BBC trumpets Hizballah narrative of ‘resistance’

“Bitter taste”. That was the curious choice of wording used to headline a May 23rd article about Hizballah by BBC diplomatic/defence correspondent Jonathan Marcus in the ‘Features & Analysis’ section of the Middle East page of the BBC News website.

Marcus Hizb 1

A click on the link leads to a report titled “Europe’s stance on Hezbollah hardens” which is illustrated with an image equally bizarrely captioned:

“Hezbollah’s embrace of Assad regime during the bitter Syrian conflict has hardened European hearts against it” [emphasis added]

The use of such emotion-orientated language may well cause readers to wonder if they are reading about reactions to a candidate in a phone-in TV talent contest rather than evidence-based assessments of an international terror organization.

Disappointingly for any readers seeking accurate information on the subject of Hizballah, Marcus chooses to perpetuate the myth of a separate ‘military wing’ to that organization. 

“The British government is pushing its European partners to designate the military wing of Hezbollah as a terrorist entity. This comes in the wake of the organisation’s role in an attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria and the recent conviction of a Hezbollah operative in Cyprus.”

“Up to now, only Britain and the Netherlands have placed the military wing of Hezbollah on their national terrorism blacklists. Germany now seems more willing to designate Hezbollah’s military arm, and this has given some impetus to the British move.”

In fact, the 2004 designation of Hizballah as a terrorist organization by the Netherlands rightly makes no distinction between its ‘military’ and ‘political’ wings, as shown on page 19 of the General Intelligence and Security Service Report for that year.

“Investigations have shown that Hezbollah’s terrorist wing, the Hezbollah External Security Organisation, has been directly and indirectly involved in terrorist acts. It can also be concluded that Hezbollah’s political and terrorist wings are controlled by one co-ordinating council. This means that there is indeed a link between these parts of the organisation. The Netherlands has changed its policy and no longer makes a distinction between the political and terrorist Hezbollah branches. The Netherlands informed the relevant EU bodies of its findings. “

Of course Hizballah itself is perfectly aware of the potential effects of designation upon the organisation as a whole, as expressed by Hassan Nasrallah in 2005.

“[EU designation] would dry up the sources of finance, end moral, political and material support, stifle voices, whether they are the voices of the resistance or the voices which support the resistance, pressure states which protect the resistance in one way and another, and pressure the Lebanese state, Iran and Iraq, but especially the Lebanese state, in order to classify it as a state which supports terrorism.”

Bizarrely, the BBC’s diplomatic/defence correspondent only now seems to have discovered the fact that Hizballah is an Iranian franchise – a fact which has been obvious to most other people with any knowledge of the Middle East for years.

“Hezbollah seems to have thrown in its hand with President Assad, confirming the views of many of its critics that it is playing out a wider game plan inspired by Tehran.”

The outstanding feature of Marcus’ article, however, is its adoption of the lexicon and narrative of the terrorists he writes about. [emphasis added]

“The British move to list Hezbollah’s military wing comes as the image of the Lebanese organisation – long hailed in the region as one of the principal resistance forces against Israel – is coming under strain.”

Marcus does not take the trouble to explain to his readers what lies behind the romantic-sounding propaganda slogan “resistance”, as laid out in Hizballah’s original 1985 “open letter”.

“We see in Israel the vanguard of the United States in our Islamic world. It is the hated enemy that must be fought until the hated ones get what they deserve. This enemy is the greatest danger to our future generations and to the destiny of our lands, particularly as it glorifies the ideas of settlement and expansion, initiated in Palestine, and yearning outward to the extension of the Great Israel, from the Euphrates to the Nile. 

Women are seen watching Nasrallah at an event marking Resistance and Liberation Day, May 25, 2013.

Women are seen watching Nasrallah at an event marking Resistance and Liberation Day, May 25, 2013. Photo: REUTERS

Our primary assumption in our fight against Israel states that the Zionist entity is aggressive from its inception, and built on lands wrested from their owners, at the expense of the rights of the Muslim people. Therefore our struggle will end only when this entity is obliterated. We recognize no treaty with it, no cease fire, and no peace agreements, whether separate or consolidated. 

