Guardian headline and report on Lebanese terrorist rocket fire into Israel blurs causation

according to the Guardian, a sovereign state's targeted response to missile attacks on its civilians by terrorist groups raises 'fresh tensions' in precisely the same way as the rocket fire itself?

Given the total lack of any mention of it on the ‘Comment is Free’ Israel page, one can only assume that the CiF editors find nothing newsworthy about the launching from Lebanon of several Katyusha rockets at sleeping Israeli civilians late on Monday night.

Things were not much better in the Guardian World News Middle East section, where the incident received all of 57 words and 49 seconds-worth of attention in a video showing Israeli fire-fighters extinguishing the blaze caused as one of the rockets hit a gas tank and another a chicken farm. (Surely the famous chicken rights defender Harriet Sherwood should have been interested in that?).

As ‘Honest Reporting rightly pointed out, the Guardian even managed to bungle the headline.

The moral equivalence implied in the headline is developed further below:

“The Israeli military say they responded after a volley of rockets were fired across the border from Lebanon, raising fresh tensions in the volatile region”

Hmm; so according to the Guardian, a sovereign state’s targeted response to missile attacks on its civilians by terrorist groups raises ‘fresh tensions’ in precisely the same way as the rocket fire itself?

Of course we are more than used to this type of shoddy reporting every time similar incidents occur in the southern communities near Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip. Consistently keen to muddy the waters of cause and effect, Guardian editors are very fond of suggesting some kind of equivalence between the actions of the IDF and the war crime of deliberately firing rockets and mortars at civilian population centres.

But what is also interesting is that the Guardian has not seen fit to provide its readers with any background whatsoever regarding the perpetrators of Monday night’s rocket fire, the possible reasons for it, or the implications of the fact that it is highly unlikely that such an attack could have taken place without the knowledge of Hizballah.

Similarly, the Guardian chooses to disregard the fact that according to the very patchily implemented UNSC resolution 1701, there should be no militias and no weapons which do not belong to the LAF south of the Litani River.

The 2006 Lebanon war could have been prevented if the international community – as represented by UNIFIL in southern Lebanon – had taken serious steps towards enforcing its own UNSC resolution 1559 which called for “the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias”.

The next war is being made a certainty by the same abject failure to implement UNSC resolution 1701 as demonstrated by the events of Monday night.  But that, of course, will come as a total surprise out of the blue to Guardian readers schooled only in lessons of ‘moral equivalence’.

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