It’s Jihad Jim, But Not As We Know It
Last night, after dealing with an entirely normal nocturnal child related issue (if you think broken sleep ends after the night time infant feeding stops, think again), I lay awake. At times like this I often tune my iPhone to the BBC and listen to the UK’s Midnight news. Not the BBC World Service, the domestic, Radio 4 bulletin. Sometimes I find it soothing to hear of troubles with the NHS or other petty domestic issues.
Last night, of course, the bulletin had to mention the death of the released terrorist-turned-Minister, Ziad Abu Ein. As Dave noted yesterday, the circumstances surrounding this man’s eventual death from a heart attack (this seems to be a somewhat agreed on conclusion) are murky to say the least.
As expected the BBC report (and it’s backed up by a similar written report on their website) contained no nuance, no alternative reporting and could lead to no conclusion other than he died because of mistreatment by Israeli soldiers. The World Service video on that news page, of course, contains the usual soundbite from UK sponsored, professional Israel hater, Hanan Ashrawi.
There is a cursory mention that one Israeli soldier did try to treat him though no specific mention, as has been reported elsewhere, that the IDF were specifically blocked from helping this man. It’s not idle speculation to say that had he been given competent first aid upon the first symptoms of a heart attack, he may well have lived.
Here is the recording of both the Israel piece and the report which immediately followed it.
The report from the “internationally agreed, illegal settled, occupied West Bank” was immediately followed by another one which gave the world wide Jihadist death toll for the month of November, as worked out by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence (ICSR), in conjunction with the BBC, was 5,042 people.
That immediately made me lie awake wondering if any of those 5,042 people killed in 664 attacks were Jews in Israel.
This morning I woke up, Googled a bit and found the original PDF of the full report (link). I looked quickly on my iPhone and searched for the words “Israel” or “Israeli” in the report. Nada: nothing.
It turns out that had I searched for “Hamas” I would have found the reason. As expected, the report doesn’t include (I might be wrong with the number) 9 dead and at least 25 wounded in Jihadi attacks in Israel. And the full report gives a reason for this. It is clear that the writers of the report specifically narrow their definition of Jihad allowing them to exclude both Hezbollah and Hamas as entities they don’t consider to be Jihadi:
This definition excludes Shia militant groups such as Hezbollah that justify fighting in the name of jihad but are located outside the Sunni tradition. Indeed, the jihadists of al Qaeda, the Islamic State and like-minded groups regard Hezbollah as ‘apostates’ and have been among the most vociferous opponents of Shia militant groups in places like Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.
The definition also excludes the Palestinian group Hamas which advocates ‘jihad’ and – unlike Hezbollah – is widely recognized as Sunni. Its religious, social and political doctrine, however, is not Salafist. Jihadist groups such as al Qaeda have repeatedly condemned Hamas for recognizing man-made laws and becoming involved in democratic elections, while Hamas, in turn, has repressed – and fought against – jihadist groups.
So there you have it, a wonderful and (in my opinion) completely spurious reason to limit their count of the Jihadi death toll. And just in case you were wondering if 9 dead Israelis wasn’t a big enough total to compare to Syria and Iraq for their report, here is the geographic breakdown of the deaths they did consider worthy of inclusion in the death toll from the Religion of Peace™. As you can see they’re willing to go down to 5 in Kenya and 1 in Libya (which seems low to me).
For a long time the site religionofpeace.com has tracked deaths caused by Jihadi activity worldwide. They are certainly not as well-funded and resourced as the combined resources of the ICSR and the BBC, and they have a much lower total but they are only relying on internationally respected news sources and so they’re probably vastly under-estimating the death toll in Syria where very little reporting is coming from. Here is their data put into a graph for November, but at least they have Israel reported properly:
Whatever way you slice it, there are a lot of people being killed in the name of Islam right now. And the BBC is consistent in it’s attempts to conclude that, for example, Jews slaughtered while praying in a Synagogue in Jerusalem by men shouting Allah HuAkbar, are not victims of Jihad.
Update: While writing this, the Israeli media confirmed the preliminary results of a (Palestinian led) autopsy show that he died of a heart attack and that his vessels were 80% blocked (there’s confusion in the YNet headline over this). I would say there’s a very good chance (he wasn’t that old) that immediate treatment with aspirin and an IV, followed by swift removal to hospital for surgery with stents to unblock or a more complex bypass operation would have kept this guy alive. Instead he gave an interview and was left lying on the ground for dramatic effect.