Sunday, November 18, 2012

Movie: Tears of Gaza

"Disturbing, powerful and emotionally devastating, Tears of Gaza is less a conventional documentary than a record -- presented with minimal gloss -- of the 2008 to 2009 bombing of Gaza (dubbed 'Operation Cast Lead') by the Israeli military. Filmed by several Palestinian cameramen both during and after the offensive, this powerful film by director Vibeke Løkkeberg focuses on the impact of the attacks on the civilian population.

Tears of Gaza makes no overriding speeches or analyses. The situation leading up to the incursion (in which the Jewish state broke a truce unprovoked) is never mentioned. Similar events certainly occurred in Dresden, Tokyo, Baghdad and Sarajevo, but of course Gaza isn't those places. Tears of Gaza demands that we examine the costs of war on a civilian populace." 
(Excerpt from Steve Gravestock, 2011 Toronto International Film Festival)



Watch these important documentaries to learn the facts about Israel oppression and Crimes Against Humanity, such as terrorism and genocide, and the severe human impact it has on the Palestinian people. Also learn what you can do to help promote peace and protect millions of Palestinians from Human Rights abuses and genocide.

(Last update: 18 November)
(Os documentários estão legendados em português)

Report of an Israeli military regarding a Israeli invasion of a Palestinian village
(April 12, 1948):

"The conquest of the village was carried out with great brutality. Entire families (women, elderly, children) were killed and bodies piled up. Some of the prisoners taken to places of detention, including women and children, were brutally murdered by the guards. Among the prisoners was a young mother and baby, the guards killed the baby in front of the mother and after she passed out, they also killed her."


The Birth of the Israeli state was a very bloody one and many millions of people deeply suffered because of it. Since 6 decades ago until the present, with the support of the UK and very especially the USA, Israel invaded, occupied and has continually been doing brutal Crimes Against Humanity in Palestine, including using tactics for terrorism, ethnic cleansing and genocide, to forcefully try to control, expel or even exterminate millions of people from their homes and land in Palestine. It is now known that the true objective of Israeli politicians and the Zionist ideology, is not to allow Palestinians to have an independent nation, but to use force to conquer 100% of the Palestinian territory for the Jewish people, no matter the human consequences. Because of what Israel has been doing all these decades, Palestine lives under an Apartheid regime, it was transformed into the biggest prison or concentration camp in history, where a whole people of millions have very limited "freedom" or even no freedom at all.

Historically, it is relevant to see and understand a cruel irony, that in many levels what the Jews and other minorities suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime, millions of Palestinians are and have been suffering for decades at the hands of the Israeli regime, including planned massacres of dozens, hundreds or thousands of civilians. One example was done in refugee camps in Sabra and Shatila where it is estimated that around 4.000 civilian refugees (children, babies, women, elders, etc) were brutally slaughtered. This massacre was planned and executed by Ariel Sharon. Watch images of the massacre: .

To be able to do this with impunity and with the support of other countries and especially the Jewish people living inside and outside Israel, the Israeli politicians, the military and religious extremists, try to hide and omit these horrible crimes and use the media, schools, churches, radical organizations, as a way to massively spread propaganda and lies in order to manipulate and fool the population about the Palestinian genocide and the core of the conflict, purposely trying to build the false image that Palestinians have no reason and no rights over the land and their lives, and that they are all extremists or even terrorists.

We cannot support any form of violence and Human Rights abuses, either from the Israeli as well as the Palestinian side, but the peace in the Middle East depends sonly on Israel. There can only be peace when Israel stops it's massive abuses and crimes against the whole of the Palestinian people.

More and more Israeli and Jewish people are aware of these crimes and are against it, actively protesting and promoting peace, even if they are threaten, sent to prison and tortured by the Israeli government simply for doing this.

Watch this example of a Israeli soldier admitting that Israel is doing war crimes against Palestinians:



Help protect Human Rights and prevent a genocide in Palestine

- Share this page and these documentaries to help raise awareness
- Boycott Israel (tourism and products)
- Sign petitions, make protests and do other forms of peaceful activism
- Pressure your government and the USA to stop supporting Israeli crimes.

