|Hezbollah reports becoming less and less believable|
|By Yoav Stern|
|If Hezbollah-run media are to be believed, then 35 Israel Defense Forces soldiers were killed or wounded in Aita Shaab, militants downed an Israeli helicopter and destroyed a house in which IDF soldiers were hiding, and IDF troops are always hit in the back because they are running away. All these statements are baseless because – despite the impression Hezbollah has made for straight talk – credibility is not its strong suit.|
Hezbollah’s reports have become less and less believable in recent days. On Monday, Al-Manar television – the central component of Hezbollah’s well-oiled media empire – reported that the organization had destroyed an Israeli ship off the coast of
It’s not clear what incident, if any, the report was referring to, and the Arab world has been asking questions. Al-Arabiya television asked Mahmoud Kamati, a member of the Hezbollah political bureau, about the Hezbollah claim and he repeated that an Israeli ship had been hit, but said no pictures were broadcast because visibility was poor. Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, is a superb tool for the propaganda machine. Nasrallah, 46, is one of the most impressive speakers in the entire
“I sometimes take the tape of his comments and watch it, for pleasure,” said a
Hezbollah’s media empire – which includes the Al-Nur radio station and the Web site moqawama.net – has been an inseparable part of the psychological war. Sometimes, Hezbollah also transmits its messages through other media, such as the Iranian television station Al-Alam. The crown jewel of the empire, Al-Manar, is broadcast in
Al-Manar, all the time
At every stage of the fighting, Al-Manar was the station that broadcast Hezbollah’s messages. Its role in the war began the morning of July 12, when Hezbollah abducted IDF soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser. Al-Manar was the first station to report the kidnapping, about two hours after it took place. Since the fighting began, the pronouncements of Al-Manar have had a major influence on other media.
“Al-Manar has had an enormous impact on all the Arab press, and in effect on the Hebrew press as well,” said Amir Levy from Satlink Communications, which monitors Arab-language media.