Those Two Israeli Soldiers Were Captured Where?
INTRODUCTION: According to the official story Israel attacked Lebanon on July 12th because Hizbullah kidnapped two of its soldiers from inside Israel. However the first AP report about the incident – archived for posterity below – reported that the Israeli soldiers were inside Lebanon. On its face a bald faced lie. However the story is more complicated than that - as usual.
This story of apparent misinformation – not conforming with the requisite certainty that it seems network news requires – has as usual been ignored in the mainstream, but has been circulating widely on the internet. Blogger Tom Murphy has investigated the story and communicated about it with Noam Chomsky - He has the leading Google ranked page on the subject at this time. Follow the links below for HTML versions with links to further source material. See if you can unravel the mystery. If you can we would be keen to hear from you at email@example.com
– Scoop Co-Editor Alastair Thompson
Where exactly were those Israeli soldiers when Hezbollah captured them?
Saturday, July 22, 2006
UPDATE: Could the first translation be what Associated Press Writer Joseph Panossian based his initial report on? The second translation sounds better worded and based on that and Jonathan Cook's reporting, I think the second one is the accurate translation. See Translations that don't match
On July 12th, the Associated Press reported "The militant group Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers during clashes Wednesday across the border in southern Lebanon, prompting a swift reaction from Israel, which sent ground forces into its neighbor to look for them." This is from the article Hezbollah Captures 2 Israeli Soldiers By JOSEPH PANOSSIAN , 07.12.2006, 05:41 AM
This AP news article was run by several news outlets on July 12th like ABC, CBS Forbes, The Boston Herald etc. but this version was probably based on a bad translation.
Changing the Story Two Times ( the first version probably was based on a bad translation):
5:41 AM ET, Associated Press Writer Joseph Panossian originally reported "The militant group Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers during clashes Wednesday across the border in southern Lebanon"
7:09 AM ET, Associated Press Writer Joseph Panossian had changed his report to read: "The Hezbollah militant group captured two Israeli soldiers during clashes along the Lebanese border on Wednesday."
4:13 PM ET, Associated Press Writer Joseph Panossian had again changed his report, this time to read: "Hezbollah militants crossed into Israel on Wednesday and captured two Israeli soldiers. "
On July 12th, Anthony Shadid, Scott Wilson and Debbi Wilgoren, of the Washington Post Foreign Service, did not say which side of the border in their article Hezbollah Captures 2 Israeli Soldiers , "The militant Shiite Muslim group Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers along the Israel-Lebanon border Wednesday morning, and Israeli officials said seven more soldiers were killed after tanks and troops moved into Lebanon in response to the attack." [as seen in google cache.] But that article was rewritten and on July 13th it read: "The Lebanese Shiite Muslim group Hezbollah infiltrated the Israeli border Wednesday in a brazen raid, capturing two Israeli soldiers, killing three others and prompting Israeli attacks on the airport in Beirut and bridges, roads, power stations and military positions across the hillsides of southern Lebanon."
Asking this question "Where exactly were those Israeli soldiers when Hezbollah captured them?" is an attempt to get to the bottom of this specific fact. Note in my update that I quote Jonathan Cook who writes, in a July 25th article, Five myths that help Israel's war crimes, "Early on July 12 Hizbullah launched a raid against an army border post"
Jonathan Cook mentions in his article that "
We now know from reports in the US media that the Israeli
army had been planning such a strike against Lebanon for at
least a year." see Israel set war plan more than a year
See Translations that don't match
posted by Tom at 7/22/2006 04:03:00 AM
Translations that don't match
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
"Implementing our promise to free Arab prisoners in Israeli jails, our strugglers have captured two Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon," a statement by Hezbollah said. 'The two soldiers have already been moved to a safe place,' it added. - Hezbollah captures two Israeli soldiers
"Fulfilling its pledge to liberate the (Arab) prisoners and detainees, the Islamic Resistance ... captured two Israeli soldiers at the border with occupied Palestine," Hezbollah said in a statement, adding that the "two captives were transferred to a safe place." - Hezbollah seizes Israel soldiers
It would be good to know who got it right. The original statement would shed light on this and I had been saying to others who had made up their minds that I had not made a definitive conclusion on what it means. And that was before I found the second translation I listed here. The second translation sounds better worded and based on that and Jonathan Cook's reporting, I would think the second one is the accurate translation. And it is the one that Chomsky refers to. He probably read it in the BBC or Haaretz.
