The Majority of Palestinian Casualties are not Civilians. Here’s How You Can Tell.

This is where the blogosphere really comes into its own. Since the beginning of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, NGOs have been calling it a “war on children” (the words of Osama Dayo, of Save the Children). The UN has claimed up to three-quarters of the casualties have been civilians. Nobody in the mainstream media questions these numbers. That’s because you can’t question the motives of a self-described human rights organisation, an established charity, or a UN agency.

My take on these claims is more sceptical. Firstly, experience tells me that ethnic and ideological hostilities often hide behind the more acceptable language of ‘human rights’ activism. Secondly, do you know the kind of people who work for the UN and NGOs?

But there is one method anybody can use to get a fairly accurate picture of the make-up of combat casualties. Some people have used it to assess the Second Intifada and more recent hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians. It devastates the claims of Hamas, the UN, Amnesty International, and other unsavoury types. And so far, none have been able to refute it.

Statistics

Basically, if Israel was largely killing civilians in Gaza through indiscriminate bombing, one would expect the casualties to be a fair reflection of the Gazan population. Around 50% would be male, and 50% female. Around 40% would have to be under the age of 14. But this is not the case, in the current war or the last.

A fellow by the name of Don Radlauer ingeniously laid out all Palestinian casualties from the Second Intifada on the basis of age and gender as part of a wider study. He found that 95% of the Palestinian casualties were male, while the gender ratio for Israelis killed was around 60:40. Not only that, but 80% of those male Palestinians were in their late teens and early twenties. We can assume that proportionately fewer civilians were killed on their side as opposed to Israel’s. It’s all here. Here are just two interesting graphs:
pal fatalities by gender

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pal fatalities by age

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More recently, for Operation Protective Edge, an amateur pro-Israel blogger took the Palestinian casualties from a list provided by Al Jazeera. He broke them down by age and gender. Now we can see once again that there are far too many young males for the deaths to be majority civilian.  80% of the Gazans killed so far have been male, with almost half of these males being in the 18-28 age group.  20% of these males are between 29 and 48.

cas by gender

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If anybody of the anti-Israel persuasion can make a case against these figures and my conclusions, I’d like to hear it. I have sent the Protective Edge statistics to several colleagues of the extreme left and to a few angry Muslims on online forums. I have been doing the same with the Radlauer study for years. Nobody has come up with anything convincing yet.

Human Rights Organizations and that Joe Loughnane Incident

Two recent reports from Amnesty International on the ordeals of Palestinian communities in the Middle East could not be more different.

Trigger-happy‘ is supposed to demonstrate excessive forced used by the IDF in response to Palestinian demonstrations and rioting in the West Bank. Amnesty claims 22 civilians have been killed over a period of 12 months. The casualties are mostly young men, in or around areas of hostility at the time. The report is 87 pages long and contains 14 individual photographs and 18 in-depth biographies of the victims, some up to three pages long and with interviews of family members. There is also an accompanying video of four minutes length.

Squeezing the life out of Yarmouk‘, on the other hand, is Amnesty’s attempt at covering the siege of a settlement mostly populated by the descendants of Palestinian refugees in Syria. The death toll here has been close to 200 civilians in 8 months. They are a mixture of men and women, young and old, pointing to killings of an indiscriminate nature. The deaths have been primarily by starvation, sniper-fire, and bombings.  Yet this report is a mere 39 pages long. It contains no photographs of the victims. Nor is there any real information on individual casualties. It is as dry as a Wikipedia summary, reading like something Amnesty only had to do because they were obliged. ‘Trigger-happy’, on the other hand, is an emotive call to action, somebody at Amnesty’s personal crusade. ‘Trigger-happy’ was displayed prominently on the front page of their website for two weeks. The other was there for a day.

The information in the reports may or may not be true. I am more interested in the discrepancy of focus and language [H/T to Yisrael Medad for pointing this out to me]. One would have a very distorted picture of the global human rights situation from reading Amnesty reports. The reasons for the discrepancy are worth a discussion.

I identify three phenomena at the root.

Firstly, many of us sceptical about  the actions of NGO’s are familiar with Moynihan’s Law, which says that the greater the number of complaints being aired against a country, the better protected are human rights in that country. As a more open society, journalists, academics and other unsavoury types are free to roam and report in Israel. They are not in Syria. The philosopher Roger Scruton strongly hinted in his book on Lebanon, A Land Held Hostage, that Robert Fisk’s disturbingly soft treatment of Hafez Al-Assad during the civil war there helped ensure his access to the region, even though Fisk, the old fraud, was often out of the country for many of the events he claimed to witness.

