Typical BBC spinning history to make Israel look like the villain in this Q&A article about the recent Israeli airstrike on Hezbollah weapons and a related facility in Syria. The only real background context to the conflict you get is this:
Syria and Israel have been technically in a state of war since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. The main grievance is over Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights in 1967. Syria has been demanding the area back as part of any peace deal. But the border area has been quiet and Damascus has never retaliated to Israeli attacks.
Let’s just break this propaganda down line by line.
Syria and Israel have been technically in a state of war since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.
Well, that’s “accurate”, anyway. Any reason why Syria would be at war with Israel since then, BBC?
The main grievance is over Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights in 1967.
Oh. So let’s just forget about why Syria would be at war with Israel since 1948. As always, the BBC rewrites history so that 1967 is Year Zero. And Israel now becomes the villain of the piece over its “occupation”. Why is Israel there, BBC? Why did it happen, BBC? Without this important bit of background info, Israel is made to look like the aggressor. It’s a main grievance now, sure. But it’s “a” main grievance, not “the” main grievance, which is key. I’m pretty sure an astute News Online editor carefully chose the indefinite article there, which is nice. But it doesn’t make up for the lack of context.
Syria has been demanding the area back as part of any peace deal.
Has it now? That’s nice, but pretty pointless in the face of Syria’s real goal of eliminating Israel, which has been censored here. Since you aren’t told why Israel is “occupying” the Golan, this line lends support to making Israel appear as the villain, full stop. Oh, if only those vile Jews would hand back land they stole, all would be well, eh? That sounds familiar, somehow. Yes, the article itself makes no bones about Syria arming Hezbollah, but at no point are we told why or given any other context in which to view this. Of course, even that bit of honesty is watered down a bit by it all being qualified as “Israel believes”, etc. No other authority we can appeal to has an opinion, BBC? I guess we can’t go to the US for confirmation because, as Katty Kay told us, they’re under pressure from the Jewish Lobby.
But the border area has been quiet and Damascus has never retaliated to Israeli attacks.
Other than arming Hezbollah in a couple of different wars against Israel – and obviously continuing to arm them now – and trying to control Lebanon and doing everything it possibly can to aid violence against Israel, yeah, Syria has never retaliated. Sure, the Syrian military has never officially done anything overtly, but please, let’s not pretend that Syria is always doing the good Christian thing of turning the other cheek. Even something as simple as “Damascus has never officially retaliated” would have helped immensely. Plus, anyone already sympathetic to Syria – or just already anti-Israel – will read the bits about Syria being unable to deal with Israel directly due to their own internal problems will see only Israeli aggression, adding fuel to what any observer of comments on BBC output will know is an already raging fire of anti-Jewish sentiment in their readers.
We’re also told further down that Hezbollah and Israel both expect another war between them, only adding to the long-term BBC Narrative that Hezbollah is a legitimate defense force against Israeli aggression. The takeaway impression is that Israel is the villain, full stop. This goes beyond criticizing Israel and strays into demonization.