PBS’s Amanpour Offers Lame Response To Lebanese FM Blaming Israel For ISIS Bombings

CNN/PBS anchor Christiane Amanpour may claim to be truthful and not neutral, but when Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib joined her on her Wednesday show to blame Israel for the twin bombings in Iran that killed 84 people at the tomb of Qasem Soleimani. Amanpour simply noted that was “your opinion,” but since the program aired, ISIS has taken credit for the attacks, which was always the most obvious possibility.

Amanpour began by asking about the Israeli strike on Hamas’s Saleh al-Arouri in Beirut, “So, the question is, will Lebanon or Hezbollah, do you think, respond? And the leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, has been having a long speech this afternoon in which basically he said that it was blatant Israeli aggression and quote, ‘If the enemy decides to wage war against Lebanon, our combat will have no limits.’ What do you think is going to happen?”

Bou Habib gave a long reply that boiled down “we don’t want any escalation in the war.” However, towards the end of his remarks he added, “So, a regional war is bad for everybody. And if Israel is going to continue that and if it is — Israel like what happened today in Iran is Israeli — is made in Israel, because there are in the Arab mind, there are two countries that can do it, either the United States or Israel. And of course, it is Israel in this case. So, if it’s going to continue like that, I’m afraid. That we are really approaching a regional war, which everybody in the region would regret having it.”

Putting aside the comical error that Iran is Persian, not Arab, when Israel works in Iran it targets specific individuals who pose a threat to it, it does not seek to conduct mass casualty attacks. Amanpour surely knows this, yet she lamely replied, “So, that’s your opinion about who did that in Iran. They are saying that it’s a terrorist attack. And we will wait to see if there are any further details.”

While Israel does not wage mass casualty attacks in cemeteries, ISIS does have a history of conducting such large scale attacks in Iran. Again, as a journalist who focuses heavily on international affairs and who has Iranian ancestry, Amanpour should know this. She surely also knows that two bad guys can fight each other, like Hitler and Stalin, and Soleimani led Iran’s efforts against ISIS which makes his tomb a logical site for an ISIS attack. If ever there was a time to be truthful and not neutral, this was it and Amanpour failed.

Here is a transcript for the January 3 show:

PBS Amanpour and Company

1/3/2024

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Can I ask you this? You know, the Israelis have not publicly confirmed it, but the U.S. has, you know, told CNN that they believe that this is what happened. And, you know, the Israeli government spokesperson, the adviser to the prime minister, has indicated that this was an attack on Hamas, not an attack on Lebanon and not an attack on Hezbollah.

So, the question is, will Lebanon or Hezbollah, do you think, respond? And the leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, has been having a long speech this afternoon in which basically he said that it was blatant Israeli aggression and quote, “If the enemy decides to wage war against Lebanon, our combat will have no limits.” What do you think is going to happen?

ABDALLAH BOU HABIB: I’d hope and pray that there wouldn’t be any response and that Israel would not do it again, because whether they said it or not, it came first on their news items, you know, from different TVs, Israeli TVs, that they did it. And then there was a statement, don’t say that.

So, anyway, what we want is that we don’t want any escalation in the war. We don’t want what’s happening in the south to be spread to over Lebanon. We don’t like a regional war because it’s dangerous to everybody. Dangerous to Lebanon, dangerous to Israel, and to the countries surrounding Israel, whether it is Syria, which kept itself a little bit as a government outside of the war and whether also Jordan, you know, because you have Palestinians all over and you have people that they ideologically differ with Israel that will join the Palestinians in the — in this battle.

So, a regional war is bad for everybody. And if Israel is going to continue that and if it is — Israel like what happened today in Iran is Israeli — is made in Israel, because there are in the Arab mind, there are two countries that can do it, either the United States or Israel. And of course, it is Israel in this case.

So, if it’s going to continue like that, I’m afraid. That we are really approaching a regional war, which everybody in the region would regret having it.

AMANPOUR: So, that’s your opinion about who did that in Iran.

BOU HABIB: That’s true.

AMANPOUR: They are saying that it’s a terrorist attack.

BOU HABIB: Yes.

AMANPOUR: And we will wait to see if there are any further details.

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