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Friday, March 27, 2009


The Earth is flat, the Earth is spherical

You know, there are two sides to every story. Israel is claiming (and the world's press dutifully reporting) that the "majority" of those killed in the assault on Gaza were "Hamas" and that only 295 of 1166 dead were "civilians." This contrasts to the figures released by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, which says that 1,417 people were killed, of whom only 236 were combatants.

So, who to believe? Well, let's see. The PCHR has released a complete list of names and ages of all the dead. Israel "says" it has a list, but it hasn't released it. The PCHR actually is on the ground in Gaza. Israel? Their information was "checked, crisscrossed and double-checked with the different intelligence bodies in Israel" (if you listen to Jay Leno, you'll get a laugh out of that, because "checking and cross-checking the facts" is how he describes the accuracy of stories in the tabloids). So how good was all the checking and double-checking? Israel can't even get the sexes of the dead correct! Israel claims that only 49 women were killed, while PCHR (and remember, they've released the names and ages of everyone killed) documents 116 women who were killed.

None of this, I repeat, was the slightest impediment to the world's media reporting the Israeli claims (and again, remember, Israel released no supporting documentation to support those claims). And the differences in the numbers, I hasten to add, are far wider than merely the dispute over whether the 255 policemen killed at the start of the invasion are "civilians" (they are, unquestionably) or not.

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