Yesterday I caught an interview with the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations on the radio. Since the reporter was from an independent news agency, he asked questions we don't usually hear from CNN, FOX, MSNBC etc. -- Among other things, the reporter asked the ambassador to comment on the fact, previously noted here, that Israel complains to the media (quite rightly) about Hezbollah's use of rockets armed with fragmentation shells while Israel itself is making heavy use of cluster bombs in its horrific attack on the Lebanese population centers.
The ambassador responded flatly that "Israel does not use cluster bombs."
This was astonishing enough, given that reporters on the ground in Lebanon have found evidence of cluster bombs. But I open my New York Times the very next day to find this on the front page:
"Israel has asked the Bush administration to speed delivery of short-range anti-personnel rockets armed with cluster munitions which it could use to strike Hezbollah missile sites in Lebanon, two American official said yesterday."
"Anti-personnel rockets" are not required to take out a missle launcher, of course. And, as we have seen repeatedly, most of these rockets are hitting civilian targets.
But, if the ambassador is to be believed, Israel has not used the cluster weapons it is now asking the Bush administration to replace.