Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Unasked Questions

On Larry King Live yesterday, Imad Moustapha, Syrian ambassador to the U.S., said of his country: "We do not want to further escalate the situation in the Middle East. As of day one we have called for an immediate cease-fire and a prompt exchange of prisoners. The two Israeli military soldiers and the thousands of Arab civilians, particularly the women and children, held illegally by Israel."

Moustapha and Hezbollah have repeatedly maintained that Israel has abducted hundreds if not thousands of innocent Arab citizens, including "women and children," and imprisoned them in Israeli jails, and implied that there would be justice in Israel turning over these innocent civilians in exchange for release of the abducted Israeli soldiers. But I've not seen the media address these allegations, and Larry King keeps wasting prime time opportunities to pointedly ask the Syrian ambassador to elaborate upon and document them.

Why would Israel abduct and incarcerate so many innocent women and children, and where's the proof that they have? They have indeed incarcerated men who have committed or tried to commit terrorist acts on Israeli soil against Israeli citizens, but what about all these innocent women and children?

Here is what I just wrote in an e-mail to CNN:

Last night, the Syrian ambassador appeared on Larry King live and repeated his allegation that Israel has detained "thousands" of innocent Arab civilians, including "women and children." The implication is that this justifies Hezbollah's abuction of the Israeli soldiers and their insistence on a prisoner exchange as a prerequisite to a cease-fire.

But I have not seen Larry King or anyone on CNN pointedly address this allegation, and I think it's about time that someone does. If the allegation is true, we should know it. If it's false or dubious, we should know that, and the Syrian ambassador should be called on it the next time he appears on CNN.

I'm tired of seeing such important points repeatedly neglected by the media that should be doing everything it can to explore the central issues behind the Middle Eastern conflict instead of mostly just delivering a daily recap of the latest bombings and battles.

Moustapha also said:

Occupation is the mother of all evils. As long as the Israeli occupation will continue, as long as the Palestinian will suffer tremendously because of this occupation, as long as Israel will continue to kill Lebanese civilians while they claim that they are the friends of Lebanon, as long as the situation will not resolve, the day the Israelis will realize that if they want their grandchildren to live in peace with our grandchildren they cannot continue to depend on their sheer military superiority, once they realize this peace will be achieved in the Middle East. Occupation should end.

Again, Larry King had the opportunity to ask some probing questions such as, If Hezbollah were, for some reason, sneaking over into YOUR country from Lebanon, abducting YOUR soldiers, and firing rockets into YOUR cities from Lebanese cities, towns, and villages, what would YOU do to stop it?

Why doesn't ANYONE in the popular media ask these kinds of questions when they get the chance?

(Cross-posted to Thoughts Chase Thoughts)

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