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July 14, 2016 3:15 am

Visiting BBC Journalist Surprisingly Tells the Truth About Israel, Hezbollah

avatar by Hadar Sela

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A Hezbollah fighter preparing a rocket. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A Hezbollah fighter preparing a rocket. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A BBC correspondent usually based in Mexico City is currently visiting Israel and on July 12, she produced two reports — one written and one filmed — relating to the 10th anniversary of the Second Lebanon War.

In her filmed report titled “On patrol with the Israel Defense Forces on Lebanon border,” Katy Watson gave viewers a rare view of Hezbollah’s use of the residents of southern Lebanon as human shields.

“The soldiers tell me they can see weapons being stored in areas where civilians live.”

That important and usually overlooked information was also available to readers of her written report, titled “Israel ‘readier’ for new Hezbollah war.“

In these stakeouts, troops keep an eye on Hezbollah operatives around the clock. From what they see, the weapons Hezbollah has are being stored in civilian areas.

“Every mission that I’ve been on personally has been observing Hezbollah operations in a heavily populated area,” says one of the soldiers, Gabriel. “In a house with a family living in it or in a house next door or behind it.”

Israel has long said that it will target places where the weapons are stashed. It warns if war breaks out, Lebanese casualties would be high.

Both reports also include information about Hezbollah’s rehabilitation of its missile arsenal since the 2006 war.

Hezbollah was damaged, but rebuilt over the past decade with the help of Iran and Syria. Israel says the group’s firepower is now much greater than before the war.

“Now they have more than 120,000 rockets and missiles,” says General Yaakov Amidror, a former national security advisor, now with the Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University near Tel Aviv.

“It’s a huge number that you don’t find in any country in Europe for example. When you see all these efforts, you ask yourself one question – what for?”

While more could have been done to provide audiences with information concerning Iran’s provision of funding and weapons to Hezbollah — and neither report addresses the fact that its weapons stockpiles are a violation of UNSC resolution 1701 that ended the 2006 war and a clear indication of the impotence of the UNIFIL forces in southern Lebanon — these two reports by Katy Watson are nevertheless a refreshing change in the landscape of BBC Israel-related reporting.

It is not every day that we come across a BBC journalist who is content with telling a story rather than telling audiences what to think about a story.

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  • Michael Farmer

    Doesn’t NEED publication. It is because the BBC is seen by the world as truthful that Ms. Sela and other pro-Israelis constantly snipe at its output.

    • tom_billesley

      BBC is discredited in the UK because of the “progressive” left leaning slant of its reports. Few would voluntarily pay to receive its broadcasts. Seeing the BBC as truthful is nostalgia and its current output does not bear scrutiny.

  • “Telling the truth”, the exception of the rule from a BBC correspondent.

    How low the BBC has sunk that this fact needs publication.

  • Halfof UsaRepublican Senetors&Congressmen are on Aipac’s PayRoll !!!
    Both SWiesenthal & HKessinger Created AIPAC in the 1970s as a mouthPiece of Israel!!!

    • Sam, read the book the Arab Lobby.

      The Arab Lobby is much larger than AIPAC.

      They give former US government officials million-dollar lobbying and think-tank jobs.

      And, unlike Israel, they don’t share our values.

      Were it not for AIPAC, you’d have an Arab-bought Congress.

  • Pls YouTube “Benjamin H Freedman’s Speech,1961” about the Jewish immigration to Israel,1940s. Every Jew who Love Israel should Read /Listen to it.

    • Sam, you are factually wrong on AIPAC’s creation…not sure where you get your information, but it’s way off…and kind of weird, actually.

      AIPAC was created in the 1950’s, not in the 1970’s.

      Henry Kissinger and Simon Wiesenthal were not involved in AIPAC at all.

      AIPAC was created by Sy Kenan in 1951.

  • The photo accompanying this article is clearly a diorama, and not “A Hezbollah fighter preparing a rocket” as it is captioned.

  • nat cheiman

    Its irrelevant anyway, because Hezbollah will soon wage another war against Israel.
    Israel will soon, once again, reduce Lebanon to concrete rubble

  • is it possible that she wrote this because, being an outsider, she has yet to become familiar with the Pallywood Media Protocols that forbid this kind of criticism of the Jihadis and support of Israeli POV? not yet intimidated by Jihadis, no yet socialized by fellow journalists?

  • R.Fleming

    They called it “The propaganda ministry ” back in the war. Now it’s called “Mainstream Media!” Keep an open mind and ask yourself how you would feel if you had to live in a place like Gaza or the west bank ?
    Ronnie Scotland

    • Bill Port

      I would feel angry at the Palestinian leaders who only act to maintain and extend their power. Those leaders are not interested in peace, nor concerned about the welfare of their citizenry. What can you expect from a government which has had two leaders in the last 50 years. Yasser Arafat made himself a billionaire through his inspired leadership. And Gaza is run by a terrorist group that murders its own citizens in the street. Not even a pretense of justice.

    • Marshall

      Ronnie, the people of Gaza could have had a good prosperous life if they threw out Hamas and accepted and recognised Israel as a state, there would be no war!! When Israel left the West Bank they left all the infrastructure in place for it to prosper but the Arabs used the stuff for building terror tunnels instead!! As for Lebanon, it is a striking example of the cancer of islam, only 40 yrs ago it was a majority Christian country and was thriving till islam took over!! Long live Israel!!!

