Sunday, August 31, 2014

  • Sunday, August 31, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
An August 11 article by the head of statistics from BBC News looked at the ratio of men to women being killed in Gaza:

Its recent report said that as of 10 August, 1,948 Palestinians had been killed and 66 Israelis and one Thai national since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on 8 July.
...
So there were 226 members of armed groups killed, and another 709 men who were civilians. Among civilians, three times as many men were killed as women, while three times as many civilian men were killed as fighters.
...
[T]he proportion of civilian men over 18 killed seems high and it is not immediately obvious why.
To help understand this conundrum, the BBC asked the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights if they had any clue:
Matthias Behnk, from OHCHR, told BBC News that the organisation would not want to speculate about why there had been so many adult male casualties, adding that because they were having to deal with a lot of casualties in a short time, they had "focused primarily on recording the casualties".

"As such, we have not at this stage conducted a detailed analysis of trends of civilian casualties, for example in relation to the reasons why different groups are affected and the types of incidents, but hope to carry this out at some point in the coming future," he said.
Another UN official, Chris Gunness, was incensed that an earlier version of this BBC article included this line:
If the Israeli attacks have been 'indiscriminate,' as the UN Human Rights Council says, it is hard to work out why they have killed so many more civilian men than women.
Even after the BBC pulled that quote, Gunness tweeted:
Israellycool chart of male/female Gaza victims and ages 


Clearly, UN officials either didn't want to speculate about why the ratio of adult men to women killed in Gaza was so lopsided, or they were angry at anyone who attempted to come up with a reasonable explanation for this phenomenon.

Let's fast forward a week.

On August 17, this same UN High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a report on the human rights situation in the Ukraine.

Just as in Gaza, there have been over 2000 killed. Just as in Gaza, there have been far more males than females killed - about 12% of Gazans killed, about 11% of Ukranians killed.

And what did the UNHRC say about that in the Ukraine?

Reports of medical establishments from the areas under the control of the armed groups do not distinguish between civilian and military casualties. A gender imbalance of casualties reported by these establishments (as of 11 August, women comprised 11% of killed and 13% of wounded in the Donetsk region) may indicate that members of the armed groups who are predominantly male constitute a considerable part of these casualties.

Yes - in nearly identical situations in terms of casualties and ratios, among equal accusations of indiscriminate firepower that cannot distinguish between men and women, UN officials come to radically different conclusions. In the Ukraine, the imbalance seems to indicate that a large portion of the casualties are, in fact, combatants.

But in Gaza, such a conclusion cannot be countenanced. The very idea that the IDF is in fact killing lots more combatants than the UN is counting cannot possibly be raised.

The rules to evaluate behavior in the rest of the world is quite different from those that are used to judge Israel.

(h/t Nurit Baytch and CiFWatch)



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