Sunday, July 27, 2008

From my local newspaper:
"In the July 21 Bee ("Lebanese line up to praise freed killer and symbol of resistance," Page A-6), your reporter most of the time referred to the freed Lebanese prisoner, Samir Kantar, as a "killer," thus accepting the Israeli point of view that he killed an Israeli child, rather than Kantar's claim that the child died during a shootout with Israeli commandos. Now, if your reporter was a commentator, I would not have had any problem with that, though I would still have opposed this point of view. But your reporter is supposed to be neutral and not take sides. A reporter's duty is to try to be objective. Thus, your reporter could have said "the alleged killer," or a similar phrase which would convey the fact that there are two versions of the events. I denounce this lack of objectivity. Without doubt, in the Israeli-Arab conflict, both sides have committed atrocities, and the Western media have mostly accepted the Israeli version of events as "truth," not expressing any sympathy toward the victims of Israeli aggression against Arab civilians. I remember clearly the picture of a car smashed under an invading Israeli tank, with a Lebanese family of five within it. This is not to justify acts of brutality against Israeli civilians. It is only after we accept the humanity of both sides and denounce violence committed by both sides that we can expect peace to take hold.