NY Times, Wash. Post remove terrorism taint from Hezb'allah
Hezb'allah has a long record of perpetrating lethal terrorist attacks against civilians as far away from its Lebanese base as in Bulgaria and Argentina. Last year, Hezb'allah was tied to a bombing attack on a tourist bus in Bulgaria that killed five Israelis. Argentine investigators and prosecutors have tied Hezb'allah to the bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires in 1994 that killed 87 people and injured hundreds.
And closer to Israel, Hezb'allah also has a lengthy record of cross-border attacks from Lebanon again civilian targets in northern Israel.
Given this blood-soaked history, Hezb'allah has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States, Israel, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. After the bombing in Bulgaria, which is a member of the European Union, EU officials belatedly may also tag Hezb'allah as a terrorist outfit.
Yet, despite this sordid terrorist record, there remain some notable holdouts - led by the New York Times and the Washington Post - which still shy away from appending the "T" label to Hezb'allah.
In a front-page article on May 7, the Post refers instead to "the Lebanese political and militant organization Hezbollah." ("Israel tries to ease Syria tensions after strikes" by William Booth). Also on May 7, the Times similarly averts its eyes from Hezb'allah's terrorist record, calling it instead "the Islamic militant group Hezb'allah." ("White House Sticks to Cautious Path on Syria" by Mark Landler and Eric Schmitt).
Such semantic stretches and purifying euphemisms lend a totally misplaced seal of respectability on an organization that operates as the prime terrorist subsidiary of Iran, which is committed to the destruction of the Jewish state and uses surrogates like Hezb'allah to carry out its agenda.
Labels like "militant," "political," "Islamic" don't even come close to conveying the real record and agenda of Hezb'allah. Instead, they blindly grant absolution to evil.
Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers