A desperate Lebanese family awaits evacuation in Tibnine.
FDQL: Fire Dept. Qana Lebanon, 7/30.
Zheia Bateool, age 2, is released from a hospital in Lebanon after she was treated for burns and shrapnel wounds suffered when her family home was bombed by Israelis.
"The perception that Israel has lost the battle for hearts and minds, and that Hezbollah and Iran have won, was reinforced by the Israeli attack on the Lebanese village of Qana, which killed dozens of civilians, including many children."
— Michael Slackman, New York Times, Aug. 1, 2006
The Qana Tipping Point
Jefferson Morely, Washington Post, Aug. 1, 2006
The Israeli air strike on the Lebanese village of Qana early Sunday morning did more than kill 57 civilians. According to a wide range of commentary in the international media, it inflamed already boiling public opinion in the Arab world against Israel, undermined what little support the United States has among the Lebanese people, and illuminated the continuing inability of Israel and the United States to achieve their goal of decisively weakening Hezbollah.
On Monday, the leading English-language news sites in the Arab world -- including Aljazeera.net, the Jordan Times, the Beirut "Daily Star," and the Arab News -- featured photos of rescue workers carrying the dusty bodies of children from the wreckage of a Qana apartment building where they had taken refuge. The headlines were blunt: "Israel Massacres Kids," said the Arab News in Saudi Arabia. The Qana attack wiped out concerns in the Sunni Arab world, voiced early in the conflict, about Hezbollah and its allies in Shiite Iran.
The Daily Star and many other sites emphasized a historical angle that most Americans were probably unaware of: that Qana had been the site of an unprovoked Israeli attack on a refugee camp in 1996 that killed 106 civilians. "The Israeli butchers have added a new line to their bloody record," said Al Ahram, the leading daily newspaper of Egypt whose editor is appointed by the country's pro-American leader Hosni Mubarak. "This dark chapter resembles the one that took place ten years ago. The place is the same... the butchers are the same and the victims again are innocent children and women."
Almost ninety percent of all respondents agreed that the United States “is not an honest mediator” in the Middle East. The Bush administration has said that its goal is bolster Lebanese democracy. The vast majority of Lebanese don’t believe it...
Lebanon's Daily Star newspaper said July 31 that the Qana massacre has boosted support for Hezbollah. “Now that fresh images of the broken bodies of the women and children of Qana are being shown on our television screens, the idea of forgetting has become all the more unthinkable. These images have stirred the anger and outrage of even the most moderate Lebanese, proving that Israeli brutality - not Hizbullah - has become Israel's own worst enemy. Israel's unabashed butchery in Qana has only demonstrated to many of those who were on the fence that there is indeed a legitimate need for resistance.”
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
On Jul 31, 2006, at 21:11, B.F. wrote: Re: "Israel has lost the battle for hearts and minds."
This has truly been my experience. The information gathering efforts of so many people on the internet has been stellar. May God bless them all, and most especially yourself. Any sincere person with half a brain could piece the story together from the information available. And as you say, many people are tracing the pathology back to it's source in rabbinic Judaism, which is a very positive development.
From the work I've been doing on internet forums it's obvious that the big guns of Zionist apologetics are sitting this one out. It has been a great window of opportunity to get the message out in places where I'm certain that I would have been tarred, feathered and then lit on fire before being banned from the forum at any other time.
It's a small triumph, and sadly it came at the expense of the suffering of an entire nation, but it's a triumph nonetheless.
As one who always attempts to keep a level head, I wonder, what do we make of it all?
I am of the opinion that at some point Zionists are going to attempt to create anti-"Jewish" sentiments on a much greater scale as a means of drawing the more liberated Judaics into the fold. Could that be related to what's happening here?
Yes, I agree, the Israelis may generate their own atrocity sympathy through black ops.
Second, they commit crimes and massacres in Lebanon based in part on psychological and other studies that determine that the carnage will be but a hazy memory a year from now.
The April, 1996 Israeli massacre at Qana, which according to Amnesty International was deliberate and unprovoked, was described by both the NY Times (Steve Erlanger) and the LA Times yesterday, July 31, as having been an accident. There is no price to pay for this holocaust denial on the part of the these major newspapers. Even if the blame were pinned squarely and deservedly on the Israelis by the US media, Qana '96 has not been indelibly memorialized in any way: no monumental statue, no annual commemoration, no documentary movie with interviews with the survivors; no stirring song, renowned poem or gripping theatre to enshrine it for all time.
Furthermore, Beirut was horribly firebombed throughout the summer of 1982 by the Israelis, including schools and hospitals. No one remembers it today, not even the victims. The Arab memory for 1982 is mainly of the September massacre at the Sabra and Chatila refugee camp, not the city of Beirut (particularly in August) under Israeli terror-bombing.
Whenever the bombs stop falling in Lebanon, the world will turn its eye to some other disaster zone, perhaps in Asia or America's own hurricane alley. At that point it will be up to the Arabs to kindle the memory of what transpired in Lebanon in the summer of 2006. Let's hope they change their apathetic, amnesiac ways, otherwise, as time progresses, the memory of Israeli war crimes will recede, as it always has, even as the memory of what the Nazis did to Judaics (real and imagined) more than 60 years ago, becomes, by some perverse wizardry, ever more vibrant and compelling.
This is the psychology which the White House and Jerusalem are banking on to extricate themselves over the long term. Yes, I believe the Israelis are losing the battle for hearts and minds in the short-term. But in the long view, this loss is by no means certain, as yet.