|Image: CC BY Munich Security Conference|
Tobias Kleinschmidt via Wikimedia Commons/em>
06 October '14..
One has to wonder why any reputable media outlet would invite the truth-challenged Palestinian official Saeb Erekat for an interview. It must be for the entertainment value of the outlandish things he’s bound to say.
And his recent appearance on Army Radio did not disappoint.
Erekat revealed that a full 96% of all Palestinians killed were civilians. The number well exceeds the figure cited by the UN, based mostly on reports by the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, which stands at around 75%. Israeli officials claim that just about half of the Gazans killed in the war were members of Hamas or other terror groups.
The dispute over casualty figures is likely to continue for many months. In fact, the ultimate winner of the Gaza war, at least in the court of public opinion, is the side that persuades the public that it acted with greater morality and care. And Erekat’s Big Lie is intended to bolster the Palestinian claim that Israel used excessive force in Gaza.
Erekat, of course, was the Palestinian leader who claimed that 500 Palestinians were killed in Jenin in 2002, when the number was actually far less than 100, alongside substantial Israeli casualties. According to Haviv Rettig Gur, these sorts of claims are part of a larger strategy, also championed by the BDS movement, that seek to isolate Israel internationally.
The global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign instigated by Fatah-led Palestinian civil groups, and the dissemination of wildly inaccurate lies or distortions about Palestinian suffering (from the “Jenin massacre” in 2002 to the claim this week by the top Palestinian peace negotiator that 96% of the Palestinian dead in this summer’s Gaza war were civilians), seek to level international pressure on Israel that will do the work Palestinian negotiators believe they cannot achieve at the negotiating table.
Rettig Gur is right that the Palestinian leadership consistently seeks international pressure on Israel as a tactic to gain in an edge in negotiations. The leadership of the BDS movement, however, is not concerned with negotiations. It seeks to isolate Israel in order to undercut its legitimacy and ultimately crush its Jewish identity.
Join the Fighting BDS Facebook page and stand up against the delegitimization of Israel.