The article about “Lebanese wounded turn cold shoulder on Jordan aid” by Laila Bassem, has been quite popular on the Internet and when I first read it I found it troubling and worrisome. Although I found it strange that the article was published on July 28th, describing empty Jordanian field hospital tents, when the field hospital began operating on the very same day.
Meanwhile Jon Lyne of the BBC tells another story on July 29th…
…The Jordanians are focussing on setting up a field hospital. It’s a makeshift affair, housed in a school in downtown Beirut. But it has operating theatres, x-rays, even the capacity to carry out plastic surgery.
It was not due to open until the day after we visited. But already there was a steady stream of patients, most of them evacuees from southern Lebanon.
Mohammed Baidoun brought his young son in for treatment for apparent food poisoning. His family fled from the town of Shahabiyeh in southern Lebanon. His bitterness towards the Israelis was balanced by his effusive gratitude for the medical care.
“We thank every nation, whether Jordanian or Saudi or Egyptian, for their help in treating these children,” he said. “Thank you.” [BBC]
Jordan’s Petra News Agency also had this to report…
Beirut, July 31 (Petra) About 1200 Lebanese patients and others injured in Israeli massive war on the country received medical treatment at Jordan mobile hospital set up in Beirut upon directives from His Majesty King Abdullah to ease humanitarian suffering of the Lebanese people, who have been under Israeli brutal attack for more than 18 days.
The injured people expressed deep thanks and gratitude for Jordan’s efforts to ease their suffering.
Jordan was on the lead to heal their wounds and support them in this humanitarian situation which they described as disastrous,” some patients said. Some others said the hospital is the only one they can go to because of the high cost of medical treatment in Lebanon and the food and medical shortage they suffer from.
About 100-150 children come to the hospital each suffering from various types of diseases such as diarrhea and stomachache often caused by overcrowded gathering of evacuated people , said Dr Fareed Haddad from the hospital. [Petra]
I don’t know if Laila Bassem’s article was a bit of a hasty generalization, but either way I just thought in the name of a little objectivity I’d present the other side of the story, even if it’s not the one that people prefer to hear.
Meanwhile aid planes from all over including the UAE and UNICEF are flying out of Jordan mainly because there seems to be no other (safe) way into Lebanon.
That being said, fellow Jordanian blogger Batir Wardam has written a letter to the Prime Minister to ask that the Jordanian ambassador in Israel be recalled and the Israeli ambassador in Jordan be sent home in protest of Israel’s aggression and until this crisis is over. I still believe we need to alter our foreign policy in light of recent events but I think Batir makes a valid point. Under these circumstances this is perhaps the strongest political move of protest Jordan can hope to make. Whatever relationship we’re hoping to protect with Israel in the long term interest of Jordan is currently stuck in the mud. Add to that the fact that people in Jordan are getting angrier by the day and this conflict is not a one night stand operation, there seems to be no end in sight.
Its funny that you quote Petra News Agency (Jordan’s official news agency) as a counter claim to the Reuters report. Given that Jordan is the country concerned, I wouldn’t rush to quote its official news agency, especially in the title.
Given the track record of Reuters, on the other hand, and its distance from the parties involved, I would be more willing to believe its story. Why dont you write to Reuters and check the story? I am sure they can provide proof, or put you in touch with the reporter.
Come on now!
Anyway, I also wrote about that article by Laila Bassem..and Hamzeh mentioned the article you just posted … which is good and as mentioned extremely appreciated by the lebanese… but at the same time I cannot argue against the reasons of those who refused the aid.
Naseem?! are you okay?! 😛
This is what some of us have been saying for ages!
About the BBC story, it was written by Jon Leyne who is the BBC Amman Correspondent since 2004. I am not certain if his reporting will be objective because, after all, he almost certainly flew to Beirut onboard the Jordanian planes. It sounds like the ’embedded’ reporting for the US Army in the Iraq war doesn’t it?