We vigorously condemn all plans for negotiation with Israel, and regard all negotiators as enemies, for the reason that such negotiation is nothing but the recognition of the legitimacy of the Zionist occupation of Palestine. Therefore we oppose and reject the Camp David Agreements, the proposals of King Fahd, the Fez and Reagan plan, Brezhnev’s and the French-Egyptian proposals, and all other programs that include the recognition (even the implied recognition) of the Zionist entity.” [emphasis added]

Neither did the revised 2009 Hizballah “manifesto” demonstrate any change in its attitudes towards Israel:

“Similarly, twenty-four years of organizational development and political integration have not led to any shift in Hizbollah’s fervent opposition to any negotiated agreement between Israel and the Arab world. The group continues in its “absolute refusal to [accept] the very principle of the choice of settlement with the Zionist entity, which is based on recognizing the legitimacy and existence of this entity and giving up to it the lands it usurped from Arab and Islamic Palestine.” “

The move by EU countries to finally designate Hizballah as a terrorist organization is, of course, both necessary and long overdue. Whilst Jonathan Marcus’ analysis of the reasons behind that shift may be useful, the fact that he is apparently unable to avoid the temptation of adopting and promoting the terrorist organisation’s own narrative with regard to the euphemism of “resistance” does not enhance BBC audience’s understanding of Hizballah or the basis for its designation. 

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16 comments on “BBC trumpets Hizballah narrative of ‘resistance’

  1. When Israel stops attacking Lebanon (as we know that Ben-Gurion and Moshe Dayan plotted since at least 1954) then the Lebanese will not need a resistance.

    In fact, they no longer have a resistance – Hezbollah is the legitimate armed forces of a nation that has suffered appallingly from the actions of Israel.

    This man, son of two Holocaust survivors, put it powerfully at 3m 27s of this video:

    … in the 1940s you can disagree with Stalin and Stalinism and the Soviet Union on this and on that. And there were excellent reasons for disagreeing. But every victory of the Red Army over the Nazi invaders was a victory for liberty and a victory for freedom. And every victory of Hezbollah over the vandals and the marauders, the invaders and the murderers; every victory by Hezbollah over Israel is also a victory for liberty and a victory for freedom. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpFmxnwQ9Bw

    • Hezbollah is not the legitimate armed forces of Lebanon that is a LIE. We can see it now as it is obeying only Iran orders in Syria.
      As for Lebnanon you just forgot all Palestinian attacks from Lebanon on Israel for years before Israel invaded Lebanon . The rokcets, the terrorist who came from Lebanona and murder of so many Israelis. Why do you ignore that. It all happaned in the seventies after PLO was expelled from Jordan after ” Black September”.

      • We know why he ignores all that, Tamara – because he has no interest whatsoever in the truth, only in disseminating his blatant propaganda.

      • Hezbollah is now part of the Lebanese government and its forces are (as much as Israeli forces are) under the control of the state.

        And the Lebanese are not stupid – they know that their once peaceful and prosperous land has been devastated by Israel arming criminals and its five outrageous attacks and continuing intrusions.

        How do they know its Israel doing it? Because a brave Israeli (later murdered in a hotel room … hmmm – who do we know does that?) leaked a portion of Moshe Sharett’s diary, wherein he described the plotting and even the precise method that Israel would use for its next land-grab.

        Dayan set out the method on June 16th 1955: “All that remains to be found is an officer, even a simple captain. We must win him to our cause, buy him, so that he will declare himself to be the savior of the Maronite population. Then, the Israeli army would enter Lebanon, would occupy the territories where a Christian regime allied to Israel would be established, and everything would work like clockwork. The Southern part of the Lebanon would be completely annexed to Israel.

        It was to be 27 years before this plan was put into effect, but the method is right there – Major Haddad and the SLA playing the part of local collaborators and murderers of the Lebanese (their “movement” collapsed immediately Israel was forced out of Lebanon in 2000 by Hezbollah). The Phalangists were also bribed to massacre, not Palestinian MAMs (military aged males, who had fled) but their families at Sabra and Chatilla.

