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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mystified and frustrated

As my readers know, I have been leading a group effort to expose the lies that the PCHR has continually been telling the media about the number of civilians killed in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. The research has been painstaking, time consuming and completely transparent. In a large part, it has also been already successful, and we have found hundreds of so-called "civilians" who were members of terror organizations.

Unfortunately, we have been far less successful at publicizing our findings.

Every effort I have made to reach out to people doing similar research, in order to consolidate findings, has been met with silence. Every effort to publicize it through the media has been ignored.

I thought that would change as I was corresponding with an op-ed editor at a major Israeli newspaper about publishing an article about these results. The last I heard was that they were planning to run it, and they wanted a picture to go with my (pen) name. I politely declined and they have not returned my emails since then. (The article, which was graciously edited to the point of a beautiful rewrite by a well-known author and blogger, will follow this post.)

I just don't get it.

Is it not newsworthy? Is it automatically suspect because it originated at a blog? Are people turned off by the blog name? Do the other researchers feel threatened by "competition"?

There are at least two major findings we have, and many smaller but significant findings. We have so far identified some 287 members of various militant groups that the PCHR classified as "civilian" - far more than the number of militants that the PCHR identified initially. And perhaps more improtantly, we have identified that nearly two thirds of the "policemen" killed by Israel were members of the al-Qassam Brigades or other terror groups, making Israel's legal case for attacking "policemen" much stronger. We have also identified child terrorists, we've started some work towards identifying human shields, we've found indirect evidence that some people who died of natural causes during Cast Lead were counted as being killed by Israel, and we've found other mistakes in the PCHR totals.

One would think that the openness of this project and the fact that it is the only one of its kind where each finding is sourced - well over 300 links by now - would overcome any reticence about trusting the research. We also have no ulterior motive - I am not doing this to get more hits to the blog, I make no money off this blog, and I don't care if my blog title is associated with the research (although I would want to give full credit to the others who contributed should they desire it.)

We simply want the truth to be known.

I'll keep trying. There are a couple of other ideas that we have not yet explored. But I have to admit that I am mystified, and a bit frustrated.