Wednesday, February 18, 2015

  • Wednesday, February 18, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

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Muhammad Wasmadad, a journalist killed on July 29.
Gaza City, February 18 - Officials at the Ministry of Health expressed anger today that the compilers of casualty figures from this past summer's war with Israel sloppily included multiple instances of the same nonexistent people, instead of merely reclassifying dead fighters as civilians and journalists.

Hara al-Susa, head of the ministry's Political Leveraging Division, laced into his staff this morning for failing to adequately oversee the compilation and editing of the casualty lists, an important element in the Hamas movement's strategy to engineer, magnify, and exploit suffering to be blamed on Israel. He pointed to the irresponsible inclusion of the same people several times over on the lists, among them individuals variously identified as journalists, mannequins, and livestock.

"Is this supposed to be a joke?" bellowed al-Susa, who claims to have lost several goats over the summer to whom he was reportedly "very close." "We expect the international media to swallow our figures unquestioningly, but that cannot lead us to become complacent and just throw in whatever names we feel like."

The aftermath of an Israeli strike on the AP headquarters.
Especially irksome, said al-Susa, was a group of at least fifty names, perhaps more, that were obviously manufactured for purposes of the report and appeared to be the product of a bunch of puerile middle school pranksters. "Yubik Manoz? Alaik Tuswallo? Arek M'balsak? Tell me, how credible do you think we're going to remain if Mr. Salaambam Thankyumam appears multiple times on these lists?" he continued.

"No one is going to believe there's more than one poor schmuck with those names - but you expect people to accept that there was one guy named 'Ailaik Anal' who was a journalist killed by an Israeli airstrike; another who was a twelve-year-old struck down by naval artillery; and a third, who - get this - was chowing down in his corral with the other sheep when an Israeli sniper took him out."

"Sloppy, just outrageously sloppy, he added.

Analysts believe the carelessness grows out of at least a decade's experience of having the international media uncritically parrot Hamas-provided casualty statistics. "There's little point to due diligence when whatever you throw out there is eaten up," notes media expert Joseph Goebbels. "Sooner or later, the people involved will try to get creative and see how far they can push things. It's a perfectly natural reaction."

"Just ask my Gazan colleague Yusuk Kaki," he added.

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