        • While Hezboallh is part of the goverment is forces are not according to 1701. the legal force is the Lebanese army which Hezabollah is not part of . lebanese know full well that their once peaceful and prosperous land has been devastated by the Palestinian and not by Israel. Civil war in lebaon was not Israel doing. Again you choose to completly ignore the repeted terrorists attack against Israel from lebanon for years.
          If the quote about Dayan is true than why did we waite until 1983 we could have done it in 1967 with so little force before Palestinian came there and brought theri terror with them from Jordan to Lebanon

          • There’s an obvious and legal solution to the considerable damage that Palestinian refugees have done to Lebanon – let them back to their homes, as required by every possible legal and moral code, and as twice promised by Israel in May 1949 when it was pleading to be allowed into the UN. And pleading to be allowed to use the dispute-resolution process provided for by the UN, something they’ve never done.

            Meanwhile, questioning Moshe Sharret’s diaries just makes you look like an ignoramus – some modest portions (2 years worth) were published within Israel by the daughter of one of Moshe Sharret’s ministers, they caused a scandal and she was murdered before she could publish more.

            Similarly, an Israeli called Ilan Pappe accessed David Ben-Gurion’s diaries and discovered “The Consultancy”, the Zionists from Oct 1947 planning to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians, not just from the area set aside for a “Jewish Homeland” (where they’d been forbidden to do any such thing) but to spread out and destroy the homes and mosques of as many Palestinians as they could manage, eventually 400 entire villages and towns.

            So how did the Zionists retaliate agains their fellow Zionist, Ilan Pappe? Why, he was thrown out of his own country (rather like Solzenitsyn) and now lives in Exeter, UK.

            Back to your questions – was Civil War in Lebanon the doing of Israel? We cannot be sure, sending guns to criminals doesn’t leave much trace. But we can be sure that Israel has repeatedly smashed the peace that has existed on its borders, intent on seizing as much land as possible.

          • You revolting anti-Semitic prick…
            Pappe was convicted of libel after having, like you, falsified a tale of Israeli deviousness.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Tantura#Massacre_allegations
            After which, seeing whatever trace of academic credence he may have led go up in flames, he fled to England — where he continues to pour calumny on Israel with the same ridiculous and mostly fabricated nonsense.
            So cheer up — you and Pappe have got a lot in common: Two losers on a mission with a vengeance. Too bad you’re just that — losers.

          • In 1949, Israel offered to allow families that had been separated during the war to return; agreed to release refugee accounts frozen in Israeli banks (eventually released in 1953); offered to pay compensation for abandoned lands and, finally, agreed to repatriate 100,000 refugees.

            The Arabs rejected all the Israeli compromises.

            When the 48 war ended there were about 156,000 arabs left in Israel. Now there are
            1,656,600 . Before the war there were about 1 million Jews in arab countries now there are about 6000. So it seems we made a poor job of it not like our neighbours.

            Illan Peppe was proven to be a liar. Benny Morris wrote
            At best, Ilan Pappe must be one of the world’s sloppiest historians; at worst, one of the most dishonest. In truth, he probably merits a place somewhere between the two.
            He chose to leave Israel no one forced him.

            So again it is our fault that the so called Palestinain attacked us from Lebanon.
            WE gave back Sanai, lands in Jordan. Gaza , gave part of the West bank to the PA went out of Lebanon ? Seems we are doing a bad job at seizing lands.

    • Nick, not your brightest moment. Do you honestly think Lebanese Christians fear Israel more than than Hezbollah? You’re also confusing the chicken and the egg, as far as Israel attacking Lebanon versus Hezbollah “defending” Lebanon. The last big war between Israel/Hezbollah was sparked by Hezbollah crossing into Israel and murdering a bunch of Israeli soldiers. One shouldn’t kick a hornets’ nest, and complain when he gets stung.

      • The Lebanese Christians, like the Palestinian Christians, have been almost totally abandoned by the West. No surprise that they’ve sometimes joined in Hezbollah celebrations against their existential enemy to the South, against which Hezbollah won a pretty stunning victory in 2006.

