ABC only looks at one side of Lebanese border wall

November 27, 2018 by Simon Plosker
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Australia’s national broadcaster ABC News has reported from the Lebanese border where Israel is constructing a security wall.

View of a new concrete wall on the border between Israel and Lebanon near Rosh Hanikra in Northern Israel on September 5, 2018. Photo by Basel Awidat/Flash90

It appears, however, that Middle East correspondent Adam Harvey is only prepared to acknowledge the views from one side of the wall and even then to selectively omit important political, historical and geographical context.

We’ve had significant issues in the past with Harvey’s predecessor Sophie McNeill, an advocacy journalist who consistently demonstrated an anti-Israel agenda. Is ABC News continuing its trend for sub-standard reporting on Israel?

It certainly looks that way.

No comment from the Israeli side

It soon becomes clear that Harvey hasn’t done any research or asked for any commentary from the Israeli side of the border. Harvey only quotes a Lebanese man who lives near the border and UNIFIL spokesman. No Israelis. In the course of a 3:21 radio spot to 631 words, these 23 words are the sum total of the Israeli view:

Israel says the $600 million project is essential to stop Hezbollah fighters from attacking Israelis in the villages and settlements near the border.

The rest of the report is devoted to commentary from one local Lebanese man and Andrea Tenenti,  the spokesman for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

According to the local man, “the threat of incursion is from Israel.” Had Harvey bothered to get a comment from an Israeli source, perhaps he would have noted which side is really threatening the other.

As The Times of Israel reported:

The concrete barrier is designed to serve two main functions: protect Israeli civilians and soldiers from sniper attacks, and prevent infiltration into Israel by Hezbollah operatives.

According to the senior officer, approximately seven years ago, Hezbollah began creating a special forces unit — known as the Radwan Unit — specifically tasked with crossing into Israel and causing as much mayhem and destruction as possible both for the sake of the destruction itself and for the “symbolism” of having troops carry out attacks inside Israel.

“Their main goal is to kill as many people as they can in [Israeli] villages and army bases,” the officer said.

Hezbollah has threatened to capture the Galilee using tactics it learned in Syria. Moreover, the IDF also has presented evidence that Hezbollah is hiding behind an environmental NGO (non-governmental organization) to gather intelligence along the border.

Construction workers putting a concrete wall on the border between Israel and Lebanon in Northern Israel on February 8, 2018. Photo by Basel Awidat/Flash90

Indeed, Hezbollah is the central reason for the construction of a border barrier yet the one line of 23 words above referencing “Hezbollah fighters” is the only time that this deadly terrorist organization warrants a mention. How is it possible that the entire context for the building of this wall has been reduced to this?

Why no mention that Hezbollah is an Iranian proxy with thousands of rockets trained on the entirety of Israel? Why no mention of the constant threats made against Israel by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah?

Presenting only one side of a story is a form of imbalanced reporting (learn more about it). Misrepresenting fringe views as mainstream or giving a topic disproportionate coverage are other forms of imbalanced reporting.

Israel equally responsible for a violent border incident?

Instead, according to the ABC, Israel is, at best, equally responsible for violence as the other side.

Referring to the UN-demarcated border, the report states:


One Response to “ABC only looks at one side of Lebanese border wall”
  1. Adrian Jackson says:

    I watched ABC TV interview residents from both sides of the new barrier and they said it will keep the other side out of their respective countries.

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