Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Moral Equivalency in the Sydney Morning Herald

On 17th April, a suicide bomber from Islamic Jihad detonated an explosive in Tel Aviv that killed nine people and wounded many more.

The Sydney Morning Herald report is here. It is what you would expect until you reach the final sentence, which completely changes the tone of the entire piece.

"Since October 2000 Hamas suicide bombers have killed 300 Israelis. Israeli military attacks have killed almost 5000 Palestinians in the same period."

Let me translate for anyone who is in any doubt as to journalists, Tali Caspi and Rami Amichai's, true meaning;

The Zionists have killed twice as many Palestinians as Hamas have killed Jews. So don't you go feeling sorry for them. This isn't London nor is it Bali or Madrid.

Firstly, get your facts straight;

During the second intifada (2000 to the end of 2004), the number of Palestinian and Israeli deaths were reported at 3,334 and 1,017 respectively according to the Financial Times.

In 2005 the death toll dropped 70% for both sides (255 Palestinians and 55 Israelis killed) due to the "informal truce observed by some Palestinian groups", according to the BBC.

This article gives some idea as to the scale of the problem facing the Israeli security services,

"Militant Palestinian groups launched approximately 2,990 anti-Israeli attacks in 2005, In all, five suicide attackers got through Israeli security measures in 2005."

In 2006, there have now been four suicide bombs in Israel, all claimed by Islamic Jihad, a group with links to Iran.

And second, The Sydney Morning Herald is guilty of moral equivalency by;

i) ignoring the fact that 76% of Israeli deaths are civilian verus 30% of Palestinian. Or maybe the SMH subscribes to the Hamas view that all Israelis citizens are "legitimate targets"
ii) ignoring the fact that the terrorists use women and children as suicide bombers.
iii) ignoring the fact that the terrorists deliberately target civilians, whereas the Israeli security forces target those doing the killing.
iv) ignoring the fact that Israeli action is always in response to a terrorist atrocity; "you hit me and i'll hit you back". Noone seemed to think this was unacceptable when the US went to war in Afghanistan, so why should it be different in Israel.