Re: The Republic Of Israel and Palestine?
- From: Ariadne <ariadne.mac@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 8 Jun 2008 11:52:13 -0700 (PDT)
On 7 Jun, 23:29, andycoop...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
On 6 Jun, 20:31, "¯Doug¦Ç" <noün...@xxxxxxx> wrote:
<andycoop...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
On 6 Jun, 12:56, Ariadne <ariadne....@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On 6 Jun, 12:44, andycoop...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
|> The victim statistics tell
|> their own story ...
Only if you present correct victim statistics:
See the (incomplete) list of Innocents murdered by
Muslims since 9/11:
That should give a clue to anyone with a brain.
Who was talking about 9/11 and world wide terror? Thats a totally
different issue, but anyhow the 'war on terror' has killed many more
than the 'terrorists' have.
I suppose if you leave out the muslim pig genocide of
2.5 million Assyrian and Armenian Christians in the early
20th century, or the additional million infidels slaughtered
in the Sudan and Darfur.
BTW, do you deny the Armenian Genocide?
Why? What has the Armenian genocide got to do with Israeli brutality
towards Palestinians? This is the trouble with you Zionists..... Such
devious cunts change the subject when they have no answer to the issue
http://www.btselem.org/English/Statistics/Casualties.asp is an
impartial observer and condemns Palestinian crimes as well as
Absolute rubbish as is all pro-terrorist propaganda.
B'Tselem still lists Muhammad al Durah as slain by the Israelis.
"Date of Incident 30/09/2000 Name: Muhammad Jamal Muhammad a-Dura age:
12 sex: M Citizenship: Palestinian Residence: al-Bureij Refugee Camp,
Deir al-Balah Location of Event: in Netzarim Junction, Killed while
fighting?: No Cause of Death: Gunfire Notes: Killed during clashes.
His father tried to protect him."
March 13, 2008
B'Tselem's lengthy 2007 Annual Report (47 pages in Hebrew and 54 pages
in the English version) reflects this NGO's dubious methodology, its
misuse of international legal terms, and selective reporting in order
to promote a political agenda. Many of the factual allegations are
anecdotal and unverifiable, based on inconsistent methodology,
contradictory claims, and the intra-Palestinian violence is given very
limited attention. However, B'Tselem has also increased its
condemnation of suicide bombings and rocket attacks targeting Israeli
civilians, calling these actions "war crimes" and "a grave breach of
the right to life", according to international humanitarian law.
B’Tselem’s press release on its 2007 annual report, headlines "131
Palestinians who did not participate in the hostilities killed by
Israel's security forces in 2007," and laments a "deterioration" in
the Human Rights situation in the Palestinian territories -- primarily
the "humanitarian" situation. However, B'Tselem's methodology contains
internal contradictions and selective reporting exposes its political
B'Tselem's release "highlights" a list of condemnations of Israeli
policy towards the Palestinians. Even the positive step of the
"approved family unification for some 3,500 Palestinian families" is
dismissed as a "one-time gesture"; and the two "themes" which the NGO
draws from its report are: 1) the exploitation of security threats by
Israel allegedly to increase control over the Palestinians, and 2) the
"lack of accountability of Israeli security forces." The summary
includes 6 points claiming to focus on Israel’s violations of the
right to water, family life, etc, with only one point noting that "the
number of Palestinians killed in intra-Palestinian clashes was the
highest throughout the Intifada."
B’Tselem’s methodology is problematic and often inconsistent. (See
also Tamar Sternthal’s review of B’Tselem’s 2006 report, "B'Tselem's
Annual Casualty Figures Questioned"). B'Tselem identifies casualties
according to their supposed activity at the moment of their death, and
therefore describes "Palestinians killed while not engaged in
hostilities," as civilians (page 5). However, according to the
Statistics section of B’Tselem’s website, which details the
circumstances of each victim’s death, among those listed in this
category are known terrorists, Hamas officials, stone throwers (which
can be lethal) and "civilians" used by Palestinian terrorists as human
shields (whose deaths are the responsibility of the terrorists). This
classification system is used despite High Court Justice Aharon
Barak’s decision that it is legal for the IDF to target and kill
terrorists, even if they are not involved in terrorist activities at
the moment of their death. B’Tselem’s statistics therefore do not
match the numbers published by the Israeli Shin Bet (Internal Security
Services). According to an amended report issued by Shin Bet chief
Yuval Diskin on January 13, 2008, out of 1000 Palestinians killed by
Israeli security forces over the past two years, 810 were categorized
terrorists. (By Shin Bet's count, only 190 fatalities were civilians,
while B'Tselem's combined figures for 2006 and 2007 describe 453
It is noteworthy that the Statistics section of B’Tselem’s website
contradicts the statements made by the NGO in its Annual Report. For
instance, B’Tselem documents that on November 28, 2007, Rami Hussein
Sa'id Abu a-Rus and 'Issam Sa'di Sbiyh Hamdan were killed by
helicopter gunfire, but "did not participate in hostilities when
killed". However, the "additional information" section on B’Tselem’s
Statistics page reveals that they were both Hamas naval police
officers and that their base was bombed in response to mortar shelling
on Israel. A-Rus’ and Hamdan’s senior positions in Hamas indicate
their terrorist ties, (all branches of Hamas are recognized as
terrorist organizations by many countries worldwide, including the
U.S.A and European Union).
