All the numbers, whether of killed or wounded, of ordnance rained down, or of access to the media, favour Israel. How to create the semblance of symmetry, apart from hyping those Palestinian rockets? How to create the illusion of an 'existential threat' to Israelis? Why, when the number of Israeli casualties are minimal compared to those of the Palestinians across the border in Gaza, you can always bang on about the numbers of Israelis potentially affected by those infamous Palestinian rockets:-
"Israeli military spokesman Major Avital Leibovich said that up to a million Israelis were living in fear of rockets from Gaza." (Israeli tanks roll into Gaza, John Lyons, The Australian, 5/1/09)
And here's The Australian's Middle East Correspondent John Lyons' own "analysis" on the same front page: "About 800,000 Israelis are within the 40 km range of Hamas rockets, which Israelis find unacceptable." (Close combat: conflict enters danger zone)
"In the days that followed there were hundreds of rocket and mortar attacks, until Israel finally decided it had no choice but to act decisively to end these incessant attacks on its civilians, terrorising more than a quarter of a million people in its south." (Sorry history behind today's violent images, Colin Rubenstein, The Australian, 5/1/09)
"Michael Danby, the federal Labor MP for Melbourne Ports [& Israel], said the higher-quality missiles Hamas now had from Iran meant 750,000 Israelis lived within 30 second's warning of a missile attack." (At home, crowds rally to condemn and defend assault, Malcolm Brown, Sydney Morning Herald, 5/1/09)
So our potentially affected Israelis range from a high of 1 million to a low of 250,000. But what does the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs (mfa.gov.il) have to say? "The damage to the civilian populace is not only measured statistically in terms of the number killed and wounded or the extent of property damage. The continued attacks have an accumulated psychological impact on the population and destroy the sense of security previously had by more than 190,000 people, who now live under the potential threat of daily rocket and mortar shell attacks." (Rocket threat from the Gaza Strip, 2000-2007, IICC - see previous post)
Only 190,000? Dear, oh dear! OK, you're an Israeli apologist, you could try beefing this up with a few population figures* for actually and potentially affected Israeli cities and towns such as Ashdod (200,600/2007); Ashkelon (104,700/2003); Sderot (20,000/2004); Netivot (23,700/2004); Beersheba (183,200/2003). If you do, you'll get a total of 542,000 - over half a million. Remember the above quotes - Leibovich (1 million), Lyons (800,000), Rubenstein (250,000), and Danby (750,000)? Now go figure.