Such clashes have not been witnessed since
the  civil war [AFP]
This week on The Listening Post the media may have triggered a civil war in Lebanon, plus Israel celebrates 60 years of independence while the Palestinians commemorate the Nakba, or 'catastrophe' – how does the media reflect this
twin narrative of the Holy Land?

The Listening Post has often reported on the partisan media divides that exist in Lebanon, with television stations and newspapers openly taking sides in the political debate.

However, this week, the media outlets themselves became the story as the communications infrastructure of Hezbollah became the spark for armed conflict on the streets of Beirut.

Such clashes have not been witnessed since the years of the savage civil war and this time the media became trapped in the cross-fire with Saad Hariri's Future TV and newspaper the target of attacks. We ask what happened and why?

Israel celebrates 60 years of independence
In 1948 the state of Israel was created, with independence declared one day before the official end to the British Mandate over Palestine. That date is celebrated in Israel as Independence Day and marked with great pomp and ceremony.

But this is also the event known to the Palestinians as the Nakba, or 'catastrophe', when hundreds of thousands were driven from their homes in the violent birth of the Zionist state.

This single event is perceived very differently on both sides, and the ethnically aligned media reflect that in the focus of their coverage and editorial opinions.

But within Israel some voices do express heterodox views, beating against the tide of public opinion, and the Arab media has seen some fresh language entering the discourse on the recognition of Israel.

Coverage on Chinese television was extensive-a 
big change from previous natural disasters[EPA]
 
Salah Khadr looks at the Israeli, Arab and Western media's coverage of the anniversary of the defining event in the last hundred years of Middle East history.

In this week's Newsbytes:

China lets the cameras roll in the earthquake hit region of Sichuan; the International Olympic Committee wins big from broadcasting rights; the media frenzy keeping the Fritzl family prisoner in the Austrian town of Amstetten; Sarkozy has another run in with the French media and more on the Pentagon pundits scandal.

Our internet video of the week is a sketch from popular comedy show Saturday Night Live.

Watch as Hillary makes her bizarre argument for being Democratic nominee. 

Watch part one of this episode of The Listening Post

Watch part two of this episode of The Listening Post

This episode of The Listening Post aired on Friday, May 16, 2008

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