Help the "International Solidarity Movement" - Israeli, Palestinians and people from other parts of the world join together to create a movement to bring peace for two people's:

More informations:
Click here for a list of websites and organizations that work to build peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Defend the right of the Palestinian people to have an independent nation and to live free:

* * *


John Pilger - Palestine Is Still The Issue:

A documentary about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has lasted for more than 50 years. Contains some interviews with the children in this conflict.

In a series of extraordinary interviews with both Palestinians and Israelis, John Pilger weaves together the issue of Palestine. He speaks to the families of suicide bombers and their victims; he sees the humiliation of Palestinians imposed on them at myriad checkpoints and with a permit system not dissimilar to apartheid South Africa's infamous pass laws. He goes into the refugee camps and meets children who, he says, "no longer dream like other children, or if they do, it is about death."

Peace, Propaganda and The Promised Land: This video shows how the foreign policy interests of American political elites-working in combination with Israeli public relations stratgies-influence US news reporting about the Middle East conflict. Combining American and British TV news clips with observations of analysts, journalists and political activists, Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land provides a brief historical overview, a striking media comparison, and an examination of factors that have distorted U.S. media coverage and, in turn, American public opinion.

Occupation 101 - Voice of the Silenced Majority:

A thought-provoking and powerful documentary film on the current and historical root causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and U.S. political involvement.

'Occupation 101' presents a comprehensive analysis of the facts and hidden truths surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and dispels many of its long-perceived myths and misconceptions. The film also details life under Israeli military rule, the role of the United States in the conflict, and the major obstacles that stand in the way of a lasting and viable peace. Unlike any other film produced on the conflict, 'Occupation 101' explains the complicated reality with precision storytelling through a series of highly stylized visual edits, and gives audiences a complete context with which to better understand the Israeli-Palestinian debate. The roots of the conflict are explained with thought-provoking commentaries from leading Middle East scholars, peace activists, journalists, religious leaders and humanitarian workers whose voices have too often been suppressed in American media outlets

Ocupação 101, A Voz da Maioria Silenciada - Occupation 101 (2006) Legendado PT from MDDVTM TV5 on Vimeo.


(BBC) The birth of Israel:

(Dispatches) Children Of Gaza:
The Zionist Story:

* * *

Article - Why children are the first casualties of war in Gaza:

In war, everyone dies: men, women, children, civilians and fighters, the innocent and the villains. Every death is ugly and sad. But the dead bodies of children drop us into a deep pit of shame and sadness: they make us angry, vulnerable and hopeless.

As I am writing, 315 children have died in Gaza in the last 19 days. Most probably, more will have died by the time this is published. About a third of the dead and injured have been children.

The dead children in Gaza take me back two years, to Israel's last war, with Lebanon. Again, it was the children who were dying. I remember seeing seven children lying together on a filthy brown blanket - next to the bodies of their relatives and parents - after their house, in the village of Qana, was bombed by Israeli planes. They all had acquired the monochrome beige colour of the debris they had been buried under all night. They had a look of astonishment, agonised confusion, their lush lips twisted, their mouths stuffed with dirt. But they looked peaceful even in the ugliness of their death.

All dead children look alike, that's the thing - even those mangled and disfigured by a Baghdad car bomb. They look asleep, not dead, just asleep after a long night of bombing and shelling.

There is no mystery as to why so many die in these wars: there are lots of children in Gaza - half of the population are children - so when you start bombing residential areas, they die.

Walk in any alleyway, refugee camp or slum in the Middle East and you will see them in their dozens, alive, and annoying: screaming, shouting and running around; chasing each other between cars, legs and push carts; gathering around any scene, a car with a flat tyre, a street scuffle - or just happily engaged in stone throwing matches. When these streets are hit, those annoying children are the first to die.

The families will grieve - and they will never forget. Last week, the day when four rockets were fired from south Lebanon towards Israel, I saw a Lebanese woman with a white headscarf sitting on the edge of her son's grave, just under a kilometre from the Israeli border. The grave, made of marble, its edges painted in green, was fenced by few bushes of red roses still wet from the early morning rain. The woman's sunken eyes were filled with tears; she cried and talked to her son Ali in the grave. "I didn't see you when you died Ali, they took you to the hospital and buried you and I wasn't there, right Ali?" She wiped her face and the marble with tissues and cried more. "May Allah burn the hearts of those who killed you like they burned my heart."

