Hypocrisy on casualties

star-alternative_logo_150X150Casualties without comparison

From Jack Cohen on ISBLOG
21 July 2014


I’m fed up with hearing the first item of the News being the casualty count in Gaza, but given without any analysis or comparisons. The civilian casualties in Gaza are actually quite small in number compared to other conflicts. The total number of deaths given according to Hamas sources is ca. 400 in 14 days of fighting. But, a large proportion of these must be combatants (note that Hamas combatants are usually without uniforms and often counted as civilians). Hamas estimate 50% and Israel estimates 70% are combatants, so if we choose 60%, an estimate of civilian deaths is 160. This is an incredibly small number given that there are ca. 1.6 million people densely crowded into Gaza and that the IAF has flown ca. 2000 sorties.

In the Syrian civil war in the past three years the current conservative estimate of civilian deaths is 160,000, or ca. 1,000 per week. In the Iraq war from 2003-2011 there were estimated to be a minimum of ca. 135,000 civilian deaths or 350 per week. In the NATO campaign in 1991 in Kossovo-Serbia the civilian casualties were estimated at 2,000 in two months. Then there were the civilian casualties in the Vietnam War from 1955-75 inflicted by US forces, estimated at 880,000 civilians. One can of course also include the millions of deaths of various native populations contributed by the British Empire in India, Kenya, Australia, America and so on. And this is without including the Holocaust and other massacres carried out by German and other European forces during WWII that go into millions. Then of course there was the UK carpet bombing of Germany and the US dropping atomic bombs on Japan. So let’s have a bit of humility over the hypocrisy of civilian casualties in Gaza.

If the civilian casualty count is anything to go by, Israel deserves to be commended in Gaza, since the IDF warns civilians with leaflets, phone calls and SMS messages of the pending attack on a specific area. Hamas, while digging bunkers for their leaders and tunnels to attack Israel at a huge cost (millions of dollars, derived from US and EU assistance), gave their civilian population NO shelters. By contrast Israel not only has civilian shelters everywhere, but spent a huge amount with US support for the Iron Dome system that is very effective at protecting civilians as well as giving a Red Alert alarm to warn civilians to take cover. Perhaps the worst thing is that Hamas fires missiles from populated areas and stores their missiles in schools (including UNRWA schools) and mosques. Let’s keep things in perspective.

It seems clear to me (and no doubt to Turkish Pres. Erdogan) that Israel must be behind the downing of the Malaysian Airlines plane in eastern Ukraine. After all, wasn’t the timing perfect to draw attention away from the war in Gaza. This will no doubt go down in history as another one of those anti-Semitic canards, with the Zionist destruction of the Twin Towers (of course, Jews were given a prior warning!) and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.


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About David Guy

B.A./B.C.A. (Communication and Media Arts) University of Wollongong, AUSTRALIA M.A. in Government (Diplomacy and Conflict Studies) Inter Disciplinary Center, Herzliya, ISRAEL Twitter @5MFI
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