You win some, you lose some

Monday, August 14, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
You win some, you lose some: Reporters find real reason for a bombed hospital in Lebanon, and Israel blunders proof of killed Hizballah terrorists.

In many cases, the battle for public opinion is just as important, if not more so, than the real battles waged on the ground. Here are two examples of the fragility of the opinion war.

A rocket in the backyard

While on a tour of a bombed hospital in the city of Tyre in southern Lebanon, a group of foreign journalists, who were supposed to have been shocked by an unprovoked bombing of a civilian hospital, quickly found out the real reason for the hit.

While on the tour, Dr. Fuad Fath, a physician working at the hospital, showed the damage caused to the hospital by an Israeli air strike and asked the reporters, “What reason in the world does Israel have to bomb a hospital?”

The answer was quickly found: A reporter from the Canada National Post who was on the tour said that the reporters were looking around for the answer and found it after a short time. In a field adjacent to the hospital, the reporters found the remains of a rocket launcher hit by Israel.

The reporters returned to the hospital and confronted Dr. Fath with what they found. The doctor. immediately confessed that Hizballah indeed fired rockets from nearby the hospital. “What choice do we have? We need to fight from somewhere, no?” the doctor said angrily and added, “This is the beloved land of the Hizballah.”

A list of kills remains unused

While Israel held real proof of the number of Hizballah terrorists killed in clashes with the Israel Defense Forces, nothing was done to take advantage of this precious info. What a shame…

During the war, the Prime Minister’s office had instructed Israeli Intelligence to publish all the names in its possession of terrorists who were killed, a list of about 300 (out of 500), in order to illustrate what a blow Hizballah had taken over the course of the fighting. For some unknown reason this decision was never carried out.

As such, Israel lost the battle over public opinion: Hizballah claimed that Israel had killed only 56 of its men, and Israel’s claim that Hizballah’s fighting capabilities were significantly damaged, remains unsubstantiated.

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