Secondly, it may be that the relative tranquillity of Israel and Palestine does more to attract aid workers and journalists. One of my favourite quotes of all time was given by a young lady called Emily Williams, an American manager of a medical NGO in the Palestinian territories:

“Palestine is the best-kept secret in the aid industry… People need field experience and Palestine sounds cool and dangerous because it can be described as a war zone, but in reality it’s quite safe and has all the comforts that internationals want. Quality of life here is so much higher than somewhere like Afghanistan, but we don’t tell anyone so that we are not replaced or reassigned.”

My understanding is that most correspondents would rather pen dramatic write-ups on clashes  between the IDF and its enemies from the comfort of the American Colony Hotel in eastern Jerusalem than endure the miserable, macchiato -free conditions of Yemen.

Finally, some time ago in National Review, John O’ Sullivan identified another law: any organization that is not explicitly right-wing will over time become left-wing. What is true of the Episcopalian Church is equally true for Amnesty, or Oxfam, or Human Rights Watch. It’s just the type of people organisations that shun profit-making attract.

And on that point I want to talk about Joe Loughnane and the jackasses at NUI Galway.

Here is Joe, in all his eloquence:

Notice Joe says he’s been on the Galway campus for ten years. That’s the product of an extensive education in human rights law, apparently. According to this piece, he’s worked for several months at an unnamed human rights organisation in London. His antics, which include very direct threats against students and guests at his university, are well known and should preclude him from employment in any respectable establishment. Yet I am not so confident that he’ll be shunned by any organisation dedicated to human rights today. It was this blog two years ago that pointed out that Amnesty Ireland’s Communications Co-ordinator  at Amnesty International in Ireland, Justin Moran, is a Sinn Fein activist. I’ve made similar allegations of extremist penetration into religious groups like Trocaire and EAPPI.

The hi-jacking of the language of “human rights” and many hitherto respectable organisations dedicated to that cause by people like Joe Loughnane and his Palestine Solidarity Campaign bullies is one of the most significant developments of our time. After all, how could a man proudly displaying the banner below actually believe in any honest notion of human rights? And how can a human rights organisation in good conscience hire him?

loughnane

Anti-Semitism in the Kerry School: Yes, it was Trócaire

News of the appearance of anti-Semitism among the schoolchildren of Cahirciveen has spread like a prairie fire. Coláiste na Sceilge have now released an official response, which denies the journalist Sarah Honig’s allegations:  

As Principal of this school I was shocked when I read the contents of the blog by Ms Honig. The students and teacher vehemently deny the remarks attributed to them.

Part of our mission statement states that ‘we are committed to developing people who are fair, caring assertive…’ and we are .

Colaiste na Sceilige has worked with the Trocaire Pamoja –together for human rights – Project for the last number of years.

Last year our students looked at Uganda and raised money for Trocaire for two mobile HIV clinics by singing Christmas carols.The year before it was Honduras and they raised money for Trocaire to build a house for a family.This year it was Palestine and they raised money for Trocaire to buy olive trees for displaced Palestinian families.

The lesson content provided by Trocaire states clearly that ‘Trocaire is neither pro Palestinian nor pro Israeli’ and having spoken to the teacher and students it is clear that the material was delivered in an unbiased manner. Anything else would be entirely unacceptable.

Students read newspapers ,watch the news and are in touch with the world around them. Ms Honig has referred to the plethora of anti Israeli feeling in the media.

We try to teach our students to be critical thinkers to examine both sides of an issue. We may not always be satisfied with the conclusions students draw and can only try to set them right when they go wrong.

By making such allegations, and indeed publishing photographs of children on a website without parental consent, the writer has been irresponsible and has done our school and the people of Kerry a great disservice.

John O’Connor

School Principal

It is not certain from the Principal’s statement whether the school received the controversial Trócaire education pack, which Justin Kilcullen told Richard Humphreys, who raised a stink about them, had not been sent to schools. It could be earlier Trócaire propaganda. It wouldn’t surprise me if Kilcullen lied about not sending out the material. Kilcullen is Ireland’s pious fraud, a proven liar who is noticeably overpaid in comparison with other Irish charity chiefs. I certainly don’t believe Trócaire uses the money it raises to plant olive trees in Palestine. Its far more likely that it uses the money, or at least the majority of it,  to fund far-left NGOs that bash Israel. That, however, is not the way Trócaire is marketed.