Likewise, on November 25, 2007, Muhammad Zaki Muhammad Quzah "did not
participate in hostilities when killed". Yet, B'Tselem notes that he
was wanted by Israel, and news reports describe him as a "member of
the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades," thereby negating his civilian cover.
(It should also be noted that B'Tselem describes him as "drinking
coffee" at the time of his death, whereas numerous news sources report
that he was fleeing arrest). Furthermore, over the course of the year,
54 Palestinians were killed while attempting to cross the security
barrier into Israel (page Heb7/Eng8). B’Tselem ignores the fact that,
on many occasions, Palestinians attempting to cross the barrier do so
with the aim of carrying out terror attacks within Israel. By
B’Tselem’s own count in this report, 38 of those 54 casualties were
armed and involved in hostilities against Israel when killed.
On several occasions, B’Tselem published clearly contradictory
statements. For example, in the Statistics section of its website, the
group claims that Wadi'a Khalil Mustafa Samarah "did not participate
in hostilities when killed," while the next sentence indicates that he
was actually engaged in throwing stones at soldiers. (In some
circumstances, stone-throwing is lethal.)
B’Tselem’s problematic methodology is also apparent in its frequent
reliance on eyewitness testimonies in its own research and in its
demand that Israel collect eyewitness accounts in its investigations
of civilian deaths (pages Heb10, Eng28), despite the unreliable nature
of eyewitness testimony. According to Laura Engelhardt’s "The Problem
with Eyewitness Testimony" published in the Stanford Journal of Legal
Studies, "By tailoring our stories to our listeners, our bias distorts
the very formation of memory... Eyewitness testimony, then, is
innately suspect". Moreover, B’Tselem cites statistics collected by
the Palestinian Health Ministry tallying the number of Palestinian
deaths as a result of their inability to reach Israeli hospitals,
without providing any corroborating evidence (page Heb14/ Eng 17).
Clearly, Palestinians have an interest in inflating these claims. (In
contrast, B'Tselem does not afford Israeli government statistics the
same credibility - the NGO expressed "surprise" at the Shin Bet’s 2007
casualty figures when they differed from B'Tselem's count.)
In addition, throughout the report, B’Tselem consistently employs the
"halo effect", blindly citing figures collected and published by other
NGOs. For instance, it cites Yesh Din’s conclusion that only 10% of
cases filed by Palestinians against settlers in 2005 resulted in
indictments (page Heb 31/ Eng 36). These figures are repeated without
further investigation and directly contradict Israeli police findings
that 151 (60%) of the 250 such cases filed resulted in indictments.
(B’Tselem does not specify why the inclusion of figures from 2005 is
relevant to its annual report for 2007). B’Tselem also repeatedly
cites the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and HaMoked (pages
Heb 11, 22, 28, 38, 46), despite their own credibility deficits and
clear political agendas.
Reporting the facts to promote a political agenda
B’Tselem frequently manipulates facts to promote its biased political
agenda. For example, on November 4, 2007, three security guards at a
factory in Gaza were killed by a missile fired from an Israeli
helicopter, targeting terrorists shooting rockets at Israel from the
site of the factory. The terrorists used the guards as human shields,
yet B'Tselem counts these casualties among those killed "while not
engaged in hostilities." The statistical implication is that Israel is
responsible for their deaths, yet B'Tselem later acknowledges the
responsibility of the terrorists in such cases (page Heb10/ Eng 12).
B'Tselem creates a false impression of excessive Israeli use of force,
attempting to persuade readers through questionable statistics and
high numbers. The use of statistics is particularly misleading when
juxtaposed with the "low" number of Israelis killed by Palestinian
terrorists over the same period of time. While tallying Palestinian
deaths, B’Tselem begins with a total, all-inclusive number and only
afterwards distinguishes between civilian casualties and terrorists’
deaths. Yet, the exact opposite is done with regards to Israeli
casualties. First, B’Tselem states that seven Israeli civilians were
killed in 2007 by Palestinian terror organizations, in suicide
bombings, rocket attacks and shootings. B’Tselem next adds that six
more Israelis, soldiers and policemen, were also killed over the year.
