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Lebanon is now receiving its share of bloody and violent scenes that have already been witnessed in Iraq and Palestine. Images of Israeli aircrafts, fires and explosions have drastically changed the Lebanese scene. As images from Beirut’s airport, the suburbs and the south are broadcast, we are reminded of the Lebanon of the 1970s and 1980s, scenes that we believed would remain images from the past.

The situation has escalated dramatically …

The kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah came as a shock to everybody. Only a few days ago, television screens showed Lebanese distributing sweets, and celebrating the “restored dignity,” according to Hezbollah and its affiliate’s perception of the hostage taking operation. The same screens are now filled with live images of collective punishment inflicted upon the Lebanese by Israeli forces.

Today, Lebanon is the focus of news reports. Arab and international media have exerted much effort in covering the Lebanese catastrophe. The reporting by western media has focused on the crisis by looking at Hezbollah’s actions and the Israeli reaction. Arab media, however, differed completely as it concentrated on political and field developments.

Lebanese media had stumbled at the beginning of the crisis; however, it soon prioritized this event over others, after Israeli aggression destroyed the Lebanese infrastructure and killed civilians. However, television did not portray the full picture. Parallel to the Israeli shelling of Lebanon and the countering bombardment of northern Israel with Katyusha missiles, there are many internal divisions and crises emerging within Lebanon. As the world watches images of stranded Lebanese citizens and others in search of foodstuff, there is a state of unprecedented frustration. This time, the determination of the Israeli crimes has been met with less enthusiasm in countering such violence, and this has been made clear through the media. With consensus on the ruthlessness of the Israeli military operation, there is real anger on the issue surrounding Hezbollah’s responsibility in dragging Lebanon into such a dangerous and deadly adventure. This matter was tackled in an indirect and hesitant manner in various forms of the media.

I do not believe that it is coincidental that the Secretary General of Hezbollah, Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah during a press conference that followed the kidnapping of the two Israeli soldiers, called upon the media to cover the event fairly without attacking resistance and national unity. He further called upon media to postpone any arguments concerning the validity of Hezbollah’s actions until after the crises have been settled. Nasrallah’s address to the media came from his realization that Hezbollah is not fully protected or supported in the shadow of the Lebanese political and factional divisions, not only politically, but also through the scenes that are broadcast on television screens that show that the whole of Lebanon has become hostage to the two Israeli soldiers.

Nowadays, media is devoted to accompanying Israeli aggression and its atrocities, as well as discussion on the causes of such an assault, but undoubtedly, the debate would be severe and harsh and not allow the chants of resistance and its propaganda to contain this aggression.

Diana Moukalled

Diana Moukalled

Diana Moukalled is a prominent and well-respected TV journalist in the Arab world thanks to her phenomenal show Bil Ayn Al-Mojarada (By The Naked Eye), a series of documentaries on controversial areas and topics which airs on Lebanon's leading local and satelite channel, Future Television. Diana also is a veteran war correspondent, having covered both the wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan, as well as the Israeli "Grapes of Wrath" massacre in southern Lebanon. Ms. Moukalled has gained worldwide recognition and was named one of the most influential women in a special feature that ran in Time Magazine in 2004.

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