Articles from The Kerryman newspaper on the matter here and here.

NOTE: It has been put to me that Trócaire’s involvement is really a minor matter in all this. The central point is that schoolchildren and a teacher have been accused by a journalist of anti-Semitism and are contesting that allegation.

I do not quite agree that Trócaire is a tangential issue. It is very likely that Trócaire whipped up the climate of hate in the first place by providing the schoolchildren with a biased, misleading, simplistic, good vs. evil account of the Israel-Arab conflict.

Anti-Semitism in Irish Schools: Is Trócaire Responsible?

Some of you have already heard of the Israeli columnist Sarah Honig’s ill-fated trip to the little town of Cahirciveen, Co. Kerry. In the course of her visit, she was solicited by children from a local secondary school raising funds to ‘Free Palestine’. When she questioned who they were freeing Palestine from, the children replied with “the Jews” and then explained to her that “Jews are evil” and “crucified our Lord”. Honig recounted what she heard to a nearby teacher organizing the affair, who nodded in agreement with the words of the children.

Having gone to a school in Ireland where one teacher (of Christian Doctrine, God help us) referred to Arial Sharon as a “monster” and others expressed fierce support for Palestinian national aspirations, the attitude on display in Kerry is not surprising.

Yet I must say it upsets me to no end that Honig had this experience in the South of Kerry, in a town not far from Sneem. In Sneem the founding Patron of the Ireland-Israel Friendship League is interred; the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and later 5th President of Ireland, Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh. His grave was visited in 1978 by his good friend, the 6th President of Israel, Chaim Herzog, who was born in Belfast to the Chief Rabbi of Ireland. Herzog also unveiled a monument to Ó Dálaigh in Sneem Culture Park in 1985.

The pernicious influence of Trócaire may be at work here. Officially the overseas development agency of the Catholic Church, Trócaire has direct access to Ireland’s Catholic schools, and it has in recent years gotten heavily behind causes like anti-Zionism, gender equality, and climate change. I have previously written about the absurdity of a former National Coordinator of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign being the Israel/Palestine Officer at Trócaire. Last October, Trócaire earned the scorn of the very sound Catholic philosopher, Mark Dooley, for their trendy left-wing ideological battles. A week ago the Dublin Labour Councillor Richard Humphreys criticized Trócaire’s highly biased education packs on the Middle East that they planned for distribution in schools.

The school in question would appear to be Coláiste na Sceilge secondary school, Cahirciveen.

Email them here: info@colaistenasceilge.ie

Here are the email addresses for all local TDs:

brendan.griffin@oir.ie.
michael.healy-rae@oireachtas.ie
tom.fleming@oireachtas.ie

together-we-will-get-rights-for-palestine

Some of the children in question, Cahirciveen

Does Irish Aid fund IPSC lectures?

Irish Aid is Ireland’s official overseas development programme, part of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Since  December 6th last year the Irish Aid center (a government office) has been hosting various anti-Israel lectures, set to continue until February. Most of these lectures are given by members of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Trócaire. This includes Garry Walsh, Israel/Palestine Officer at Trócaire, who is also the former National Coordinator of the IPSC. Not one speaker could be described as friendly to Israel. Indeed, some of the lectures would seem to promote its destruction.

The Irish Aid webpage links directly to this Facebook page promoting the events. What is the extent of Irish Aid’s cooperation here? Are they just letting them use the venue? Irish Aid has given €116 million to the highly compromised charity Trócaire between 2007 and 2011. What else are they doing?

More on my least favorite charity, Trócaire

Must read articles:

1. Dr. Mark Dooley, Catholic philosopher, slams Trócaire in yesterday’s Irish Daily Mail. Dooley says that as the official overseas development agency of the Catholic Church, Trócaire has no business waging ideological battles, particularly in such a selective manner. He also says the Trocaire position is far away from that of most practicing Catholics he knows in Ireland, which is encouraging.

2. Why I Don’t Care for Trócaire (Irish Independent, March 2007). An excellent piece. Trócaire is something of a sacred cow in Irish society and deserves more skepticism.

