States have come to terms with Iran as an atomic power. On Sunday evening the 3rd of
May 2009, Israeli television’s Channel 1 opened its evening news summary with
the above headline. What was the source of this information? In the previous week
high-level delegates of the European Union had apparently met with
representatives of the Israeli government.
Bomb than Bombing.” This is how the European officials, not mentioned by
name, sum up the attitude of high-ranking staff members of US President Barack
Obama when it comes to the Islamic Repbulic of Iran and its atomic ambitions.
Israeli media representatives interpret this message to mean that the USA does not intend to continue its efforts to
from developing an atomic bomb.
representatives, who, like all influential participants in this procedure, are
of course not allowed to be mentioned by name, claim that Europeans understand
Israels concern about Iran much better than the Americans. “In Israel we
are worried,” reports the political correspondent Israeli TV’s Channel 1,
Ayalah Hason-Nesher, “and that’s an understatement.”
At the same
time, Iran – as if in response to this announcement – issued a threat of the
destruction of Israel which was without precedent. Lebanese State Television
LBC broadcasted the statement of the General Commander of the Iran Army,
General Ataollah Salihi:
“The truth is, Israel
will not have the courage to attack us. If we were attacked
in any way by Israel, we
wouldn’t, by my calculation, need more than eleven days in order to wipe Israel out of
Arab correspondent on Israeli television, points out that this is the first
time that a high-ranking Iranian official has actually defined a time frame for
the destruction of Israel. Moreover, he finds it significant that in this case
the threat does not come from Iranian politicians, whose propaganda we are well
used to, but from one of the most prominent military leaders in the country.
Granot couldn’t up to now find out whether the number “eleven days”
has a particular significance in the Shi-ite tradition, which could put a
religious or ideological slant on the meaning of the statement.
remarkable in this affair is not only the intensity and concern with which the
journalists of Israeli’s Channel 1 communicated what they had to say, but also
the subsequent silence of Israeli and international media.
paper Haaretz only reported the next morning that, in the opinion of opposition
leader Tzippi Livni, the threat from Iran was a unique opportunity for the
Israeli-Arab peace process. Right next to this statement in the liberal
left-wing paper was a report that 66 percent of Israeli Jews are in favour of a
military attack on the Islamic Republic. The more right-wing Jerusalem Post
graced the theme of Iran – which is otherwise a constant headline-catcher
– only with a commentary about Holocaust denier Ahmedinejad.
why this sensational announcement was so widely ignored, Oded Granot’s only
answer was that the viewing rate for the nine o’clock news was so low that
hardly anyone had seen it. The German broadcaster n-tv was the only channel to
bring an announcement of the Israeli TV report – on its internet page.
by Nicola Vollkommer
the original news clip of LBC with English translation under http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/2099.htm