...Another way of putting this: African-American residents of many major American cities experience about a 3 to 5 times higher risk of dying from random urban violence than a Palestinian in the West Bank or Gaza from Israeli military responses to terrorism. When was the last time someone - who was taken seriously - invoked incendiary terms like "genocide" "massacre" or "ethnic cleansing" to describe the level of violence visited upon African-Americans in urban America ?
25 August '14..
According to Yahoo News, "The political chief of Hamas has called on President Barack Obama to intervene with the Israeli government ... to stop a 'holocaust' against the Palestinians."
Meshal's alarming statement might go unrecognized as the moral perversion that it is if one only read the The New York Times, with its flow of news dispatches and Op-Eds devoted to the situation in Gaza. Even the slaughter in Iraq and Syria and numerous seething conflicts from Ukraine to Africa do not slow the deluge of articles and opinion pieces conveying the message that Israel is guilty of reckless destruction and probably war crimes in its response to Hamas's rocket fire.
In such an environment emerged the outrageous paid advertisement appearing in The New York Times National edition on Aug. 23, 2014, bearing the signatures of some 300 individuals wrapping themselves in the mantle of "Jewish survivors and descendants of survivors of the Nazi genocide" and accusing Israel of committing a "massacre" and of ongoing "occupation" and "colonization of historic Palestine."
Leave aside for the time being this grotesque abuse of the historical consciousness of the genocide of the Jewish people in order to promote a new campaign to isolate and demonize Jews and set the stage for a repeat of past horrors. It is also instructive to look at the raw numbers of real campaigns of massacre and genocide and contrast them to the situation in Gaza [and the West Bank] in order to comprehend the deceit, the anti-historical mendacity of those who would use the language of mass murder and victimization to promote a new blood libel against the Jewish state and people.
Here are some numbers to digest:
From June 22, 1941 until May 8, 1945, about five and a half million Jews perished as a result of the German-inspired genocide against the Jews. That calculates to 3,890 Jewish children, women and men put to death every single day for 1414 days. This slaughter was in turn a hot spot within a conflagration driven by German supremacism that took 35 million lives in Europe alone, amounting to nearly 25,000 war-related deaths every single day for 1414 days.
Now if this comparison seems too jarring for New York Times' cultivated readers - let's not forget the Times never gave the Holocaust of European Jewry the sort of front page coverage it gives to Gaza - let's turn the dial down two orders of magnitude and look at the most violent conflict currently raging in the Middle East. In Syria and Iraq over the past three and a half years, at least 250,000 children, women and men have perished in civil conflicts, amounting to nearly 200 human beings per day for 1260 days. Low by World War II standards, but still an alarming number.
Now let's look at the conflict between Israel and Hamas that provokes relentless criticism of Israel in The New York Times and compelled hundreds of alleged Holocaust survivors and their descendants (as if being a descendant of a Holocaust survivor bestows some sort of unique moral authority) to sign a letter decrying Israel's alleged "massacre" and accuse its Jewish citizens of calling for "genocide" and imitating "neo-nazis." All the while, these same signators ignore, or even deny, actual documented incitement to commit genocide against the Jews voiced by supporters of Hamas.
In almost 50 days of escalated hostility between Israel and Hamas, just over 2000 Gazans have died. That amounts to about 40 per day in circumstances where terrorists insinuate themselves among Gazan civilians to launch rockets at Israeli cities, intentionally drawing Israeli return fire on to civilians.
Some will argue that the conflict deserves such attention because of its persistence over time and resistance to any resolution. So addressing that argument in a numerical fashion, in the 14 years since the beginning of the Second Intifada about 8,000 Palestinian fatalities have occurred due to conflict with Israel. That calculates to about one and a half Palestinian fatalities per day. The total number of Palestinian fatalities in 14 years equals about 2 days of the Jewish toll during the Holocaust period and about one morning's worth of the death toll for Europe as a whole during World War II.
The Palestinian death toll is not remotely comparable to any "genocides," large-scale "massacres" of entire populations or campaigns of "ethnic cleansing" that have occurred in numerous places around the world over the last century. But that doesn't stop anti-Israel activists, academics and self-proclaimed anti-Zionist Holocaust survivors and their acolytes from using those terms and news services like The New York Times and the BBC from giving them the exposure they crave.
For a numerical comparison, the scale of violence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be most comparable to the persistent low-intensity violence seen among urban minority populations of stable western societies.
Characterized by brief escalations of violence interrupting extended periods of relative quiet enforced by vigilant Israeli security, the conflict between Israel and Palestinian terrorist groups has produced an overall violent death rate of the combined West Bank and Gazan populations over the last 14 years of under 20 violent deaths per 100,000 population per year; a figure lower than the violent death rates in many American cities during the 1980s and 1990s and in some cities to this day.
In fact, the violent death rates in Gaza and the West Bank are considerably lower than rates experienced over the years in urban African-American communities in major American cities like Washington DC, Detroit, New Orleans, St. Louis, Chicago and during the 1980s and 1990s in New York City, which recorded violent death rates as high as 50-100 per 100,000 population per year. Another way of putting this: African-American residents of many major American cities experience about a 3 to 5 times higher risk of dying from random urban violence than a Palestinian in the West Bank or Gaza from Israeli military responses to terrorism.
When was the last time someone - who was taken seriously - invoked incendiary terms like "genocide" "massacre" or "ethnic cleansing" to describe the level of violence visited upon African-Americans in urban America ?