The Arithmetic of Bias

A friend of mine sent me an email to the effect that it’s very hard to tell whether Israel is targeting civilians in its bombing of the Gaza strip. According to my friend, Israel has the right to defend herself. Being a “friend” of Israel, he says, he does believe that 2000 rockets shot at the Jewish state is a bit much. But he still doesn’t know how to sort out the retaliatory bombing of Gaza.

I’m not a math genius. I’m a journalist and filmmaker – two professions not usually associated with mathematics. But in this case, I think we can do a bit of simple arithmetic. According to Hamas, after twenty days of conflict, 1,050 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli bombings. Hamas is notorious for outright lying, but for the sake of argument I’ll go with their number.

Since even according to her enemies, the Israeli army wants to kill some terrorists, not just civilians, some of the Palestinians that have been killed must be members of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other assorted Jihadist groups. Let’s assume that the Israeli army is really bad and is only on target half the time. In this case, for every Jihadist it also kills an innocent civilian, caught in the crossfire. That would bring the Palestinian civilian death toll to 525.

By this point everyone knows that Hamas is firing out of schools, hospitals, cemeteries, etc. Even the pro-Palestinian United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) admits that Hamas used UNRWA schools to store rockets. But what people haven’t spoken about is secondary explosions. Basically, when a bomb hits a building, the damage is done by the initial impact. But if you have rockets, bombs and rocket launchers stored in the building, the initial impact triggers secondary explosions. Simply put, the first bomb sets off all the bombs stored in the facility. I think on this score, even friends of Hamas would agree that people killed by Hamas bombs are Hamas’ responsibility. Secondary explosions can be easily seen in the aerial footage supplied by the Israeli Air Force. So let’s assume that half the Palestinian civilians died from secondary explosions. This brings the Palestinian civilian deaths caused by Israeli bombings down to 263.

Don’t get me wrong, the Talmud teaches that to destroy one life is to destroy the world. I’m not minimizing a single death on either side. But we’re engaged in the mathematics of bias. By every account, the Israeli Air Force, Armored Corps and Artillery Corps have massively bombed Gaza over the past 3 weeks. Also, according to everyone, Gaza is a very densely populated area, with over 4,000 people per square kilometer. Think for a second what a single bombing run would do to a single square kilometer if the intent was to indiscriminately kill civilians. After a single day of conflict, you would have thousands of Palestinian casualties. But you don’t. All you have is – at most – 263 civilian deaths caused by the Israel Defense Force (IDF). Mathematically speaking, this is a testament to the superhuman efforts undertaken by the Israeli army to avoid Palestinian civilian casualties. Put a different way, Hamas’ statistics prove the precise opposite of what they claim. They prove the humanity, not the brutality, of the IDF.

In the meantime, in nearby Syria, around 150,000 Arab civilians have been killed by Assad’s brutal regime. In nearby Iraq, according to the United Nations, in the area under their rule, the Jihadist ISIS has now undertaken a very special program: clitorectomies for all females between the ages of 11 and 49. Basically, they are now going to slice off the clitorises of some 4 million Muslim women, so that they don’t experience any pleasure during sex. Many of these brutalized girls and women will no doubt die in the process.

But there are no demonstrations on behalf of the murdered civilians of Syria and no rioting on behalf of the millions of oppressed women of Iraq. Somehow, Israel’s killing of 263 civilians in a defensive war obsesses the good people of the planet, but the millions of victims in the Arab countries surrounding Israel don’t seem to matter to anyone. How can that be? How is it possible that so many are so bad at simple arithmetic?

Perhaps the answer is as simple as it is shocking. The fact is that the world does not care about Arab men, women or children. The reason people seem to care about Palestinians is because much of the world is obsessed with the Jews. Palestinian deaths are reported because Jews are involved. What the enemies of Israel have managed to do is whip up old-fashioned Jew hatred, masquerading as sympathy for Palestinians. That’s why 263 Palestinians, used as human shields by their Hamas masters, seem to matter – while millions of other Muslims don’t. The Palestinians are lucky to be fighting Jews. That way, they are embraced by the mathematically challenged of the world.

About the Author
Simcha Jacobovici is a Canadian-Israeli filmmaker and journalist. He is a three-time Emmy winner for “Outstanding Investigative Journalism” and a New York Times best selling author. He’s also an adjunct professor in the Department of Religion at Huntington University, Ontario.
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