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Studio B Says It Will Bring Perspective Of Israeli/Hezbollah Conflict - Only Has Israeli Side, Arabs Don't Get To Voice An Opinion

Reported by Donna - July 31, 2006 -

As a teaser, Shepard Smith on Studio B said they were going to bring the perspective of the Israeli/Hezbollah conflict from 'over there.' I thought this meant the Arab view of what is going on. Yes, we were told the Arab view, but by a pro Israeli person with no balance from the Arab side. Smith said he was going to show us "what's being seen around that part of the world, outside of Israel, of course."

His guest was Itamar Marcus, Director of the Palestinian Media Watch out of Jeruselem, a pro Israeli organization.

The following is my transcript between Shepard Smith and Itamar Marcus.

Shepard Smith: What's beeing seen around that part of the word outside of Israel, of course?

Itamar Marcus: Well, the Arab world, of course, is focusing on what happened in Qana, the death of the people in Qana yesterday. And what's significant more than just placing the blame on Israel is that for years the Arab media, especially Palestinian and Hezbollah, have portrayed the Israelis and Jews as evil, intentionallly now killing and here this happens and this is being brought out as the proof. See, we've been teling you about the evil nature of the Jews, the evil nature of the Israeli, this the proof. Look, they are killing innocent children. (His take on the Arab world's take on the situation)

Smith: I'm sure there are a lot of Americans and they're sitting around watching television and they're saying 'What is that all about?' (Comment: Well, you're only going to get one perspective from Fox) You know, with great clarity and in a black and whitel world as so many see it, (Comment: Especially the Fox audience only sees a black and white world) two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped. The Israeli military said to get out of that part of Lebanon.

According to Israel, they used them as human shields. They were shooting rockets from that area. Israel blew up the place and Hezbollah would like to say 'don't do that anymore, stop your war because you're killing civilians.' That doesn't fly for a lot of folks.

IM: The Arab world, the Arab media creates its own reality. Stories that can happen from one minute to the next can be completely distorted and completely changed. We've had cases where Palestinians died in car accidents and they'll have on the front page of the newspaper, their picture saying they were killed by Israelis and then their bodies were burned.

So they create their own reality and the people eventually buy into that reality.

SS: I'm looking at e-mails, I mentioned a little while ago that over there these things are seen in shades of grey and you may be able to respond to that in some way. But loads of e-mails going, 'Shepard you crazy fool, there aren't shades of grey here.' I wonder maybe if Americans one day wil wake up and realize that over there it is seen as shades of grey and until that sort of attitude and ideology is changed, this is going to be a rough fight.

IM: I want to point out that even on this issue of human shields, after the fact, of course, but the Arab world is denying it. But of course we know they've used women and children as human shields for a long time. (Comment: And the fair and balanced response for that?)

But it's not only in situations of past (undecipherable) ...but Palestianian televisiion and Hezbollah tv for that matter for years have been showing video clips to young children encouraging them to go out and die as (shaheeds?) as martyrs. Now the whole purpose of that, of having children see martyrdom as something heroic. Martyrdom as something that is expected of them. In fact these children do go out in the front line and they are human shields. Not just passive situations. There has been an active attempt to encourage young childre, both by Hezbollah and by the Palestinian Authority to have children on the front lines, even seeking death.


SS: From the very beginning Israeli forces have said this conflict cannot last too long. At the highest level of the Israeli Military I've been told for 15 to 20 days, this can't go long because accidents are going to happen, mistakes are going to be made. Look at the UN position on top of the hill, an investigation underway. Look at Qana with the civilians Lebanon or Hezbollah put it, killed. Can the Israeli forces and can this offensive on Israels part take anymore Qanas?

IM: Well, the Israeli soldiers know that they are doing absolutely what has to be done. They know they wouldn't dare just for their own conscious consider killing civilians. Israeli soldiers can go as long as they have to because their conscious is clear and I think the Israeli governments conscious is also completely clear. The question is not really can the Israeli army go but can the Israeli government withstand political pressure and that will be a question of backbone and we have yet to see the backbone of the new Prime Minister.

Comment: Well, aren't you glad you got a perspective of what's going on over there from those involved? An attempt at having an Arab or Palestinian viewpoint would have been nice. As it is, it turned out to be a totally worthless, one-sided segment. Not unusual on Fox, the unfair and unbalanced network.