This is not to mention that this man probably has favours from the Royal Palace (presents, invitations, special treatment). We all know how foreign correspondents are courted by our leaders to get good coverage.
Lastly, I expect the BBC would allow Jon Leyne to report this story because it is a trivial one (no conflict with the editorial policy), or better, because the sotry is in line with the warm UK-Jordan relationship.
So yeah, Jon Leyne is too reporting the Jordanian story too, just like Petra.
actually i provided the bbc article as a “counter claim” and its not really a counter anything so much as it is the other side of a story.
actually leyne is someone who has been pretty negative about jordan unfairly (in my opinion) in the past. so if anything a positive article about jordan coming from leyne should say something i suppose.
also its a bit of a contradiction to say that jordan planted him there for good coverage and then say that he’s in line with the BBC.
it’s my opinion. last time i checked im entitled to one.
ok? good for you then? I don’t understand why I’m not okay.
“a bit of a contradiction to say that jordan planted him there for good coverage and then say that heÃ¢??s in line with the BBC”
What if the editorial policy is to be friendly to Jordan? The contradiction falls then.
I actually think the BBC gives Jordan positive coverage compared to other countries in Jordan’s ‘class’ but not friendly to the UK (like Syria). You probably dont see this coverage as positive enough because you have a rosy image of Jordan, which the BBC fails to live up to.
if that’s the policy then this is a first for leyene and its not my perception which is intervening with my ability to distinguish between the objectivity or subjectivity of an article.
otherwise your arguement boils down to that the BBC is bias because it likes Jordan and therefore the Bassam article is more objective 😀
“…therefore the Bassam article is more objective”
lol, this is a double fallacy first to distort someone else’s arguement, then move on to ridicule it.
What I said is that I have more reason to believe Reuters than Petra News (the BBC article proves nothing apart from a ‘stream’, whatever that is supposed to mean, and as such, it proves nothing apart from the fact that Mohamad whoever came for food poisoning for his child).
The BBC argument is really secondary – the primary being that Petra is not a source to quote, especially for a title.
But I tend to this you have a very rosy image of Jordan, maybe slightly romanticized. Not that there is anything wrong, but it does impede objectivity towards the matter at hand sometimes.
im not ridiculing your arguement at all. secondly, petra remains a valid news source when it comes to news from jordan. granted it is obviously not the most objective nevertheless it has facts that other sources dont have such as how many people were treated thusfar; hence the title of this post. although if you want to say they are liars and that mohammad and his kid dont exist or that 1200 people were not treated, then what evidence they provide for that is no greater than what evidence laila bassam offered in her article that all the lebanese have turned a cold shoulder, based on the account of a parking lot attendent from across the street. the point i was trying to make in this post (which i mentioned in clear cut words) was that perhaps her version of events were a bit early in their judgement. who you choose to believe more doesnt negate this premise.
it comes down to what is more true that 1200 people have been treated or that the lebanese people have turned a cold shoulder? who is exaggerating? maybe both, but should we trust an account taken so soon after the hospital sets up and people become aware of it?
what does a rosey image of jordan entail; that nothing is absolutely wrong and everything is great? if thats the definition then youve misjudged my blog or you’re just not reading at all.
Yeah, I know…whenever it was mentioned ‘diplomacy’ kept creeping through
ell…a side of you I never read…that’s why I was checking!I guess the diplomacy you tend to speak of is taking a back seat now!
P.S. and of course…you’re always entitled to your opinion…and in fact, it’s very much appreciated!
Iman, if Jordan is able to use what relationships it has to push for a cease fire then it will have to use the american and israeli ambassadors. If however both parties refuse any willingness to deal then diplomacy has failed. From what I see Jordan is attempting to do that but the response from the other side seems to be absent. What is true today is not necessarily true 1 week ago, especially in a war; qana has changed a lot;. diplomacy is the cold wars’ red phone in our case.