comments_image Comments

4 Most Common Myths About Israel and Gaza -- Debunked

What you need to know about the Israeli offensive.

Continued from previous page


The rest of the story is tragic history. Jabari’s killing triggered Operation Pillar of Defense, and it continues to unfold.

“It is overwhelmingly Israel that kills first after a pause in the conflict,” writes Kanwisher, who analyzed the entire timeline of killings between Palestinians and Israelis from September 2000 to October 2008, to determine if there was a historical pattern. “Seventy-nine percent of all conflict pauses (during the study period) were interrupted when Israel killed a Palestinian, while only 8% were interrupted by Palestinian attacks (the remaining 13% were interrupted by both sides on the same day). In addition, we found that this pattern -- in which Israel is more likely than Palestine to kill first after a conflict pause -- becomes more pronounced for longer (ceasefires). Indeed, of the 25 periods of nonviolence lasting longer than a week, Israel unilaterally interrupted 24, or 96%, and it unilaterally interrupted 100% of the 14 periods of nonviolence lasting longer than nine days.”

One of the lessons from these data, she  writes, is, “If Israel wants to reduce rocket fire from Gaza, it should cherish and preserve the peace when it starts to break out, not be the first to kill.”

Myth: Israel is killing militant “targets.”

Fact: The victims are humans, not “targets.” They have names, families, stories worth telling.

At the close of Nov. 19, Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights reported that 110 Palestinians had been killed, including 25 children, 14 senior citizens and 12 women. Seventy-two percent were civilians, with no active involvement in the resistance. Another 891 Palestinians (including 277 children, 164 women and 62 seniors) had been wounded.

[In contrast, various Israeli sources report a total of 664 rockets from Gaza have hit southern Israel. Three Israeli civilians have been killed and a reported 10 civilians and four soldiers have been injured.]

In an iconic photograph circulated widely on the Internet, Jihad Misharawi, a BBC Arabic journalist who lives in Gaza, carries the body of his 11-month old son, Omar, through al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City. A round of Israeli missile fire hit Misharawi’s four-room home in Gaza, killing his son. Misharawi’s sister-in-law was also killed, and his brother wounded. He told his manager at BBC that when the missiles hit, there was no fighting in his residential neighborhood.

The killing of Misharawi’s son received so much attention because he works for a major Western news outlet, and his agony was captured so graphically on film. However, there are many other stories that are not being told. With one of the youngest populations in the world, over half of Gaza's 1.7 million residents are aged under 18.

In May, 2012 Salon columnist Glenn Greenwald  observed: “Virtually every time the U.S. [or Israel] fires a missile and ends the lives of Muslims, American media outlets dutifully trumpet in headlines that the dead were ‘militants’ – even though those media outlets literally do not have the slightest idea of who was actually killed. They simply cite always-unnamed ‘officials’ claiming that the dead were ‘militants.’ It’s the most obvious and inexcusable form of rank propaganda: media outlets continuously propagating a vital claim without having the slightest idea if it’s true.”

In the words of one Gazan Palestinian, on Facebook: We are not numbers, we are humans! We have names, we have families, we have kids, we have emotions, we have feelings .... Every life has a story ... Just like you and just like any human being! We are not fucking news and death reports!! We are not Fucking Numbers!! We are HUMAN SOULS.

See more stories tagged with: