The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, December 07, 2023

Israel at War—Casualties

The usual suspects—a.k.a. the Biden administration, all the most virtuous voices in the Democratic party, the propaganda media, the most 'respected leftist NGOs, and, of course, that pillar of virtue, the United Nations—gear up to save the Islamist death cult, Hamas, from defeat. They do this, not be saying they're pro-Hamas (although by their words and actions, they sure seem to be) but by wailing about a "humanitarian crisis" that has befallen the "innocent and suffering" palestinian civilian population of Gaza. 

Not a word, mind you, on the reasons that this "humanitarian crisis" has occurred, nor a condemnation of Hamas for starting a war by committing atrocities so heinous they precipitated an extreme Israeli response, nor any recognition of how the Israelis have gone above and beyond any other military to shield palestinian civilians from the worst of the fighting, nor any questions about the scope of the claimed "civilian" casualties that have occurred. Nope. There's a "crisis" (!!!!) and Israel has to cease fire right now (!!!!) ... just ask Kamala Harris or Bernie Sanders.

I have addressed many of the issues noted in the preceding paragraph in other posts in the "Israel at War" series. In this post I'd like to discuss palestinian casualties further [1], you know, the ones that are reported by the usual suspects without even a semblance of verification or skepticism (given their source) or common sense.

Where to begin. Let's start with the "source." The usual suspects quote UN casualty figures as their source. They do this without any skepticism, as if the figures were audited by a big six accounting firm using rigorous methods that verify every number. That's not the case. Robert Spencer writes:

... The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Sunday published a chart of “Reported Casualties” in Gaza, and the numbers look grim indeed: over 15,523 deaths, with 4,257 women and 6,387 children making up fully 70% of that figure. The far-left establishment media is putting out substantially the same figures; the UK’s Guardian wrote Tuesday that “in the last three days, bombing has been heavy, and the total death toll since 7 October has risen to 15,899.”

These figures not only aroused the righteous indignation of our nation’s leftist self-appointed voices of conscience, but they moved the antisemitic Unz Review to the heights of hysteria: “We are certainly witnessing the greatest televised slaughter of helpless civilians in the history of the world, with nothing even remotely comparable coming to mind.” 

Oh my, that sounds terrible indeed. But let’s step back for a moment. If you follow an asterisk down to the small print, you’ll see that the UN attributes its figures for Palestinian casualties in Gaza to the “Ministry of Health” and the “Government Media Office.” Which Ministry of Health? Which government? The UN doesn’t say, and its reticence on this point is likely due to the fact that the government and Health Ministry in question are those of Hamas in Gaza. The Guardian likewise attributes its figures to “the Gaza health ministry.” Yes, that’s right: the one that Hamas runs.

This would be like the New York Times during World War II reporting massive German civilian deaths in an Allied offensive and attributing its data to Josef Goebbels’ Propaganda Ministry. 

"But, but, but," shriek the usual suspects, "maybe there's a little exaggeration, but even a single civilian casualty is too much." 

Wars are awful, and that's why you don't commit heinous atrocities against a sovereign nation who has the capability of hitting back—hard. Hamas did that. It put it's own civilians in harm's way—knowingly. Yet not a peep on this from the usual suspects. Never any recognition whatsoever that deaths that have occurred (and surely, deaths have occurred [2]) are a direct result of Hamas breaking a ceasefire that existed on October 6th.

Hamas is lying about casualties for propaganda purposes and everyone who is not a brain dead leftist knows it. But if you're a pro-Hamas leftist you perfectly willing to be credulous and quote the numbers (15,899—not 898 or 900, but 899, exactly) as if they are real—all because they fit your depraved narrative that Israel is the aggressor in all of this.

Spencer goes a bit deeper:

... A board member of the media watchdog Honest Reporting who goes by the single name Aizenberg, took a close look at the day-to-day casualty figures that the UN publishes from Hamas and found a large number of significant anomalies. “It is immediately obvious,” notes [read the whole thing] Aizenberg, “that Hamas does not report ANY combatant deaths & the numbers amazingly seem to indicate that IDF bombs & bullets disproportionately hit women, children & elderly. The IDF CANNOT seem to hit too many fighting age men.” But also, “the numbers are faked.”

On Oct. 19, for example, the total casualty number increased by 307, from 3,478 to 3,785. Yet at the same time, the total number of children killed went from 853 to 1,524, an increase of 671. Nor was that the only time such a thing happened. On Oct. 26, the total number of casualties increased by 481, while the number of children casualties went up by 626. Clearly, the Hamas Ministry of Health in Gaza is not too concerned that people will study these numbers closely; the idea is simply to shock and appall people with Israel’s alleged inhumanity, and that is working well enough.

Indeed it is, but only because of the complicity of the usual suspects. 


[1]  My earlier posts on Hamas casualty claims can be found here and here

[2]  Much is being made of a comment by an Israeli official who noted that it's likely that there are more civilian casualties than Hamas casualties. Nowhere in that comment does he state that the death/casualty figures are accurate. They are not. In addition, if an enemy (Hamas) hides within a civilian population and often prohibits those civilians from fleeing to safety, casualty figures will mount.