Hezbollah has launched a multi-lingual news application for iPhones and iPads, the latest weapon in its hate-ware against the U.S., Sunni Muslims and Israel. The Lebanese-based, Iranian-funded Hezbollah describes the app known as LCG as “an application that brings news from all around the world.” Nowhere on the Apple pages describing the product in English is it clear that LCG is the creation of Hezbollah. Hezbollah uses every available medium to try to control the message regarding its terror campaigns in the region and beyond.
The Anti-Defamation League is amongst those leading the campaign against Hezbollah’s public relations war.
Al-Manar broadcasts the terrorist group’s messages of hate and violence, disseminates anti-Semitic and anti-American propaganda and glorifies suicide bombings to millions of viewers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
On Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV website, the group attacked “the campaign carried out by the Jewish Anti-Defamation League to deactivate Al-Manar applications on smart phones at google play and apple store.”
Major mobile-Internet companies such and Google and Apple previously banned Hezbollah apps but each time the organization’s PR team managed to reintroduce its “news service” in one form or another.
For its part, the ADL believes its efforts are justified.
LCG is just one part of Hezbollah’s use of traditional and new media to get its message to as wide an audience as possible. Its PR team also uses the popular cellular phone messaging service WhatsApp to get out its messages.
Hezbollah airs its radio and TV broadcasts around the globe via satellite. Occasionally its broadcasts are banned by the satellite companies, but here too Al-Manar TV and Al-Nour Radio manage to reappear on new platforms. Hezbollah’s satellite effort is particularly focused on Asia and Africa where it hopes to impact on the radicalization of Muslim states or countries with a significant Muslim minority.
The organization is also seeking inroads into Europe and sees media as one way to gain support for its narrative and to legitimize its terror operations. Its relationship with Europe has come under increasing scrutiny since its involvement in the 2012 bombing of an Israeli tour bus in Bulgaria.
European leaders were slow to process the atrocity, however. Many held fast to the myth of Hezbollah as a kind of social service agency loosely affiliated with far-off militants.
Hezbollah’s media machine attacks Israel at every given opportunity and for the last three years has openly backed Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s butchery of his own people. The Sunni world is also rich pickings for Hezbollah’s print and electronic attacks.
Even the vocabulary Hezbollah uses in its public pronouncements legitimates violence.
Israel is the “Zionist entity” and the United States of America is “the enemy of Islam” or “the source of world evil.” Conversely, terms like terror and suicide-bomber are often exchanged for “Jihad” (in English, struggle) and “Shaheed” or “Shahadah” (from the verb “testify”), to give their subjects a positive spin.