Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Leveling the Playing Field: An order of ten both ways

Richard Landes
Augean Stables
15 December 09

I have often tried to argue that the situation is the Arab-Israeli conflict is not only exaggerated by the media, but inverted, and that statistics play a critical role in this process.

Now we have two key pieces of evidence of how this works.

Exhibit A: Exaggerate Israeli-inflicted damage by an order of ten.

Palestinians constantly make wild statistical claims, as in when Mahmoud al Zahar of Hamas accuses Israel of killing 8000 in the first, “peaceful” intifada, when the Israelis and the Palestinians killed about 1000 each.

Or when al Zahar accuses Israel of imprisoning one quarter of the Palestinian people.

The Palestinian “human rights” NGO, Adalah gives a number to the fraction: 700-750,000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons since 1967. This figure, absurd by any careful statistical analysis – was cited by an Adalah representative who testitifed before the Goldstone Commission. Again the figure is off by an order approaching ten.

But the Goldstone Report took the figures and rounded them down by a mere 50,000 (making the real number of prisoners since 1967 a statistical error):

¶1444. It is estimated that during the past 43 years of occupation, approximately 700,000 Palestinian men, women and children have been detained under Israeli military orders. Israel argues that these detentions are necessary on grounds of security

And now,
Martin Kramer noticed that in the Goldstone report, the number of factories knocked out by Israel resulted in 40,000 jobs lost, when the original report only stated 4,000.

(Continue article)


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