This blog seems to draw IDF apologists like flies to honey. One of their main memes is that the IDF tries ever so hard not to kill innocent Palestinians–but what can it do when the “terrorists” are so intent on killing innocent Israelis?? B’Tselem’s annual report of IDF carnage puts the lie to such posturing. The Army killed 660 Palestinians this year, up from 197 in 2005–a 300% increase. Haaretz’s coverage also notes:
…Half of the Palestinians killed, 322, did not take part in the hostilities at the time they were killed. 22 of those killed were targets of assassinations, and 141 were minors.
That’s 20% of all Palestinians killed were children. And fully half were either civilians or militants not engaged in “hostilities.” Now, there’s a record to be proud of!
B’Tselem also indicates that a huge number of IDF ‘kills’ occurred during the invasion of Gaza that followed the Shalit kidnapping:
405 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip alone, of them 88 were minors and 205 did not take part in the hostilities at the time they were killed.
Again, half those killed were civilians and over 20% were children.
And what of the vaunted Palestinian killing machine so lethal to Israelis?
Palestinians killed 23 Israelis in 2006…The figure constitutes less than half of the 50 Israelis killed in 2005.
So, for those of you keeping score at home–the IDF killed 30 times more Palestinians than the latter killed Israelis this past year.
If you were really callous and blind, as so many of my rightist commenters are, you’d argue that the IDF killing spree actually caused the marked decline in Palestinian lethality against Israelis. Or you’d argue that the Separation Wall has deterred terrorist attack. This of course would mean you’d be entirely neglecting the fact that Hamas, the largest militant group has, for much of the past year refrained from suicide bombings; and that THIS is probably the main reason for such a drastic decline in Israeli casualties.
But regardless of the reasons, the facts are that IDF killing has tripled and Palestinian killing has halved. Bravo to those efficient killers in the Israeli Occupation Forces.
The report also covers statistics about Palestinians in Israeli custody:
Israel held 9,075 Palestinians in custody, including 345 minors. Of these, 738, including 22 minors, were held in administrative detention without trial and with no knowledge of the charges against them.
Israel holds 345 children in custody including 22 without trial. Another nice feather in Israel’s human rights bonnet.
Leila A. says
Thank you, Richard. What a world.
I’m reading Elias Khoury’s Gate of the Sun, not easy going; the tales go back and forth and repeat. Some of the stories from ’48 are quite horrible. It would be interesting to compare the historical work of Benny Morris with the stories in Gate of the Sun. The founding of the State of Israel was a bloody, brutal affair.
Let me add that I’ve discovered some records on the internet of my white American ancestors in the South; they wrote to each other with pride of exterminating Indians threatening their plantation lands in Georgia and Texas. I don’t think Israelis were and are more brutal than other people, they’re just doing it in the age of mass communications.
Richard Silverstein says
Benny Morris is a strange figure. On the one hand, he’s one of the foremost chroniclers of Israeli crimes against Arabs in the founding of the State. On the other, he’s one of greatest academic apologists & defenders of such behavior.
I agree w. you that the crimes of the current Middle East have been replicated throughout human history (& in our own nation, as you say). The ancient Israelites (and many other ancient peoples) engaged in wars of extermination against their neighboring enemies. We are a bloody species, no doubt about it.
The IDF soldiers raped many times needy Palestinian women. Their notice is discrimination and torture, and Chernobyl is a tiny sign for them.
Richard Silverstein says
Prove it. I don’t know whether what you say is true or false, but until you provide evidence I refuse to concede what you say is true.
Palestinians have legitimate grievances against the IDF. But when you so overstate yr case (what does Chernobyl have do to w. anything??) as to verge on the unbelievable, you do the Palestinian cause a disservice.