3. Shedding Light on the Pay of Charity Chiefs (Irish Examiner, September 2011). Trócaire CEO Justin Kilcullen is noticeably overpaid. He gets €2.32 per €1,000 of Trócaire income, but the CEO of Concern gets only €0.78 per €1,000. Concern’s has an income of €167 million but Trocaire has only €63 million.

4. Garry Walsh isn’t the only IPSC figure at Trócaire. The idiot activist Eoin Murray is their Campaigns Coordinator. He is the former National Coordinator of the IPSC and writes for Electronic Intifada.

Is it right for an IPSC man to be the Israel/Palestine Officer at Trócaire?

Did you know that a former National Coordinator of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Garry Walsh, is the Israel/Palestine Officer at Trócaire? Well, I suppose its no madder than a former Chairman of Dublin Sinn Fein and left-wing activist being the Communications Co-ordinator  at Amnesty Ireland.

Garry Walsh on LinkedIn.

Trócaire are an unusual bunch. Its the official overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Ireland. It is funded by Irish Aid (i.e. the Irish Government), which has given €116 million to Trócaire between 2007 and 2011.  Yet it has a history of left-wing activity and bias. For this reason I have always recommended that Irish people ignore Trócaire and instead donate to the non-partisan and highly regarded people at GOAL.

A long but shocking article by Blog-Irish shows that Trócaire has lied to the public about its work in Afghanistan, among other things.

Trócaire has also worked with a vile little entity called ‘Zochrot‘, which promotes the destruction of Israel and is dominated by communists. Its a tiny organisation with a handful of members, but they have plush offices in the most expensive neighborhood in Tel Aviv, paid for by Oxfam and other EU-based organisations. ‘Zochrot’ also claims to challenge what it sees as “the masculine historical narrative by focusing on compassion and inclusion”. This has Cultural Marxism written all over it, so why are the supposedly Christian Trócaire working with such people?

And how deep have the IPSC penetrated  into charities and human rights organisations with enormous levels of trust from the Irish people?

The Loathsome War Over Rachel Corrie

It was inevitable that the coverage of the legal proceedings on Rachel Corrie’s death would turn into a partisan firefight of left vs. right and Israel vs. Palestine.

The whole affair was poisoned and marked by sleaze from the start. The ISM doctored photographs of the incident. Its opponents called Corrie a  ‘commie bitch’. There has been terrible behavior on both sides. Tom Wolfe couldn’t have written this drama better.

I like a lot of what Brendan O’ Neill writes. Not only is he a good writer, he’s an engaging speaker, and I would urge anybody to see him in action if possible. However, this article and others like it devoted to mocking the fairly ridiculous cult that has grown around Rachel Corrie completely miss the point.

The simple truth right now is that the evidence points towards accidental death. There is too much doubt in this case. No civilised court would have reached a guilty verdict in this situation and convicted the operator of the bulldozer.

Ironically, it was Corie’s friends in the ISM who did more to destroy their own case than any defenders of Israel. They doctored photos, which was eventually acknowledged by Reuters. Witnesses completely changed their stories. Any semi-competent ambulance chaser could have ripped them apart.

Yet the ultimate irony is that those who profess to care about human rights don’t seem to care so much about long-standing rights of the accused, or calling for the blood of a likely innocent man.

Below is the official summary of the judgement. I have highlighted some interesting parts. Note how the IDF that day was attempting to clear brush on the ground, not destroy a house (as is common misconception). It is also clear Corrie contributed to her own death, by climbing the dirt moving slowly towards her rather than running out of the way.

Summary of the Judgment of the Haifa District Court in the Rachel Corrie case:

Summary of the Verdict (T.A. 371/05) Estate of the Late Rachel Corrie, etc.
v. The State of Israel – Ministry of Defense

1.     The decedent, Rachel Corrie, was born on April 10, 1979.  She was an American citizen, residing in Olympia, Washington.  On March 16, 2003, the decedent was killed during an incident which is the focus of this lawsuit.  She was 24 years old.

The decedent was an activist in the International Solidarity Movement (hereafter: “the Organization” or “the ISM”).

2.     In this lawsuit (T.A. 371/05) the plaintiffs, the estate of the late Rachel Corrie (hereafter: “the decedent”), the decedent’s parents, brother and sister, are petitioning to direct the defendant, the State of Israel, to pay them compensation for special damages and general damages inflicted on them, they claim, as a result of the death of the decedent during the incident that is the focus of this trial.  In addition to the aforementioned, the plaintiffs have petitioned to direct the defendant to pay “punitive damages”.

