Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Numbers

Continued coverage of the numbers feuds, from here:

Camera presents the problem:


...an IDF investigation finds that 250 out of Gaza fatalities were civilians, and at least 700 were gunmen. The article states:

The data presented by the Palestinian [sic] is vastly different: Palestinian Groups operating in the Strip have reported 92 of the fatalities as gunmen, 48 of whom were affiliated with Hamas, 32 with Islamic Jihad, 10 with thePopular ResistanceCommittees' Salah a-Din Brigades and two with the Mujahedeen Brigades.


And presents a detailed analysis, here.

As usual with the pro-Israeli website, when it provides data and meticulous dissection of the available statistics, it ends on a note urging further investigation and accuracy in reporting:

Further investigation of Palestinian casualty claims is warranted. As was the case in the summer 2006 conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, the media is all too willing to repeat the claims of partisan sources that most of the casualties resulting from Israeli actions are civilians despite evidence that these claims are exaggerated and the statistics they cite are manipulated.

It is my opinion that neither Palestinian sources, nor UN sources, nor NGO's, nor the media that repeat the findings from these highly-compromised sources are in the least bit interested in finding out what the factual truth is.

I'd like to draw attention to this part in the Camera analysis:

Among Child Fatalities, an Unusual Proportion are Males Aged 15 to 17

PCHR records 230 child fatalities to January 14. But it gives specific age and gender information for only 172 . Of these 172, 49 (28 percent) are 15 -17 year old males. Considering that this age group accounts for approximately 8 percent of the under-18 population, 15-17 year old males are overrepresented as fatalities. Since Palestinian terror groups are known to have used teenagers from this age category to carry out suicide bombings, it is not unreasonable to suspect that a number of these teenage fatalities resulted from them having participated in combat.

______

It is an important issue. I had an argument a week or so ago with another poster about the exact same subject. I'm going to excerpt only the relevant exchange:

N:

BTW, how does the UN define a child in such circumstances? I once saw an interview with Raghida Dergham of Al Hayat, who defined as a child anyone under the age of 20.

The other poster:

BTW, how does the UN define a child in such circumstances? Stunning.



N: “Stunning." Why? Don't you think it is imperative to know what they speak of when say "a child" if they define a child as any anyone under 20 years old?

According to Raghida Dergham's definition, a sizable part of the IDF is a child army, since 18 year old boys are conscripted as per law. When my father immigrated to Israel, just as the state was born, he was not yet 17 years old and he joined the army. Was he a child? The Hagana accepted 16 year old boys, before the state was born and the law passed. Were they children when they got killed, or armed combatants?

Why do you pretend to be shocked by the coldness of the question? Isn't it the way international laws are configured?

You don't seem shocked when someone reminds you that kindergarten kids in Sderot are routinely targeted for killing.

All you do is cite the number of children killed by Israel, out of the context of other children being hunted down for the kill..

I find that stunningly callous, because you know that these ARE kindergarten kids, every one of them.

What hypocrisy.



The Other poster: What hypocrisy. Let's see. I mentioned the number of children that have been killed in the current military action.

In response… you have claimed that the UN counts all people under 20 as minors



N: This is what I wrote:

"I once saw an interview with Raghida Dergham of Al Hayat, who defined as a child anyone under the age of 20."

This is what you report that I'd written:

"you have claimed that the UN counts all people under 20 as minors"

The other poster:

In the hopes of clearing the confusion somewhat, it looks like the figures are UNICEF's, and that they use the age of 18 as the dividing line between child and adult when measuring things like child sexual exploitation, child soldiers, and casualties. UNICEF also places the child death toll in Gaza at over 300, and the number of wounded children at around 1000.

I do know that at least one IDF sniper has claimed that children over 12 are considered legitimate targets in the occupied territories, so obviously the definition of "child" varies somewhat.


(I have to apologize for the erratic font deployment in my posts lately. My blogger does what it wants and I just have no idea how to set it right).

1 Comments:

At 11:15 AM EST, Anonymous TNC said...

"(I have to apologize for the erratic font deployment in my posts lately. My blogger does what it wants and I just have no idea how to set it right)."

I hate it when that happens. I found something that works for me on Wordpress and maybe it will work for you on Blogger.

First I cut and paste the post into a word document. Highlight all the text and in the box to the left of the font type select "clear formatting." Then paste it back into Wordpress and everything looks fine. If I want to make anything bold, change the font color, etc. I do it at that point. Try it out, maybe it will clean things up.

 

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