The second one does jive with what Jonathan Cook reported in his July 25th article, Five myths that help Israel’s war crimes:"Early on July 12 Hizbullah launched a raid against an army border post, in what was in the best interpretation a foolhardy violation of Israeli sovereignty. In the fighting the Shiite militia killed three soldiers and captured two others, while Hizbullah fired a few mortars at border areas in what the Israeli army described at the time as "diversionary tactics". As a result of the shelling, five Israelis were "lightly injured", with most needing treatment for shock, according to the Haaretz newspaper.
Israel's immediate response was to send a tank into Lebanon in pursuit of the Hizbullah fighters (its own foolhardy violation of Lebanese sovereignty). The tank ran over a landmine, which exploded killing four soldiers inside. Another soldier died in further clashes inside Lebanon as his unit tried to retrieve the bodies.
Rather than open diplomatic channels to calm the violence down and start the process of getting its soldiers back, Israel launched bombing raids deep into Lebanese territory the same day."
Could the first translation be what Associated Press Writer Joseph Panossian based his initial report on?
UPDATE: Chomsky emailed me back saying, "The second one is surely the right one."
posted by Tom at 7/26/2006 12:23:00 PM
Hezbollah: 2 Israeli Soldiers Captured
Hezbollah Captures 2 Israeli Soldiers
By JOSEPH PANOSSIAN , 07.12.2006, 05:41 AM
The militant group Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers during clashes Wednesday across the border in southern Lebanon, prompting a swift reaction from Israel, which sent ground forces into its neighbor to look for them.
The forces were trying to keep the soldiers' captors from moving them deeper into Lebanon, Israeli government officials said on condition of anonymity.
The Israeli military would not confirm the report.
Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called an emergency Cabinet meeting and said Lebanese guerrillas would pay a "heavy price" for Wednesday's attacks.
"These are difficult days for the state of Israel and its citizens," Olmert said. "There are people ... who are trying to test our resolve. They will fail and they will pay a heavy price for their actions."
Hezbollah affirms to have captured two Israeli soldiers
AFP via translation
BEIRUT - Hezbollah Lebanese Shiite, supported by Teheran and Damas, announced Wednesday to have captured two Israeli soldiers, according to the television of Hezbollah, Al-Manar.
According to the Lebanese police force, the two Israeli soldiers were captured in Lebanese territory, in the area of Aïta Al-Chaab, near to the border with Israel, where an Israeli unit had penetrated in middle of morning.
Hezbollah did not specify the place of capture of the two soldiers. "Islamic Resistance (arm armed with Hezbollah) announces the capture of two Israeli soldiers", indicated television Al-Manar.
Hezbollah captures two Israeli soldiers
Indo-Asian News Service
Beirut, July 12, 2006
The Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah movement announced on Wednesday that its guerrillas have captured two Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon.
"Implementing our promise to free Arab prisoners in Israeli jails, our strugglers have captured two Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon," a statement by Hezbollah said.
"The two soldiers have already been moved to a safe place," it added.
The Lebanese police said that the two soldiers were captured as they "infiltrated" into the town of Aitaa al-Chaab inside the Lebanese border.
Israeli aircraft were active in the air over southern Lebanon, the police said, with jets bombing roads leading to the market town of Nabatiyeh, 60 kms south of Beirut.
Lebanese security sources said the planes were bombarding roads, which might be used by Hezbollah guerrillas.
There was no immediate confirmation of the Hezbollah claims from any official Israeli source. An Israeli army spokeswoman, however, said there was "concern" over the fate of the two soldiers.
Israeli reports also say four people were wounded by projectiles fired from Lebanon.
In Beirut's southern suburbs, Hezbollah followers were on the streets celebrating the news of the two soldiers' capture, chanting "God is great ... our prisoners will be out soon."
There are still three Lebanese prisoners held in Israeli jails, among them the longest held Lebanese prisoner Samir Kantar, who was captured in 1979 after killing an Israeli scientist and his daughter during an attack on a northern Israeli coastal area.
Kantar's brother Bassam said: "We are now counting on Hezbollah to strike a deal to get my brother and other prisoners released."