More Palestinians have Died
Arab propaganda argues that the Jews are guilty because more Arabs than Jews have died during the Intifadah yet many of those Arabs died while attempting to carry out terrorist attacks. The fact that the Jews had a good enough army to kill many of them does not mean the Jews are guilty of anything except self defense. Victor Hanson in an article in the National Review (March 29, 2002) called The New Amorality in the Middle East wrote:
Palestinians appeal to the American public on grounds that three or four times as many of their own citizens have died as Israelis. The crazy logic is that in war the side that suffers the most casualties is either in the right or at least should be the winner. Some Americans nursed on the popular ideology of equivalence find this attractive. But if so, they should then sympathize with Hitler, Tojo, Kim Il Sung, and Ho Chi Minh who all lost more soldiers - and civilians - in their wars against us than we did.
Perhaps a million Chinese were casualties in Korea, ten times the number of Americans killed, wounded, and missing. Are we then to forget that the Communists crossed the Yalu River to implement totalitarianism in the south - and instead agree that their catastrophic wartime sacrifices were proof of American culpability? Palestinians suffer more casualties than Israelis not because they wish to, or because they are somehow more moral - but because they are not as adept in fighting real soldiers in the full-fledged war that is growing out of their own intifada.
Jonah Goldberg wrote the following in the National Review (4/8/02)
Few arguments marry self-righteousness and absurdity so magically as the one that says Israel must be in the wrong because more Palestinians are dying than Jews. "First, there is a number; the number is 1,200 and counting of Palestinians dead. There's a number of Israeli dead, 420…" exclaimed Rashid Khalidi of the University of Chicago on NPR's Talk of the Nation last week. "That is the number of people who have been killed. Now maybe the Arabs are not human. Maybe the fact that Arabs are being killed by Israelis is completely coincidence."
It's not a coincidence, it's the logical consequence of the fact that the Israelis have built a better army than the Arabs have. They did this because Arabs kept attacking Israel, trying to destroy it. Equating every dead Palestinian gunman with every murdered Israeli is absurd. Sure, Israelis kill innocents from time to time. But it isn't intentional. When the Israeli Defense Forces accidentally killed the family of a leading suicide-bomber recruiter, thinking he would be in the car instead, the IDF apologized. Can you imagine Hamas apologizing to a senior Israeli officer when it killed his family? Of course not. Because Hamas aims for the families. When they succeed, they celebrate.
Regardless, it is a tragedy that anyone is dying — but only those who have made guilt a religion, or the sand-poundingly ignorant, would believe we keep score this way. Might may not make right, but that doesn't mean lack of might makes right either.
Germany lost more people in World War II than America did. Does that mean America was wrong and Germany was right? Somali casualty rates were something like 50 to 1 in the "Black Hawk Down" incident. Does that mean the Somalis were 50 times more "right"? Such inverted moral logic is the triumph of guilt over reason. I don't know if cops kill more criminals or criminals kill more cops every year, but either way, I am not confused about who are the good guys and who are the bad.
Sylvana Foa wrote an article for the Village Voice (week of June 5 - 11, 2002) titled The War on Non-Combatants Targetting Toddlers in which she points out that when the number of Arab and Israeli noncombatants who died are compared many more Israeli non-combatants have died. She quotes Don Radlauer, of theInternational Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) as saying:
Looking at solid numbers, the Palestinians report a total of 66 women killed as of the end of April. In the same period, 135 Israeli women died, all but three non-combatants.
But if you only look at non-combatants, excluding female suicide bombers and women killed in bomb factory 'work accidents,' etc., the number drops to 40 Palestinian women killed.
Do the math—132 Israeli female civilians compared with 40 Palestinian women. That's more than three Israeli women killed for every one Palestinian.
Palestinian data on fatalities do not bear out the claim that Israel is attacking a civilian population in their homes. The Palestinian fatalities are an engineered tragedy. If I am angry at anything it is that the Palestinian leadership is willing to put so many of their own kids in harm's way just to gain propaganda points.
Sylvana quotes Achy Sheffer, 42, a volunteer medic about Arab attacks on civilians. He said:
If the attack was a bad one, it's eerily quiet. Like at the Passover seder massacre in Netanya [where 29 people were killed and 140 were injured]," he said. "It was very bad and it was very quiet. No one was screaming."
Often the silence is broken by the ringing of the victims' mobile phones scattered on the ground. Desperate parents trying to find their kids, or kids trying to find their parents.
The worst for me was the Dolphinarium. I arrived on the scene early. The first thing I saw was a pile of dead, pretty teenage girls—10 to 12 bodies, literally packed one on top of the other.
Benjamin Netanyahu, former prime minister of Israel in his speech to the U.S. Senate on April 10, 2002 said:
The deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians is shamefully equated with the unintentional loss of Palestinian life that is the tragic but unavoidable consequence of legitimate warfare. Worse, since Palestinian terrorists both deliberately target civilians and hide behind them, Israel is cast as the guilty party because more Palestinians have been killed in Arafat’s terrorist war than Israelis. No one, of course, would dare suggest that the United States was the guilty party in World War II because German casualties, which included millions of civilians, were twenty times higher then American casualties. So too, only a twisted and corrupt logic would paint America and Britain as the aggressors in the current war because Afghan casualties are reported to have well exceeded the death toll of September 11.
The media source of information about the number of Arabs killed is often the Palestinian Authority. It is in the interest of the PA to inflate the number of civilian casualties in order to gain world sympathy, especially children. The media creates a false moral equivalence between Israelis and Palestinians casualties by omitting the circumstances in which they died. The father of Kobi Mandell , a boy tortured and stoned to death by Palestinians, wrote an article about this. The media does not mention the restraint of the Israel Defense Forces under fire and does not compare it to the behaviors of others under similar situations. The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America has written an article that does this comparison called Is Israel Using "Excessive Force" Against Palestinians? An excellent speech about the distortions made by the press was made by Lenny Ben David at the annual meeting of the American Jewish Committee on May 1, 2001. The biggest difference between the two casualties is that the Israelis target Arab terrorists planning to kill them and the Arabs target Israeli civilians. This critical distinction gets lost in many media reports. The West condemns Israel's targetted killing when America and Britain knowingly incinerated civilians by bombing Dresden, Hamburg, and Tokyo in their quests to shut down the warmaking potential of the Third Reich and imperial Japan. The Palestinians leave out of their calculations the number of Palestinians who are against the tyranny of the PLO and who they have killed for collaborating with Israel.