Monday, August 07, 2006

The media at work

I am a subscriber to a News Alert feature of The New York Times. This morning I received such an alert: "Lebanon's Leader Says 40 Killed in Israel Strike." Hours later, when it became clear that Lebanese PM Fouad Siniora misstated the facts of the air attack on Houla (1 death and scores of injuries), no similar News Alert correcting the story.

The ongoing claim that Israel is killing Lebanese at a 10-to-1 ratio to Israeli casualties is another myth of this operation. As of yesterday, the ratio was more like 8-to-1: 95 Israelis; 720 Lebanese. Like this is something worth arguing over - but some people do so...But in order to keep the casualty count question in perspective, remember that in the first week of the 1982 invasion there were claims of 50,000 dead Lebanese; that number was revised by historians to 6,000-10,000. That number by the way proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that this particular confrontation has so far been extremely limited in scope and lethality, whether by design or by folly.

I went to a wedding yesterday of a daughter of a colleague. It was a very beautiful affair; and the newly-wed young couple are planning to go to Haifa for the groom's medical studies. It didn't cast a pall over the wedding one iota - but it sure was a topic of conversation at the tables.

Meanwhile my buddy back in Tel Aviv - a lifelong leftist academic who voted for Meretz numerous times, and who supported Lova Eliav's failed bid for an independent parliamentary seat years ago - is reporting to me his "turn to the right." It's hard for me to quibble with him. Apparently this 4 week-long assault on the Israeli hinterland - the longest threat to the general population since the 1948 War of Independence - is taking its toll with the peace camp. Still he agreed with me that Ehud Barak's inexplicable stubbornness over relenquishing the last 10-meters of the Golan Heights back in 1999-2000 would have defused the entire northern front; and today we would all be enjoying a peaceful summer. Maybe....or as us gamblers say to each other: woulda, coulda, shoulda....

1 comment:

  1. Everyone knows the New York Times is only anti-semitic when it's drunk.