Israel’s moral inferiority exemplified

A recent statistical assessment carried by the AP [1] determined that close to half of the victims of Israel’s so-called “targeted killings,” perpetrated by state of the art military, are bystanders.

Referring to the so-called “targeted killings,” the AP story put it as follows: “In two years of fighting, such attacks have killed 78 militants and 52 civilians.”

Who is a “militant” according to Israel? Who is a “terrorist” according to Israel? Apparently, they both deserve the same fate — extra-judicial liquidation!

52 Palestinian civilians out of a total of 130 killed is 40%, notwithstanding the injured. Not very “targeted,” wouldn’t you agree?

But, let’s put things into perspective.

IDF sources put the Israeli civilian causality rate, due to Palestinian attacks, at 436 out of 622 total deaths (Sept 29, 2000 – Sept 26, 2002) [2]. This means that the Israeli civilian causality rate is at 70%. There is a catch though: Israel considers armed settlers as civilians [various UN resolutions have reaffirmed the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for liberation from colonial domination and alien subjection, “by all available means including armed struggle” [3]]. Though it is hard to obtain specific data, anyone who has been following the intifada would agree that it would be reasonable to say that 50% of these so-called Israeli civilians were actually settlers.

So, that puts the Israeli civilian causality rate closer to 35%. In other words, comparable to that of Israel’s “targeted attacks.”

Settlers qualify as militants par excellence, not only because they live on confiscated land in apartheid ivory towers but also because they have been actively involved in the killing of Palestinian civilians.

“Targeted killings” have killed 78 Palestinian “militants,” the AP story said, and you get the impression it was ok! What about the worthiness of Israeli militants? What’s good for the goose…?

But wait! Out of 1,897 total Palestinian deaths (Sept 29, 2000 – Sept 22, 2002) (40,000 plus injured), about 85% are non-combatants (22% under 18) [4].

That’s a civilian causality rate of 3:1 (three times more Palestinian civilians killed than Israeli civilians killed).

This is material for great embarrassment for Israel, for it proves that the Israeli forces are as every bit as sadistic as the suicide bombers, notwithstanding the age-old military occupation.

Israel is the occupier, the overlord, yet it still claims moral superiority. How does that work? They kill, injure and maim a multitude more of civilians, notwithstanding the havoc, confiscate land, bulldoze homes, uproot orchids, shoot unarmed demonstrators, etc and still claim moral superiority?



[3] UNGA 3070, 3103, 3246, 3328, 3481, 31/91, 32/42 and 32/154

Mr. Baha Abushaqra is a Media Activist with Palestine Media Watch.