Wednesday, May 30, 2012

CAMERA - A (Aeyal) Gross Manipulation

The July 24, 2005 funeral
of Rachel and Dov Kol,
gunned down by a Palestinian
who was subsequently killed
(Photo by Yoav Lemmer/AFP)
30 May '12..

Tel Aviv University's Aeyal Gross redefines the meaning of "manipulation" in his Ha'aretz Op-Ed yesterday ("Security for Israeli settlers, not for Palestinians"). In his column he suggests that the just as the Citizenship Law prevents Palestinians from moving into Israel due to security reasons, so too it should prevent Israelis from moving across the Green Line "in light of their proven tendency to steal Palestinians lands and act violently toward Palestinians," as he puts it.

After he explains that the two recent incidents of shootings near Yitzhar are among

the many other instances of settler violence towards Palestinians, some of which are what are known as "price tag" incidents, including stone-throwing, incursions into Palestinians villages and arson.

He then provides a concrete figure pointing to Israeli violence:

According to statistics provided by the human rights group B'Tselem, since 2000 Israeli civilians have killed 50 Palestinians in the territories, in addition to perpetrating many other non-fatal instances of violence.

Fifty is quite a high figure. (Let's leave aside, for a moment, the fact that it is much lower than the number of Israelis killed by Palestinians in the same time period). Given B'Tselem's historic difficulty in producing reliable casualty statistics, we decided to check out for ourselves the B'Tselem figures that Gross cited. A review of the B'Tselem data reveals the following:

* Rabah Hijazi Muhammad Sidr was shot to death by a guard April 17, 2009 after he entered the Bet Haggai settlement armed with a knife and after he wounded another guard in the leg.

* Muhammad Fathi Yunes Sabahmeh and Mahmoud Khalil 'Abd al-Fatah Sabarneh were shot to death Jan. 24, 2008 by teachers in a Kfar Ezyon yeshiva after they entered the yeshiva grounds while armed and stabbed instructors

* Tareq Suleiman 'Abdallah Yain was killed July 24, 2005 in Kissufim while carrying out a shooting attack in which two Israeli civilians were killed and three others wounded

* Salman Yusef Salman a-Safdi was killed by a settler Oct. 26, 2004 next to Yizhar after he entered the settler's home

* Mahmoud Amin Hanani and Azher Ghassan Hanani were killed next to Alon Shvut April 30, 2004 while attempting to attack the settlement

* Tareq Abu Snineh was killed Jan. 17, 2003 after he fired at Nethaniel Ozeri, near Hebron

* Isma'il Berris 'Ashur was killed Nov. 6, 2002 in Rafiah Yam after shooting two Israelis

* Khaled Abu al-Iz was killed Oct. 30, 2002 after he fired at men working on the Trans-Israel Highway

* Name unknown to B'Tselem was killed Aug. 31, 2002 in Har Bracha after he infiltrated the settlement and wounded two people

* Ibrahim Mahmoud Abu Zor was killed May 31, 2002 in Shavei Shomron after he infilitrated the settlement and opened fire

* Name unknown to B'Tselem was was killed May 28, 2005 in Itamar after he infiltrated the settlement and opened fire

* 'Ali Edris Hamdan was killed May 17, 2002 after he penetrated Beit El and wounded a security officer in the neck

* Muhammad 'Awad was killed March 10, 2002 in Netzarim after he infiltrated the settlement and killed a soldier

* Tawfiq a-Shamali was killed Feb. 22, 2002 in Efrat while attempting to commit a suicide attack

* Jamil Muhammad Abu 'Adwan was killed Dec. 24, 2001 in Ramin after firing at and severely wounding an Israeli civilian

* Najib Muhammad Muhammad 'Abido was killed Dec. 22, 2000 in Beit Hagai after he infiltrated the settlement and tried to attack a police officer

* Muhammad Judeh Abu 'Aasi was killed Dec. 7, 2000 in the Erez industrial zone after stabbing his employer

(This list does not take into account the several Palestinians killed while they were throwing stones at Israelis, including those travelling in cars.)

Aeyal Gross -- a jurist, researcher, professor-- apparently did not even bother to read the B'Tselem list. Or, worse, maybe he did read it, but simply chose to manipulate so as to accommodate his tenuous thesis. It takes a dose of stupidity, laziness or maliciousness to use this list as a basis for the statement that "since 2000 Israeli civilians have killed 50 Palestinians in the territories," without further explanation or elaboration.

Thanks to Gross, Ha'aretz readers get additional "proof" of Israeli/settler violence, without a clue in the world that he pulled one over them.

-- By Yishai Goldflam. For the Hebrew version of this post, visit Presspectiva.


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