When Facts Are A Casualty
Despite the clear conclusions one can draw from the Gaza Heath Ministry casualty list – a list which itself has an anti-Israel bias, and conclusions even the likes of the BBC and NY Times can’t ignore – there are those who remain unpersuaded by actual facts.
People like Ken Roth, the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch.
Young men over-represented among Gaza dead: unclear if Hamas won't acknowledge fighters or Israel targets young men. http://t.co/Vnk1QcsGls
— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) August 9, 2014
That’s right, Ken, Israel is targeting innocent, non-combatant men, between the ages of 20 and 29, who just happen to be hanging around rocket launchpads, minding their own business.
And Rania Khalek, who refers to herself as an “independent journalist” and thinks “objectivity is bullsh*t.”
Disgusting BBC joins other hasbara outlets in questioning Gaza civilian death toll bc Palestinians can't be trusted http://t.co/4Je9h4fEX1
— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) August 9, 2014
Yes, Rania, that is why there is an entire other hasbara outlet dedicated to calling out the BBC for its anti-hasbara hasbara. Because BBC is a hasbara outlet.
But the most common response from the anti-Israel crowd has been the head-in-the sand response. Some of our favorite haters, such as Ali Abuminah, Max Blumenthal, and Richard Silverstein seem to be largely ignoring this news. This is because such people do not actually care whether or not there are any Palestinian civilian casualties at all. Their objective is simply to vilify Israel. Palestinian civilian casualties are merely one weapon in their arsenal, and when that weapon is depleted, they will invent another one. Actual facts are simply not relevant to the battle they are fighting.
One activist, Ben White, does make a half-hearted and sad attempt to actually deconstruct the BCC and Times analysis:
— Ben White (@benabyad) August 10, 2014
The first thing he does is express his “disgust” that news outlets are making a belated attempt to figure out for themselves what the facts are, rather than continuing to blindly accept Hamas propaganda. Such attempts are not based, as he claims, on de-humanizing Palestinian males, but merely on drawing conclusions from available data. While BBC’s Reuben does take into account that there are other factors that cause slightly more male civilian casualties than female ones in most combat situations, he relies on the enormity of the discrepancy between male and female, as well as the age brackets, to conclude that there were far more combatant casualties than previously thought.
Finally, Ben shows his complete disregard for facts when he claims that Palestinians (and not Israelis) have a right to self-defense, and that the underlying cause of this conflict is the so-called Israeli occupation. Gaza was given the opportunity for autonomy and self-determination in 2005. Gaza elected Hamas. Hamas attacks Israel. That is the cause of this conflict.