Sunday, April 26, 2009

How to respond to disinformation

The April 23 Associated Press story "Rights groups cry Gaza whitewash" was a shoddy piece of reporting, never even mentioning the so-called "human rights activists" who criticized the conclusions reached by meticulous investigators from the Israeli military. In contrast, there seems to be no criticism by those "human rights activists" of the nearly 10,000 rockets and mortars fired from Gaza at Israeli civilians since the Palestinian Arabs rejected the establishment of their own state in 2000. 160 rockets and mortars were fired in just the two months prior to Operation Cast Lead; approximately 200 more have been fired since.

During Operation Cast Lead, 1,166 Palestinian Arabs were killed. Of those, 709 were positively identified as belonging to terrorist organizations and only 295 were identified as non-combatant civilians. The status of the remaining 162 is unclear, but they were all male, mostly teenagers and young adults, and it is likely most of them were far from innocent.

In urban warfare, it is typical for civilians to comprise as much as 90 percent of the casualties. In Gaza, even if the grossly inflated figures used by Israel's defamers were correct, the level of civilian casualties would still have qualified as being astoundingly low.

Every lost human life is regrettable, but can you imagine what the reaction would be if the neighboring Commonwealth of Massachusetts was controlled by a terrorist group like Hamas and even a single rocket was fired a nearby Connecticut town such as Canaan?

It's unfortunate that the Associated Press distributed a story giving undeserved credence to allegations made by unnamed and clearly unreliable partisans.

It's even more unfortunate that for more than six decades the Palestinian and other Arabs have rejected Israel's pleas for peace. At least 709 Arab terrorists from Gaza paid for that rejectionism with their lives a few months ago; millions of Palestinian Arabs live miserably in poverty because of that refusal to live with Israel in peace.

It is that extremism and rejectionism, the true cause of all the casualties, civilian and combatant, Israeli and Arab, which true human rights activists should be criticizing and working to end.


Alan H. Stein
President, PRIMER-Connecticut
Promoting Responsibility in Middle East Reporting

No comments: