What’s Flying Up North

As Israel’s northern region was targeted in the past few days, media coverage failed to present essential context to inform readers of ongoing Arab aggression against Israel. Here’s a review of what occurred: On June 7, a Lebanon-based Palestinian group (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) fired a number of rockets toward Israel. One nearly hit an Israeli naval vessel patrolling in Israeli territorial waters.

1) In retaliation hours later, the Israeli Air Force struck a PFLP base just south of Beirut.

2) The following day (June 8), in a new provocation, Hezbollah fired 20 rockets and mortars at IDF positions on Har Dov.

3) In retaliation that day, the IDF returned fire against Hezbollah.

Yet here’s how the June 8 Associated Press report began:

Hezbollah guerrillas and Israeli troops fired rockets and shells at each other across the south Lebanon border Tuesday, a day after the deepest Israeli airstrike into Lebanon in four years.

Note that the Israeli airstrike raises readers’ concern (‘deepest in four years’) and is mentioned in a long-term historical context, but the PFLP rocket attack that immediately preceded the Israeli airstrike and instigated this entire round of violence is omitted. AP only gets around to mentioning the instigating attack the PFLP rocket strike in the 10th paragraph of this report.

AP thereby misleads the typical reader by skirting past what is perhaps the dominant narrative of the Mideast conflict ? Arab rejection of, and aggression against, Israel.

Indeed, this week’s provocations from Lebanon were in blatant violation of the Lebanese-Israeli border (the ‘Blue Line’) that the United Nations defined following Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May 2000. Since then, despite Israeli commitment to the Blue Line, Hezbollah and Palestinian groups in Lebanon have killed six Israeli civilians and eleven IDF soldiers through an ongoing barrage of unprovoked attacks:

– 105 anti-aircraft attacks
– 42 anti-tank missile attacks
– 5 Katyusha rocket attacks
– 7 shooting attacks
– 10 explosive device attacks
– 14 infiltration attempts


By failing to put this week’s violence in proper context, Associated Press extends an all-too-familiar pattern of ‘tit-for-tat, cycle of violence’ coverage ? emphasizing the latest Israeli strike, while downplaying the fact that Israel was merely responding to unprovoked violence.

Comments to AP: feedback@ap.org


Immediate and forceful IDF response to these Hezbollah and PFLP attacks are absolutely essential for Israeli security. Here’s a map that explains why the relevant item is the range of Katyusha missiles:

Over a million Israeli civilians live within range of Ketusha rockets fired from southern Lebanon. If the IDF would not respond to the terrorist fire, the entire northern Israeli populace would become regular targets.

News stories don’t convey the Israeli vulnerability illustrated by this map. Yet you have no idea what’s really flying in this story if you don’t understand this map’s implications for Israeli security.

So as the Lebanese-based terrorists threaten to heat up the northern region once again, HonestReporting encourages subscribers to use these background points to respond to misrepresentations in your local media. Or better yet, take the initiative to draft an op-ed for publication in your local paper.

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