"I cry for every dead son in the world," she told me.

"Everyone, even if he was a Jew. I don't want him to die. I am a mother and I know."


Dissecting IDF propaganda: The numbers behind the rocket attacks

In this brief study, I examine the many numbers cited by the Israeli military relating to Gaza rocket attacks into Israel.
To begin, Israeli spokespeople frequently remind the world that a million Israeli citizens are within range of Gaza rockets, twelve thousand of which have been fired into Israel in the last twelve years, inflicting thousands of injuries and several dead.
However, we are rarely told exactly how many people have been killed by these rocket attacks.

Counting the dead

Below is a list of all the fatalities of rocket and mortar attacks fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel in the entire history of these attacks. Throughout the years of rocket attacks into Israel, a total of 26 people have been killed altogether.

Date of attackNameAgeLocationWeapon
2004.06.28Mordechai Yosephov49SderotQassam
2004.06.28Afik Ohion Zehavi4SderotQassam
2004.09.29Yuval Abebeh4SderotQassam
2004.09.29Dorit (Masarat) Benisian2SderotQassam
2005.01.15Ayala-Haya Abukasis17SderotQassam
2005.07.15Dana Gelkowitz22Moshav Nativ Ha‘asaraQassam
2006.03.28Salam Ziadin* ?Nahal OzQassam
2006.03.28Khalid Ziadin*16Nahal OzQassam
2006.11.15Faina Slutzker57SderotQassam
2006.11.21Yaakov Yaakobov43SderotQassam
2007.05.21Shirel Friedman32SderotQassam
2007.05.27Oshri Oz36SderotQassam
2008.02.27Roni Yihye47SderotQassam
2008.05.09Jimmy Kedoshim48Kibbutz Kfar Azamortar
2008.05.12Shuli Katz70Moshav YeshaQassam
2008.06.05Amnon Rosenberg51Kibbutz Nir-Ozmortar
2008.12.27Beber Vaknin58NetivotQassam
2008.12.29Lutfi Nasraladin*38IDF base near Nahal Ozmortar
2008.12.29Irit Sheetrit39AshdodGrad
2008.12.29Hani al Mahdi*27AshkelonGrad
2010.03.18Manee Singueanphon*30Moshav Nativ Ha‘asaraQassam
2011.08.20Yossi Shushan38Be’er shevaGrad
2011.10.29Moshe Ami56AshkelonGrad
2012.11.15Yitzchak Amsalem24Kiryat Malachirocket
2012.11.15Mira Sharf25Kiryat Malachirocket
2012.11.15Aharon Smadja49Kiryat Malachirocket
Total fatalities in the history of rocket and mortar attacks
from Gaza into Israel: 26
Operation Cast Lead: December 27, 2008–January 18, 2009
Operation Pillar of Cloud: November 14, 2012–
(Refer to the bottom of the page for notes and sources.)

The shaded rows in the table refer to fatalities sustained during Operation Cast Lead (December 27, 2008–January 18, 2009) and Operation Pillar of Cloud(November 14, 2012–).

Note that of the 26 fatalities from rocket and mortar attacks, more than one out of every four deaths occurred during these two operations, which were ostensibly designed to deter rocket attacks.

For the entire duration of the 2008 Hamas–Israel cease-fire—even after Israel had broken the cease-fire on Nov. 4—not a single person was killed by rocket or mortar fire into Israel. Yet approximately two hours after Israel’s commencement of Operation Cast Lead, one person in Israel was struck and killed by shrapnel from a Qassam rocket. Two days later, three more people were killed in Israel from Gaza rocket and mortar attacks.
And for an entire year before Operation Pillar of Cloud, not a single Israeli was killed by rocket or mortar. Yet approximately sixteen hours after Pillar of Cloud commenced, a rocket from Gaza killed three Israelis.

It was during both military operations that Israel endured the highest number of fatalities from Gaza rockets and mortars in the shortest time spans.

