Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Go Figure 2

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.



Anonymous said...

Israeli's appear to have a strange addiction to the usage of precise numbers, even in situations where this is impossible or ridiculous. So much so that it is now illegal in some countries of Europe even to question the numbers involved in certain historical events.

None of this would have been possible without a highly pliant (? controlled) press.

Anonymous said...


Some moral support. I too am appalled by what is happening and what they are allowed to get away with. And, like you, I feel that one of the most disgusting aspects is the complete bias of the mainline press.

Whether this is from financial fear (loss of advertising for newspapers; loss of funding for politicians), or from fear of being branded an anti-semite (and probably also a paedophile as the anti-semite tag has become so prevalent and ubiquitous that it is beginning to lose its sting) I don't know; but it is pathetically obvious kowtowing and horrible to see. One of the worst offenders is the SMH letters page Editor that only allows mealy-mouthed platitudes to be published : I would like to see some law that forces newspapers to published all submitted letters on-line, together with a list of those selected for publication.

You were linked in a blog at AntiWar.com and that's how I found you. I will now link you where I can as the number of comments below is depressingly few.

The single commentator who harps on about suicide bombers should be asked who he thinks does that as a first option? He/she should be reminded of the Palestinian leader who, when asked how he could allow a female to put a bomb in her pram then blow herself up, replied : you give us your jets and helicopter gunships and we will give you our prams.

He/she should also be reminded that the suicide bomber comments are passe and off-target, the current buzz words are Hamas and rockets : to him/her - please stay on theme.

Thanks for your work. Keep it up.


Anonymous said...

MERC, argument is better technical capacity, wait for it...

from Iran. Two birds, one rocket.

Anyhoo, expect the numbers to increase exponentially, with the technologically advanced Qassams from... the evil axis regime Iran. Oh, Aipac have just scripted my post.

Anonymous said...

I suppose its a stupid question to ask why Palestinians don't insist their terrorist leadership doesn't simply stop their rocket attacks and the big bad Israelis will go away.
it appears to us in the west Palestinains just wish to keep on playing the victim card other wise they would pressure Hamas to agree to a cease fire.

You would think by now Palestinians would have got the message .

Anonymous said...

To Anon 7.06

Playing the victim card. Good God, how many have to die before you appreciate that they are certainly not playing.

Two aspects to the rockets.
1) If your family was being starved to death by a siege, what would you do. Simple let it happen and lie down quietly to die with them ?
2) The Israeli's know perfectly well from where the "rockets" are being launched and could have specifically targeted them at any time. They did not so that people could raise questions like yours. So much so that there is now considerable speculation that some of the pathetic ineffectual rockets now being launched are actually a black ops by Israeli Units.


Anonymous said...

As a follow-up :

This is pretending ?



Peter said...

To Anon 7.06:
Yes, it is stupid. In Israel - a democracy (to some extent) - people were unable to get rid of one of the most unpopular governments of Ehud Olmert in the wake of the Second Lebanon Fiasco. How on earth the Palestinians, who have no country of their own, hardly any democratic institutions and so on are supposed to do that?
And would you do that if you were a Palestinian in Gaza, (most likely) descendant of people who were expelled from their homes in 1948 or 53 or 67, starved, blockaded, without any opportunities in your life, without a hope of ever even traveling outside of the walls of the ghetto....
P.S. Absolute most of Palestinians are non-violent - that is a fact.