The word “bellicose” is defined by Merriam Websters as “favoring or inclined to start quarrels or wars”.
Here’s the opening paragraph of a Guardian article by Peter Beaumont (Netanyahu accuses Iran of building missile production sites in Syria, Aug. 28):
Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has accused Iran of building sites to produce missiles in Syria and Lebanon during a meeting with the UN secretary-general, António Guterres – part of increasingly bellicose rhetoric from Israel and the US against Tehran.
So, what “bellicose rhetoric” by Israel is Beaumont referring to?
Here are the relevant paragraphs:
The remarks, made by Netanyahu at the beginning of a meeting with Guterres on Monday, come against a background of growing Israeli anxiety over the expanding Iranian influence on its northern border.
Netanyahu accused Iran of turning Syria into a “base of military entrenchment as part of its declared goal to eradicate Israel”.
He added: “It is also building sites to produce precision-guided missiles towards that end, in both Syria and in Lebanon. This is something Israel cannot accept. This is something the UN should not accept.”
Israel has pointed to Tehran’s steadily increasing influence in the region during the six-year-old Syrian conflict, whether via its own Revolutionary Guard forces or Shia Muslim proxies, especially Hezbollah.
Earlier in August, Israeli media broadcast what it said were images from Israel’s Eros B satellite, showing a site in north-west Syria near the town of Baniyas that it claimed was intended to be a missile storage site.
Were you able to spot the “bellicose” Israeli rhetoric? We certainty weren’t. Is Beaumont suggesting that Israeli warnings concerning ongoing Iranian threats to annihilate Israel represent “bellicose” rhetoric? Of course, such bellicose threats by Iranian leaders are ubiquitous, and impossible to deny. As recently as this past February, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei characterised Israel as a “cancerous tumor” and called for a “holy intifada” to destroy the country.
It really takes a lot of ideological conditioning to cover tensions between Israel and Iran, and not only ignore or obfuscate Iran’s genocidal threats, but to frame Israel as the belligerent party in the dispute.
- Economist cartoon contrasts peaceful Iran with belligerent Israel (UK Media Watch)
- Guardian’s Julian Borger warns of “minority elements” provoking US-Iran war (UK Media Watch)