The data is too scant to a draw a more definite conclusion (and it is scant because fatalities are so rare), but one can suspect a pattern:

Rocket fatalities are more likely to happen during major Israel “anti-rocket” operations. Note that I say that fatalities are more likely to happen, rather than fatalities increase. Because fatalities are so rare, when they do happen in a burst, they appear more as instigations rather than incidental progressions.

This disputes the clichéd notion that rocket attacks are “designed to maximize civilian casualties.” Indeed, with such a low fatality rate and with the characteristic imprecision of the weapons, they cannot be expected to inflict a fatality most of the time.
At the same time, armed groups in Gaza are capable of increasing the likelihood of fatalities when prompted.

A verrry slow genocide

If we borrow the IDF’s claim that more than 12,000 rockets have been fired into Israel in the last twelve years (which I dispute later), we get a kill rate of less than 0.217%. Thus in order to secure a single kill, we should expect to fire about 500 rockets. However, if the goal is to specifically kill Jews rather than foreign workers and Palestinian laborers, then it gets harder. Only 21 Jews have been killed by this method, bringing the kill rate down to 0.175%.

If this sounds disturbing or even anti-Semitic, note that I am just testing the argument of the current Israeli ambassador Michael Oren, who, during Operation Cast Lead, co-wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal claiming that the Gaza rockets and mortars were “more than a crude attempt to kill and terrorize civilians—they were expressions of a genocidal intent.”
Yet the statistics demonstrate that it is much less than a “crude attempt to kill.” One can imagine easier ways to kill a random person than to manufacture and fire 500+ homemade rockets.

As for genocide, at the going kill rate, it would require 4,477,714,286 rockets and mortars, and 4,477,714 years to kill all the Jews in Israel. This is assuming that Israel’s Jewish population does not increase. And of course we would need to factor in the limited range of the projectiles, which would require Israel’s non-growing Jewish population to all congregate in the western Negev by the year 4479726 CE, give or take a few years.

But by then, all of Israel’s Jewish population will have already been exterminated by the country’s other violent killer, automotive accidents.

It makes more sense, then, to suppose that there are political rationales for the firing of rockets and mortars.

The IDF’s mysterious deaths

Now that we’ve established that a total of twenty-six people have been killed by high-trajectory weapons from Gaza into Israel, let’s look at some of the numbers that the Israeli military has been peddling.

In keeping up with its social media focus, IDF 2.0 has been distributing infographics through Facebook, Twitter, and an official blog, encouraging subscribers to share the images. One recent infographic makes the following claims about the number of Israeli casualties from rocket attacks:

IDF Hamas rocket threat 1

First, let’s compare the IDF’s fatalities numbers to the numbers that I’ve established:
Number of rocket/mortar fatalities by year, 2006–2011
 IDF claimEstablished
For every year listed, the IDF’s rocket fatalities number is higher than what has been established. Could it be due to different interpretations of the figures? We can try to find out by examining the fatalities for each year:

In 2006, at the tail end of the second intifada, there were several Israeli fatalities, including a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, another suicide bombing in the West Bank, several shootings of soldiers and settlers in the West Bank,  two soldiers killed by sniper fire in separate incidents in the Gaza Strip, and the capture of Gilad Shalit in a Hamas/PRC operation that left two other soldiers dead. However, there were only two people who were killed in Israel by rocket strikes. Another two, a Bedouin father and son, were killed while attempting to move an unexploded Qassam rocket for salvaging. Their deaths are not listed in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs page as deaths by Palestinian attacks. Nevertheless, I included them in my listing, making four deaths by rockets in 2006.
For 2006, it is unknown how the IDF transformed four rocket fatalities into nine.

In 2007, two Qassam rockets killed two people in Sderot. There was one other incident in Israel that produced fatalities—a suicide bombing that killed three people in a bakery in Eilat. Beyond that, four soldiers were killed by gunfire in the West Bank, one settler was gunned down in a drive-by, another settler was stabbed to death by unknown assailants, and three soldiers were killed in separate gunfights in the Gaza Strip. Altogether, sixteen were killed, only two of whom were by rockets—not ten, as asserted by the IDF. The IDF’s claim is also contradicted by Shin Bet (the Israeli Security Agency), which reported that in 2007, “rocket fire killed two Israeli civilians.”
For 2007, it is unknown how the IDF transformed two fatalities into ten.