Finally, B’Tselem asserts that "this is the lowest number of Israeli
civilian casualties since the beginning of the Intifada", but fails to
acknowledge that the decrease in Israeli deaths is due to an
improvement of security measures, rather than to a moderation of the
violence. And of course there is no moral equivalence or valid
comparison between the deaths of terrorist victims, on the one hand,
and the perpetrators of this violence, on the other.
B’Tselem also praises the decrease in Palestinian rocket attacks,
despite the fact that they remain numerous and continue to terrorize
the residents of Sderot and surroundings on a regular basis (monthly
average: 109 - page Heb 10/ Eng 12). However, to its credit, B’Tselem
does consider suicide bombings and rocket attacks targeting Israeli
civilians as "war crimes" and "a grave breach of the right to life",
according to international humanitarian law (page Heb 10/ Eng 12). It
also stresses the universal responsibility to abide by such laws,
whether or not the group one belongs to has ratified this treaty, one
considers the "occupation" legal or the civilians targeted live in
legal or illegal settlements.
Only toward the end of the document does B’Tselem address internal
Palestinian fighting, which killed 346 (among them 71 civilians and 24
children) in 2007 and injured thousands more (page Heb 45/ Eng 52).
Although the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are accused of much worse
human rights abuses than Israel ("a sharp rise in grave human rights
violations," such as torture, extra-judicial executions and
abductions), the fact that this section is placed at the very end of
such a long report, and is barely mentioned in the press release,
diminishes its significance and the attention given to it by the
reader. In total, B’Tselem devotes only 4 pages to violations of human
rights by Palestinians (pages Heb10, 45-47/ Eng12, 52-54), while Heb
43/ Eng 50 pages are devoted to Israel. No condemnation of Palestinian
honor killings or their persecution of Palestinian Christians may be
found anywhere in this document.
Use of International Legal Rhetoric
Throughout its report, B’Tselem makes generalized statements
condemning Israel, referring to international humanitarian law without
citing specific provisions. For instance, it claims that Israel is not
observing the principle of proportionality and engages in operations
in which the harm to civilians is greater than the anticipated
military gains (page Heb 7/ Eng 9). To support its allegation,
B’Tselem focuses on the claimed civilian casualties without analyzing
the military advantage of the operation or its intent - both critical
factors under the legal standard.
Furthermore, B'Tselem repeatedly minimizes Israel’s security concerns.
The NGO claims that “[e]ven in cases in which restrictions are imposed
for security reasons, it is doubtful that they accord with the
principle of proportionality. In many cases, the way in which
restrictions are imposed raises doubts as to whether they are indeed
rationally tied to the declared security aim” (page Heb18/ Eng 24).
B’Tselem ignores the fact that the checkpoints have been instrumental
in preventing attacks against civilians within Israel. According to
the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the first 6 months of 2005
alone, "389 Palestinians, among these potential suicide bombers…
wanted terrorists and those suspected of terror activities," were
apprehended at checkpoints.
On page Heb 11/ Eng 13, B’Tselem blames the deteriorating humanitarian
situation in Gaza on Israel’s isolation of the area. No mention is
made of Hamas as a terrorist organization which has prompted many
Western governments to cease direct funding. B’Tselem argues that
under international humanitarian law, Israel remains responsible for
the welfare of Palestinians in Gaza, despite the August 2005
disengagement (page Heb 14/ Eng 18), and that its current policy
constitutes “collective punishment”. B’Tselem insists that Israel
should allow humanitarian aid to enter the Gaza Strip, despite the
fact that in the week of January 7-14, 2008 alone, two trucks labeled
as humanitarian aid were found to contain explosive materials used by
Palestinian terror organizations to produce rockets and bombs.
B’Tselem also claims that, according to international humanitarian
law, Israel is responsible for the security of the Palestinians in the
West Bank, as the “occupying power” (page Heb 30/ Eng 35). B’Tselem’s
continued branding of Israel as an occupying force in Gaza, however,
directly contradicts the definition of occupation in Article 6 of the
1949 Geneva Convention. (See also "B'Tselem's Gaza Report – Ideology
Instead of Facts," NGO Monitor, March 13, 2007)
B'Tselem's annual report ends with a general statement that
international humanitarian law applies equally to every nation and
regime worldwide, and that Hamas and the Palestinian Authority must
abide by its principles. This is a responsible and important change by
B’Tselem, but its effectiveness is blunted by being placed at the end
of the long report.
As in its May 2007 report on the alleged torture of Palestinians by
the Israel Security Agency, which was shown to contain numerous
errors, B’Tselem’s Annual Report for 2007 reveals the NGO’s political
agenda and promotion of the Palestinian narrative. In order to promote
this goal, B’Tselem presents unverifiable statistical evidence
gathered with a questionable methodology, and manipulates
international humanitarian law.
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