        Hezbollah is also respected for not massacring the remains of the so-called “South Lebanese Army” which had accepted Israel’s guns and run amok between 1982 and 2000. The SLA efforts were only partially successful in ethnically cleansing the region for Israel (its now also peppered with millions of cluster bombs, it must be hell there).

        Furthermore, the Lebanese Christians recognise that, if Israel thinks it legitimate to kidnap and torture 100s of Palestinian doctors, teachers, elected leaders and 1000s of Palestinian children, then seizing Israeli soldiers (and treating them very properly, if Gilad Shalit is any guide) is perfectly in order.

        I tell you what I’m seeing amongst intelligent pro-Palestinians at the moment – a conviction that millions of non-Israelis in the region are going to die in the not too distant future. Whether Israel is defeated militarily or not (and it could happen just from rockets, Iron Dome would be useless even if it were not so expensive), the West is going to be flooded with all the professional Israelis who can get out.

        • Got to love people like Nick. Hezbollah starts a war, gets their butt handed to them and people like Nick think they won. Sorry buddy, you can believe all the Iranian propaganda you want, and wish for the defeat of Israel, but it ain’t going to happen.

          • For 18 years from 1982, Israel was in control of the whole of Lebanon – until Hezbollah, created in 1985 and re-born in 1992, threw them out in 2000.

            Israel continued to kidnap and hold and torture a few Lebanese (along with 100s of Palestinians) leading to a minor incident at the border in 2006.

            Israel hastily put into action their plan to invade and trash (perhaps to hold) a portion of Lebanon again – and Hezbollah defeated them again, this time quite badly. All of Hezbollah’s reserves were waiting North of the the Litani river, expecting a really serious onslaught – and it never came. This was not a 6 day war, it was a 33 day war – from which Israel retreated, badly stung. 1/2 a million Israelis had fled their homes in Northern Israel. The Israeli rules of the game say that if you do this, you never get to go home …. strangely, the rules seem not to apply to Israelis.

            Meanwhile, Israelis have fumed and fretted and fulminated for a further 7 years since that date … while the Lebanese have developed and taken Hezbollah into their government and created, for the first time in their history, a powerful national army.

            Sadly, that army is now being used to support the hideous Assad regime next door – but the writing is sure on the wall for Israel. Israeli air-superiority is no longer sufficient to win – while Russian missiles in Syria and Lebanon won’t even allow it to happen any more.

            As I’ve said, the writing is on the wall for Israel.

          • Israel was in control of the whole of Lebanon ? lol were do you get your information from I wonder . I bet you mean we kidnapped Samir Kuntar don;t you?
            Hezballa did so well that Nassralla said (from his bunker) that had he known Israel will react like it did he wouldn;t have kidnapped the Israeli soldiers.
            Not the lebanese army are the one supporting Assad but Hizballa who really answer to Iran. don;t you read newspapers?

          • 1. “Israel was in control of the whole of Lebanon?” They had a buffer zone, which was a response to innumerable terror attacks. Perhaps you’re confusing Israel with Syria, which controlled Lebanon from 1976-2005. 2. “Minor incident at the border?” This characterization exposes your agenda. Hezbollah crossed into Israel, ambushed 2 jeeps and murdered 7 innocent soldiers. Tell the soldiers’ families how you consider this sneak attack minor. Israel invaded to try to bring back 2 of the soldiers, who were thought to be kidnapped and alive at the time, but were later returned in coffins, to the glee of the Hezbollah officials. 3. “1/2 million Israelis fled their homes?” Unlike Israel, Hezbollah launched thousands of terror missiles indiscriminately at Israeli civilians. If Israel, with its might, acted the same way, there would have been 100X the Lebanese casualties (you know, like Syria over the past year). So Hezbollah claimed victory because they didn’t get annihilated, which they avoided only because Israel had to fight with one arm tied behind its back, due to Lebanese human shields. It is obvious from reading your posts, that you don’t really care if any Israelis die, and you have a selective view of the big picture.

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