In 2008, eight people were killed by rockets and mortars from Gaza. Four were killed in the first half of the year prior to the “tahdiya” ceasefire. As soon as Israel launched Operation Cast Lead, four more people were killed by Gaza rockets and mortars. Yet the IDF graphic claims 15 fatalities. Again, this claim is contradicted by the Shin Bet, which reported that in 2008,
8 people (4 during the final days of December) were killed by high-trajectory fire (rockets and mortars) from the Gaza Strip.
For 2008, it is unknown how the IDF transformed eight fatalities into fifteen.

In 2009, there was one conflict-related civilian death in Israel by Palestinians: A Jewish Israeli taxi driver was strangled to death by three Palestinians as revenge for the IDF killing of a relative. Outside of that, a 16-year old boy in the Bat Ayin settlement was killed by a lone Palestinian with an axe, two police officers were shot to death in the Jordan Valley, a settler near Nablus was shot in a drive-by, and a soldier was killed by an explosive detonation on the Gaza border. No one in Israel was killed by rocket or mortar from Gaza, even though the IDF claims two.
This is corroborated by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC), which stated that
In the two years since Operation Cast Lead there has been a significant decrease in the number of Israelis killed and wounded by terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip. There have been five deaths, one civilian (a worker from Thailand) killed by a rocket attack [which was in 2010] and four IDF soldiers killed during counterterrorism activities.
At the start of 2009, during Cast Lead, nine IDF soldiers were killed in the Gaza Strip, four of which were by friendly fire. Of the remaining five, one was killed by a mortar round while the other was killed by an anti-tank missile.
For 2009, there were no deaths in Israel from Gaza rockets or mortars.  The only way to claim two fatalities would be to include the deaths of two soldiers engaged in a military invasion inside the Gaza Strip, which would be misleading for the message being conveyed by the infographic.

The IDF inexplicably attributes five deaths in 2010 to Hamas rockets and mortars. There were either nine or eleven Israeli fatalities relating to the Palestine/Israel conflict in that year, depending on the interpretation: the Shin Bet says there were nine fatalities relating to the conflict, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs records eleven. Of the eleven fatalities listed by the MFA, two were committed by a Palestinian criminal gang (one strangulation and one stabbing), one was a knifing of an IDF soldier in the West Bank, four settlers were killed by gunfire in their car on a segregated road near Hebron, two soldiers entered the Gaza Strip and were killed in a shootout with Palestinian gunmen, and one police officer was shot to death just south of Hebron. Only one fatality was due to a Qassam rocket.
For 2010, it is unknown how the IDF transformed one fatality into five.

In 2011, there were only two rocket fatalities. The third fatality could be attributed to the April 7, 2011 killing of Daniel Vlific by an anti-tank missile. I explain in the note below why his death is generally not considered a high-trajectory rocket/mortar fatality. However, in this case, the IDF graphic does depict anti-tank missiles as part of the “Hamas Rocket Threat,” so the count of three fatalities can be considered correct. (Note, however, that in another IDF graphic, also entited “Hamas Rocket Threat,” anti-tank missiles are not included, as their limited ranges would undermine the intended message of a far-reaching threat.)
Thus, for 2011, the IDF number is correct if we include an anti-tank missile strike on April 7.

In the infographic, all of the IDF’s fatality numbers are exaggerated, with the exception of the fatality number for 2011.

Wounded by “shock
The same IDF infographic lists the number of people injured by rocket/mortar attacks. Thus we learn, for example, that in 2008, 611 people were injured by rocket and mortar attacks:

