Lebanon border and reasserted that the Lebanese claim to the Shebaa farms area is “not compatible with Security Council resolutions.”

But what is more disturbing about the BBC report is that they never mention that the attack took place over a wide area, very far from the isolated Shebaa Farms. The Hizbollah attacks hit Israeli targets all along Israel’s Northern border, including Metulla, over 20 kilometers away form Mount Hermon. The terrorists had infiltrated through the border village of Ghajar, 15 kilometers from Shebaa Farms area!

Unfortunately, the BBC’s style of reporting can be found in many new reports of the events:

Hezbollah fighters, Israeli troops clash, CNN

Comments to CNN: Click here

Israeli Troops Kill Four Hizbollah Fighters, Washington Post

Comments to The Washington Post:

Israeli Jets Raid Lebanon, Reuters

Comments to Reuters:

Israel responded to a wide ranging, unprovoked attack across it borders by terrorists attempting to kidnap its soldiers. Yet many in the media reported this event as a “border” clash and insinuate that both sides share responsibility for the attacks and the casualties.

Did your local paper cover the attack honestly? If not, let them know of their responsibility for objective reporting.

Thank you for your ongoing involvement in the battle against media bias.