'Today' Sees Things Lebanon's Way - And Ignores Big Picture

Heart-rending images of small children being lifted across a fence. Outraged American/Lebanese evacuees alleging indiscriminate Israeli bombing ["they are bombing streets, gas stations, food stores, ranches."] A crying Lebanese man with blood on his shirt after his brother was killed by an Israeli bomb. And the only two reporters on the scene reporting from . . . Beirut. That was the way the 'Today' largely saw fit to cover the Middle East conflict this morning.

While none of the words or images are necessarily inaccurate [and we were treated to one evacuee heartily thanking Pres. Bush], they utterly fail to tell the whole story. Yes, Israel is militarily superior to its immediate neighbors. So it is easy to portray it as the bully in this fight. But let's look at the larger picture - Israel, a small strip of land, with relatively few people or natural resources, surrounded by hundreds of millions of largely Muslim Arabs in more than a dozen states. Have a look at the map. Israel is a barely discernible dot in the Muslim sea. And just as it is geographically dwarfed so too is it overwhelmed when it comes to natural resources - oil above all - compared to its neighbors.

Even more importantly is the question of attitude. As Bill O'Reilly succinctly framed things on last night's 'Factor':

"Tomorrow, if the terrorists stopped killing and laid down their arms, the violence in the Middle East and in Iraq, for that matter, will stop. Tomorrow, if Israel throws all of its weapons into the Mediterranean Sea, there will be another Holocaust." [Hat tip to poster Gary Hall.]

Too true. Yet the MSM inevitably emphasize the suffering of others at the hands of Israel, generally ignoring the fact that Israel perpetually stands between one defeat and extinction.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.