IDF Hamas rocket threat 1b
For obvious reasons, counting the injured requires more subjective assessment than counting the dead. And when it comes to Gazan rockets and mortars, Israeli authorities push the limits of subjectivity.
Gaza rockets have produced so few casualties that in the absence of deaths and serious injuries, Israeli authorities have resorted to detailing how many people were “treated for shock,” which the press has duly noted over the years.
Thus we are treated to shocking reports such as this Nov. 12 Haaretz article, concerning a rocket that landed on the yard of a house in Netivot:
The hit on Netivot left no casualties, but 20 people were treated for shock after the incident. [My emphases here and below]
And here’s the Jerusalem Post on Nov. 15:
MDA [Israeli emergency medical responders] on Wednesday treated a total of 16 people for injury or shock after a bevy of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip struck Israeli territory.
Injury or shock? How many of the 16 were physically injured?
According to MDA, two people were lightly injured in Beersheba, one from shattered glass and the other from falling down the stairs.Fourteen more were treated for shock as well, 12 in Beersheba and two in Sderot.
Though Haaretz may make a distinction between “casualties” and those treated for shock (which confirms that we are talking about acute stress response, rather than, say, hypovolemic or cardiogenic shock), not everybody does so.
The Shin Bet, for instance, claims that rocket attacks in 2007 “lightly injured more than 300 persons, most of whom suffered shock.”
The following year, the Shin Bet reported that out of the supposedly 630 Israelis wounded in “terror attacks” in 2008,
The majority of the wounded in 2008 (about 400 people) were wounded by high-trajectory fire from the Gaza Strip. This data includesvictims of shock as a result of high-trajectory fire.
Shin Bet numbers on injuries aren’t available for every year, so let’s just compare the 2007 and 2008 rocket injuries number with the IDF’s:
Number of injuries from Gaza rocket and mortar attacks into Israel
 IDFShin Bet
2007578more than 300 (most from shock)
2008611about 400 (including victims of shock)
How did the IDF come up with more than 200 injuries than the Shin Bet for each year? And are the Shin Bet figures subsets of the IDF figures (meaning the IDF also included hundreds of victims of “shock”), or are they different (meaning the IDF actually found much more than 200 additional injuries per year)?
Regardless, there seems to be some very loose playing with the numbers. Oh, but it gets looser...

Number of rockets and mortars fired into Israel from Gaza
For its latest invasion of Gaza, Israel unveiled a cool new feature that rivals all your iPad apps: the Rocket Counter widget. Now you never have to guess how many rockets have hit Israel. You only have to wonder why the numbers are so damn inconsistent:
IDF rocket counter
According to the IDF Rocket Counter widget, some time between Nov. 15, 2012 (left) and Nov. 16, 2012 (right), Gaza militant groups fired 24 rockets out of the year 2011.
The screenshot on the left shows the widget display on Thursday, November 15. The screenshot on the right shows the widget display a day later. On Thursday, the widget explained that there were 651 rockets that hit Israel in 2011. On Friday, the number changed to 627, despite the fact that the year 2011 is too recent to have made a comeback.
Moreover, supposedly 122 rockets had hit Israel between the time of the screenshots on Thursday and Friday (396–274=122). It would follow, then, that the full 2012 figure of 822 would also increase by 122, giving us a total of 944. Instead it jumped to 1,197, an increase of 375 (1197–822=375). What accounts for the 253-rocket surplus in 2012 and the 24-rocket deficit in 2011?
Part of the explanation may lie in another chart that the IDF has been peddling. The bar chart below, taken from the IDF blog, purports to show the number of rockets fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip.
IDF bar graph
The Rocker Counter widget appeared on the same blog page, and on Thursday, it seemed peculiar that two IDF graphics on a single page gave contradictory reports on how many rockets were fired in 2011. Eventually the widget was perhaps adjusted to conform to the bar chart.
However, it still does not explain why the other widget numbers do not add up. Nor does it explain where the 651 figure came from.
To make matters even more complicated, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has long promoted the figures collected by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC).
Below is a comparison of the number of Gaza rocket and mortar attacks into Israel, accoording to both the IDF and the ITIC.
Number of rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza,
by year, as reported by the IDF and the ITIC
2011627 n/a
20121197+ n/a
Note the wide discrepency for almost every year, with the IDF numbers being significantly higher than the ITIC numbers. We can add to the embarrassment by referring to a page about “The Hamas Terror War Against Israel” on the website of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which reproduces both the IDF bar chart and rocket numbers as reported by ITIC—contradictory information, presented together in a single page by the Israeli government, in order to explain “The Hamas Terror War Against Israel.”
And then consider a quote by the Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, in an interview conducted on November 14:
This government has exhibited superhuman restraint: 2,500 rockets since 2009. Last month, 800 rockets. In the last week, 300 rockets. What government in the world wouldn’t have responded with war a long time ago?
No other Israeli agency claims that 800 rockets were fired in October 2012. Shin Bet claims 171 rockets and mortars were fired from Gaza in October.
It can be argued that numbers ultimately don’t matter: One death is a death too many; one rocket is a rocket too many. But if that is the case, why do the IDF and related Israeli agencies need to inflate or fabricate numbers? Why has the numbers game been the cornerstone of Israeli rhetoric about rockets, as depicted in these other recent IDF graphics:
IDF zillion rockets
One of the most cynical uses of numbers is in this tweet by IDF spokesperson Maj. Peter Lerner:
IDF Lerner tweet
Perhaps inadvertently hinting at the causality (422 Gaza rockets fired since the start of Operation Pillar of Cloud), Lerner offers a circular argument, suggesting that the IDF military operation in Gaza is a justifiable response to the Gazan response to the operation itself. Operation Pillar of Cloud is necessary to prevent actions—which are a response to the operation—from ever happening. And the fact that it has since happened, justifies having made it happen, to prevent it from happening again.
The same reasoning applies to this new IDF graphic:
IDF three civilians
After a full year of no Israelis being killed by rocket fire from Gaza, Israel had to invade Gaza, prompting the new killing of three Israeli civilians, which provides retroactive justification for the prompting itself.
Still, this is part of the story. As much as the IDF loves to play with numbers, there are certain numbers that it avoids, such as the numbers behind the artillery fire leveled against Gaza, which rivals the number of rocket attacks from Gaza.
That will be treated in a future post.

