Numbers Count

Jewish Light Editorial

The “genocide” claims hurled against Israel by Palestinian leaders Mahmoud Abbas and Saeb Erekat are obviously specious on any number of levels.  

That Abbas, Palestinian Authority President, and Erekat, PA chief negotiator, have chosen this particular time to play the “G” card shows how desperate their position truly is. They may engage in widescale puffery on the world media stage, at the United Nations and before their own people, but their offensive rhetoric will only unify the Israeli people and leadership in retrenchment against a potential two-state solution. Knowing this, the Palestinian leaders are trying what will be an unsuccessful end-around to unilaterally declare a state.

It won’t wash. For in looking at the mathematical facts on the ground, even in the light most favorable to Abbas and Erekat, the use of the genocide label is egregiously beyond the pale. 

To demonstrate why, a math lesson is in order. This may seem simplistic, but since virtually no one else is publishing the fairly obvious calculations, we feel duty bound to do so. So here goes:

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Many estimates put the world population of Palestinians at roughly 11 million.

Most sources report about 2,100 Gazans and fighters on their behalf killed in the summer conflict. Let’s take this as a reasonably factual figure and for the moment not even address the question of how many are civilian versus military casualties.

Now let’s do the math: 2,100 divided by 11,000,000 equals .00019, or 0.019 percent. 

For those not math inclined, that means that more than 99.9 percent of the world Palestinian population was not killed in the conflict.

What about if we just look at Gazans killed (assuming all those killed were Gazans and not imported terrorists or mercenaries)?

There are an estimated 1.8 million Gazans. So put in mathematical terms, 2,100/1,800,000, or roughly 0.12 percent of the Gazan population, was killed in this stretch.

That still means that roughly 99.9 percent of the Gazan population has remained intact.

Now let’s look at the remainder of Palestinian populations supposedly subject to genocidal intent and action by Israel:

Israeli killing of Palestinians in the West Bank: Statistically zero.

Israeli killing of self-described Palestinians within Israel: Statistically zero.

Israel killing of Palestinians in other nations: Statistically zero.

If anyone decries this numerical analysis as heartless or cynical, please understand that’s certainly not our intention. We’re just trying to put the numbers in the context of a clearly errant claim that Israel is somehow attempting to annihilate an entire people. A claim that most major media outlets, which are supposedly in the business of disseminating accurately used words,  have chosen to ignore.

Erekat has tried to create a new and highly watered-down notion of genocide. It does not seem to have anything in common with the use of the term to describe the Holocaust, or the Turkish slaughter of Armenians a century ago. Those were deliberate efforts to remove an ethnic group from the face of the planet.

When the word genocide is hurled about in a grossly inaccurate way,  it does several things. First, it provides the world with an incorrect state of the facts. Second, it imputes an intention to the supposedly genocidal nation that may not — and in Israel’s case, clearly does not – exist.

And perhaps most importantly, it creates a seeming moral equivalency between Israel and such horrific groups as ISIS, Boko Haram, and, well, Hamas itself. Or between Israel and maniacs like Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, a murderer of 200,000 of his own countrymen.

Israel has never as a nation called for the eradication of a people. Hamas, on the other hand, has admitted its genocidal intention fully, calling for the elimination of a Jewish state by any means necessary. Its shelling of Israelis during the conflict was entirely indiscriminate. Its defense that if it had better weapons it would pinpoint Israeli military and avoid civilians is about as disingenuous an assertion as possible.

Erekat tried to distance himself from Hamas’ firing of an estimated 4,600 rockets into Israel by saying that the PA has never condoned such attacks. This from a leader who, along with Abbas, has just re-entered into an alliance with Hamas.

Israel succeeded in its mission of self-defense by destroying much of the terror tunnel network and a large swath of Hamas leadership. Due to the intermingling of Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters with the general population, there were civilian casualties, to be sure: Of those killed, the United Nations estimated about a third to be civilians. Israel said about half were civilians.

Erekat? With a straight face, he claimed 96 percent were civilians. Think about that — his claim is that only 80 or so fighters were among the dead.  His deceit on the casualty estimates is thus entirely consistent with his indiscriminate use of the genocide label.

Thus proving not only his continued anti-Semitism, but his utterly poor mathematical skills.