Monday, December 21, 2009

Gaming Gaza: It's The Truth--Not Gaza--That Lies In Ruins

Last year, Lauren Booth--peace activist and sister-in-law of former PM Tony Blair--described the situation in Gaza:
She spoke of the situation in Gaza and said, “Yesterday, I visited mothers of children under the age of five. Nutrition here has deteriorated threefold over the last two years because it is impossible to bring food through the crossings. Unemployment has risen, so people can't even afford to buy what food there is left."
That was about a week after she had gone shopping:

Apparently, one's interest in peace does not necessarily coincide with one's interest in the truth.

And that is an ongoing phenomenon when dealing with the propaganda of the Palestinian Arabs and their apologists. The following is typical of what we have been inundated with:
Gaza remains in ruins a year after Israeli onslaught

That's from a Saigon newspaper--but a Palestinian newspaper tells a very different story:
According to the Google translation, the title is
From my / lens "Palestine Today" pick up the Gazans scenes preparations for Eid al-Adha

Here are some of the pictures:

According to the Google translation, the caption to the first picture reads:
Despite the blockade Gazans go shopping clothes for their children
Just imagine what will be available once Hamas stop bombing Israeli schools!

Notice the view in the background on this last picture, as opposed to the one from the Saigon paper.
Speaking of view, check out the post The View Into Gaza from CiF Watch.

The post is very clear on understanding the full context:
There is, no doubt, there was destruction in Gaza – after all there was a mini-war there a few months ago. But it is nowhere near as widespread as the Guardian would have us believe from its articles and replaying the same pictures of the same few destroyed houses. Actually looking at Gaza tells a rather different story. A few pictures may help you see Gaza in a more balanced way.
With that in mind, the post examines what Gaza currently looks like:

Go to Google Maps and enter “Kibbutz Nir Am, Israel” and you’ll see a little reservoir west of the kibbutz. Follow the road that skirts the reservoir about 1 km east, and  if you look carefully, you’ll see a small road just west of the reservoir leading to a little white patch near a “V” shaped intersection – this is the little hill from which the TV crews reported on Cast Lead, and from which I shot the pictures below on August 8th this year, at about 8:30 am as the morning mist was lifting. It is about 1 km from the fence between Gaza and Israel. Kibbutz Nir Am, which has been subjected to heavy rocket fire from Gaza, lies about 2 – 3 km north east of this spot.

The first picture looks into Gaza from about ½ km on the Israeli side of the fence with Gaza, just west of the Nir Am reservoir. In the foreground, beyond the fence, is Bet Hanoun, one of the villages used frequently by Hamas and its cohorts from which to launch rockets into Israel. Behind that, you see high-rise buildings probably in Jabalya or just west of Sheikh Zaid. Next to the big white house in the foreground there appear to be a couple of destroyed houses, but clearly other buildings and the high rises are in good condition.

You can see the security fence, with a gate that allows Israeli troops to enter Gaza when terrorists are detected approaching the fence or for other military purposes.

The second view looks south west, and I provide it to emphasize that there is, in fact, open territory in the Gaza Strip, and that the terrorists could, if they chose to do so, fire their rockets and mortars from sites not located in built up areas.

Finally, next time you read about the “wall” around Gaza – remember these pictures and how simple a defense mechanism it really is.
Something to think about the next time--and you know there will be many--the media implies that all of Gaza lies in ruins.

Hand in hand with the claim that Gaza is destroyed is the myth that some 1,400 Palestinians were killed in Operation Cast Lead--the majority being civilians. One would have thought that accurately determining the number of casualties--and differentiating between civilian and terrorist casualties--would be one of the first priorities of the Goldstone Commission.

No such luck.

In How many civilians were killed in Gaza? Ben-Dror Yemini writes about the rampant distortions in how many were killed in Gaza and how many were civilians:

The various organizations announced that between 1,200 and 1,400 were killed in Gaza. The number may have been inflated, as claimed, for example, by journalist Lorenzo Cremonesi, reporting from the Gaza Strip for the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera about inflation of the numbers and the manipulations by Hamas. We should also mention the investigation conducted by the IDF which appears to be a bit more reliable and puts the number of killed at 1164, as well as the fact that Hamas issued explicit instructions to conceal and deceive.

According to Pavel's research, 564 of the dead were members of Hamas. All of them were honored, as fallen fighters, on Hamas websites. In addition to them, according to IDF investigations, about 100 Islamic Jihad members were killed. Assuming that other terrorists were killed, for example those belonging to Fatah, then most of the dead were not innocent civilians. And that's just the beginning.

The bombing of the Hamas Police Academy earned wall-to-wall condemnation because, according to international law, police are considered civilians. Here we will go into the results of the research conducted by Dahoah-Halevy. According to a name-based investigation of each of the "policemen", it turns out that 88.4% of them belong to the security - i.e., terrorism - mechanisms of Hamas. One of them, Muhammad el-Dasuqi, a member of the Resistance Committee, is suspected of being one of the perpetrators of the terrorist attack on the American convoy in 2003.

One of the most prominent events in the Gaza operation was the bombing of the UN school in the Jabalya refugee camp on January 6. All the media around the world publicized horrific pictures of "over 41 killed in the Al Fakhura school." The condemnation was worldwide, from the UN Secretary General, through the President of the United States, to the Prime Minister of Great Britain.

Many long weeks passed before it was shown to be a libel. First, the three artillery shells did not hit the school at all. Second, Hamas people were firing from the area and the IDF aimed its fire at them. Third, the number of killed was far smaller than originally reported. Most of the media and human rights organizations that publicized the original news did not bother to publicize the information that was disclosed. Those who are infatuated with libel are not prepared to be confused by the facts.

There were still many killed who are not identified as fighters. That is also worth investigating. If the IDF strike lacked discernment, the demographic breakdown of the casualties (erroneously called "uninvolved civilians") should have been identical to the demographic breakdown of the general population. However, a different picture emerges. A quarter of the population are adolescent girls. Actually, 8% of those killed were adolescent girls. A quarter of the population are adult women. Only 14% of those killed were women. The higher percentage of male casualties – much higher than their proportion of the population – proves that among them were a higher percentage of men involved in the fighting. In other words, the percentage of civilian casualties was dramatically smaller than the claims made against Israel. According to a more in-depth investigation by a team of researchers from the Interdisciplinary Center, between 900 and 1,070 of the casualties (63% - 75%) were killed because they were involved. If we add to that the fact that Hamas used civilians as human shields, or adolescent boys who were forced to participate in the fighting, the percentage of the casualties who were involved in the fighting only increases.

For an overview of the extent of the distortions the media assists in, check out this video by Elder of Zion:

What other country has to name and identify the enemy combatants in order to prove that civilians were not targeted?

Elder of Ziyon also has more information here.
Also check out Casualties of truth how the PCHR lies about the casualties of operation "Cast Lead"

The next time the media or one of the Palestinian apologists insists that all of Gaza lies in ruins, you will have every reason to be suspicious.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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