Sources include, but are not limited to, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Officethe Israel Project, the Jerusaelm PostB’Tselem, and numerous press articles. I made a point of referring to official Israeli and pro-Israeli sources, and then cross-checking them with one another. Some ages and spellings of names vary in press reports.
* Five of the 26 fatalities were non-Jewish: Salam Ziadin, Khalid Ziadin, and Hani al Mahdi were Bedouin; Lutfi Nasraladin was Druze; Manee Singueanphon was a Thai national.
 The only non-civilian fatality in Israel, Sgt.-Major Lutfi Nasraladin was killed in a mortar attack on an IDF military base.
 Salam and Khalid Ziadin were killed while handling an unexploded Qassam rocket for salvaging. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not include the Ziadins in its list of “Victims of Palestinian Violence and Terrorism.”
This list does not include:
1. Palestinians killed by rocket or mortar misfire in the Gaza Strip.
2. People killed by Gaza rockets and mortars targeted inside the Gaza Strip. Prior to the so-called Gaza “disengagement,” illegal Israeli settlements within Gaza were targeted by rockets and mortars. They were not aimed inside Israel, and none of the rocket counts that I describe in this article include rockets and mortars that were aimed inside the Gaza Strip. They also do not form part of the rhetoric that rockets and mortars from Gaza constitute an “existential threat” to Israel.
In Gaza settlements and the Erez Industrial Zone, rocket and mortar attacks inflicted eight civilian fatalities: three Israeli Jews, three foreign laborers from Thailand and China, and two Palestinian laborers from Khan Younis.
Additionally there were two IDF fatalities in Gaza settlements, including a soldier killed while on his way to guard duty in Kfar Darom and a soldier killed at an IDF outpost in the Morag settlement.
All other rocket and mortar fatalities within Gaza were directed against IDF soldiers engaged in military operations outside of settlements.
3. One fatality in Israel by anti-tank missile. The rockets-and-mortars rhetoric refers to high-trajectory ordnances deployed with the following qualities: indirect fire, which coupled with a high inaccuracy rate results in nondiscriminatory targeting; a wide range that encompasses significant portions of southern Israel; and a high deployment frequency.
Anti-tank missiles are direct-fire ordnances with a more limited range and have been used infrequently against civilian targets by Gazan armed groups. There has been one civilian fatality from an anti-tank missile fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel (Daniel Viflic, age 16, killed on April 7, 2011, near Kibbutz Sa‘ad, by an anti-tank missile that struck the bus he was riding in). B’Tselem does not include this instance in its count of rocket and mortar fatalities.

About Phan Nguyen

Phan Nguyen is a Palestine solidarity activist based in New York. Follow him on Twitter: @Phan_N