Ontario Arabic newspaper blames Israel for Beirut explosion

A Canadian Arabic-language newspaper said Israel was behind the deadly Beirut port explosion, despite evidence to the contrary.

By World Israel News Staff

An Arabic-language newspaper distributed in the Greater Toronto Area accused Israel of having plotted the devastating Aug. 4 blast in Beirut, B’nai Brith Canada reported.

The Aug. 7 edition of al-Meshwar contains a half-page editorial by editor-in-chief Nazih Khatatba, titled “Who is responsible for the Beirut port disaster?” In it, Khatatba concludes that “the Beirut disaster cannot be anything but the result of a planned Israeli-American act by direct implementation or via their local proxies,” and adds that “in the event that Israel is responsible for the detonation, Hezbollah can do nothing but respond with attacks at the same level as the crime.”

The editorial cites no evidence of the Jewish state’s alleged responsibility except an alleged motive to weaken the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terrorist group. However, B’nai Brith notes,the explosion took place in north Beirut, while Hezbollah’s powerbase is concentrated in southern Lebanon, the southern suburbs of Beirut, and the eastern Beqaa Valley.

Hezbollah itself has told Lebanese media that Israel was not responsible, and its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, did not point the finger at Israel in a televised speech on Friday. Israel, for its part, has offered humanitarian aid to Lebanon, and Tel Aviv’s city hall was lit up with the colours of the Lebanese flag last week.

Al-Meshwar has a long history of promoting Jew-hatred, B’nai Brith says. Articles in the paper have praised a 2014 massacre at a Jerusalem synagogue, called Judaism a “terrorist religion,” blamed Jews for the Holocaust and glorified suicide bombings.