  • R.Fleming

    Western nation’s are all cowardly. All they do is drop bombs from the sky. Destroy everything and Kill children’s mums dad’s brothers sisters etc. Children’s lives ruined. No prospects or education because schools and universities blown up. No hope.

  • Franklin Delano Paskutnik

    Oh,I’m sure this “positive” report won’t last long at the BBC. Already apologists for Muslim terrorism as well as anti-Israel propagandists (who are two-a-penny at the BBC) must be feverishly demanding that Ms. Watson produce another report praising Hezbollah as a peaceful humanitarian organisation and excoriating Israel as a war-mongering oppressor!

  • Sherlock Holmes

    Not long ago a chap named Cohen was appointed to a top position within the BBC. He made one comment that could be interpreted as pro-Israel and he lost his position! The BBC’s proud cultural output is still combined with the consistently anti-Israel news reporting. Britain has about a dozen daily newspapers. Top papers like The Times and The Telegraph give honest coverage of the Middle East while The Guardian and The Independent — like Haretz and NY Times — have an anti-Israel agenda. Fortunately H M Government is not fooled and remains on best of terms with Israel.

  • Thank you, Katy Watson, for reporting the truth. It is a sad fact of life these days that so much of the world chooses not to believe the IDF reports about Hamas, Hezbollah, and the PA.

  • Leslie Benjamini

    No surprises in the reports, the only surprise is that she wrote them at all & that it was actually published.

  • stevenl

    Whatever Islamic terrorism happens in the world from the hands of these brainwashed fanatical sado-masochist Islamists has happens already in Israel. But the west in its antisemitic obsession refuses to learn, prevent or act.
    Is it about the western self-destruction?

    • Isis/isil were created by USA NeoCons n Zionists to Distablize the Middle East.Read ” Benjamin H Freedman’s Speech,NYC,1961″
      SWiesenthal n HKessinger Planned it in the 1970s plus the eventual inversion of Iraq!!!

  • robert sklar

    I will never forget that moment in the Lebanon War of 2006 when Israel finally sent ground troops into Lebanon and were poised to eradicate Hezbollah, when Israel. pressed by the US, accepted a truce and allowed Hezbollah to declare a victory and rearm. Now instead of being vanquished, Hezbollah is stronger than ever. Please God do not let that happen again to your people Israel.

  • Jay

    I hope she isn’t fired for telling the truth.

  • Isahiah62

    I wish more Jewish Americans would look at these preparations for war going to be instigated by IRAN to kill Lebanese people. IRAN uses them b/c they are too cowardly to attack Israel with their own army and from their own lands, offering up these occupied people as human sacrifices, only being used to denounce Israel.(again)

    They need to understand it has been paid for with the money 0Bama gave them… $150.00 billion buys a LOT of rockets

    Please don’t let Democrats win the elections. Yes that means vote Trump. A question mark but better than a KNOWN hostile enemy and pro-Palestine, on the take from Saudi and Qatar, who sleeps with the enemy, Clinton

    • Israel gets $5B from Uncle Sam and $5B from AIPAC contributors e.g StarBucks,General Dynamics,CitiCorp,CBS,ABC,Hollywood Owners etc

    • Your remarks are disgraceful. And if you would actually vote for a bigotted, lying thug like Trump, you are a disgrace to the US and to the Jewish people.

  • yes, where is the sec’y gen’l of the u.n. when the iranians threaten genocide against Israel and announce that there are 120,000 missiles aimed at Israel? the sec’y gen’l is too busy hyperventilating over the construction of apartments in Israel’s capital.

    this has to be one of the most monumental of the many derelictions in u.n. history. ban subjects Israel to microscopic scrutiny while he’s absolutely indifferent to iranian-syrian-hizb missiles that are being positioned against Israel. the iranian aggression, completely inconsistent with iran’s status as a u.n. member, is a matter of utter indifference to ban. this fool has made himself an iranian accomplice. (yeah, yeah, ban murmurs about this or that instance of iranian aggression but it is just perfunctory: ban doesn’t care and the iranians know him well enough not to care.)

  • Yaakov

    What she’s actually doing is relating what Israelis have told her, although that in itself is significant because usually the Israeli viewpoint is ignored.

  • mika.

    The BBC, as the other “news” propaganda outlets, is totally discredited, and there’s nothing they can do to rectify this, ever. Disgrace, lying, and extinction is what they chose, and that’s what they should beget. I would urge all readers of this article to boycott the BBC and all the rest of them (CNN, BBC, RT, NYT, etc). Let them die the death they deserve.

    • Sharon


  • Mark Davis

    Don’t worry, she’ll retract it all when she realises how “scandalous” her reporting was and how opposed it is to the agenda of the BBC and of journalists everywhere.

    • Lynne Marton

      Well, I wish her luck – she really can’t “unwrite” or “unsay” anything. It’s all out there!
      Or, she’ll just leave it as it is, and be called HONEST.
      Novel idea, don’t you think?

    • a. silverman

      Rafia Iqbal (sic?) had a piece that was pure BBC Arabism on the tenth anniversary. She was true to form, this by Watson is out of the normal BBC bounds.

    • not just their agenda, the jihadi agenda. her sin is not just BBC non-compliance, it’s Pallywood non-compliance.

    • Ephraim

      Unless she wants to be fired, of course. Truth is anathema to the B(ritish)B(igots)C(ancer).