Media show bias on Lebanon

A favorite journalistic adage goes something like this: Dog bites man, no news. Man bites dog, news.

The current Lebanon imbroglio presents the classic man-bites-dog scenario. When Katyushas started flying into northern Israel from Lebanon, the media barely flinched. But the minute Israel retaliated, the media jumped on the story — big time.

To be sure, the media's double standard regarding Israel is nothing new. Traditionally, Israel has received an inordinate amount of attention when it responds firmly, and with unflinching strength, to provocation.

This time around, however, the media's obsession with Israel's military actions seems particularly pronounced.

Yes, pictures of Lebanese civilians fleeing their homes are part of the story. And so is Israel's mistaken hit on a U.N. base last week, a fiasco that cost nearly 100 lives.

But equally deserving of attention are pictures of Israelis huddling in bomb shelters in Kiryat Shmona, Israelis injured when Katyushas hit, or buildings hit by missiles. Those pictures appear in the media with a surprising lack of frequency.

What's more, many stories on the Israel-Lebanon conflict lack context. Focusing almost solely on the innocent victims in southern Lebanon, they fail to analyze why Israel began its bombing campaign in the first place.

To those who fail to see the context in which Israel started bombing Hezbollah forces in Lebanon, we ask: How long was Israel to sit idle while Hezbollah fired rockets into Israel?

In our view, Israel had no choice but to act aggressively to protect its citizens. Once Israel fired its first bomb, it entered a war. Tragically, accidents happen in war, and often those accidents claim innocent lives.

For those lives that have been lost, we are deeply sorry. And we fervently hope that current diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict swiftly will succeed.

In the meantime, though, we hope the media will present a balanced picture of the conflict, focusing attention on victims on both sides of the Israel-Lebanon border. That would truly be news.