3.     The plaintiffs claimed in their lawsuit that on March 16, 2003, the decedent, together with other activists in the ISM, arrived at the “Philadelphi Corridor” in the Rafiah area of the Gaza Strip where two bulldozers and an IDF tank were observed conducting operational activities in the area.  The plaintiffs claimed that the bulldozers were about to demolish a house in the area and that the decedent and her fellow members of the ISM stood in the path of the bulldozers in order to prevent them from implementing their plan.

In Article 8.5 of the Statement of Claim, the plaintiffs claimed as follows:

“At 17:00 or thereabouts, the decedent stood near the house of Dr. Samir Nasrallah, which was designated for demolition, and one of the bulldozers was 10 to 15 meters from her.  The bulldozers approached the decedent and pulled dirt from under her feet.  The decedent fell and the blade of the bulldozer ran over her leg and later the bulldozer ran over her body.  When the bulldozer backed up the decedent was gravely injured and was bleeding extensively, although she was still breathing.

The decedent was evacuated to the Al-Najer Hospital in Rafiah, where her death was declared after 20 minutes”.

4.     The plaintiffs claimed that the bulldozer intentionally caused the death of the decedent.  The plaintiffs based their claim on the following three grounds: assault, negligence and legal grounds.

5.     After hearing many witnesses from both sides, including expert witnesses, and studying the extensive summations from representatives of both sides, I hereby determine as follows:

a.    During the relevant period of time, the “Philadelphi Corridor” was the site of daily warfare, i.e. daily gunfire by snipers, missile fire and IED explosions directed at the IDF forces.  During this period, unceasing efforts were made to kidnap IDF soldiers.  Only soldiers who were in combat units fought in the region.

According to the notes made in the IDF records, from September 2000 to the date of the incident that is the focus of this lawsuit (March 16, 2003), nearly 6,000 grenades had been thrown at IDF forces in the Corridor; there had been approximately 1,400 incidents of gunfire; and there were more than 40 occurrences of mortar fire.  These aforementioned events led to the injury and death of many Israelis.

The United States government issued a travel warning on March 16, 2003 to warn American citizens against visiting the Gaza Strip area or the West Bank.

b.    During the period pertinent to this case, there was a military directive in force declaring the “Philadelphi Corridor” a “closed military area” and forbidding the entry of civilians.

c.    The ISM assigned itself the task of working alongside the Palestinians against the “Israeli occupation” by using what it called “non-violent protest activities”.  However, the evidence presented to me shows a significant gap between the Organization’s statements and the true character of its activities and actions.  The actions taken by the members of the organization, in practice, do not match its statements.  In fact, the Organization exploits the dialogue regarding human rights and morality to blur the severity of its actions, which are, in fact, expressed through violence.

Inter alia, ISM activities included “defending” Palestinian families, even ones that were engaged in terror activities.  The Organization’s activists “specialized” in sabotaging the IDF’s operational actions.  ISM activities included, inter alia: stationing activists to serve as “human shields” for terrorists wanted by Israeli security forces; financial, logistical and moral assistance to Palestinians, including terrorists and their families; interrupting demolition activities or the sealing off of houses belonging to terrorists who conducted suicide attacks with multiple casualties.

d.    The mission of the IDF force on the day of the incident was solely to clear the ground.  This clearing and leveling included leveling the ground and clearing it of brush in order to expose hiding places used by terrorists, who would sneak out from these areas and place explosive devices with the intent of harming IDF soldiers.  There was an urgency to carrying out this mission so that IDF look-outs could observe the area and locate terrorists thereby preventing explosive devices from being buried.  The mission did not include, in any way, the demolition of homes.  The action conducted by the IDF forces was done at real risk to the lives of the soldiers.  Less than one hour before the incident that is the focus of this lawsuit, a live hand-grenade was thrown at the IDF forces.

e.    I hereby determine that, on the day of the incident, the two bulldozers and the armored personnel carrier were occupied with the clear military operational task of clearing the land in a dangerous area which posed a significant risk.  The force’s action was designed to prevent acts of terror and hostility, i.e. to eliminate the danger of terrorists hiding between the creases of land and in the brush, and to expose explosive devices hidden therein, both of which were intended to kill IDF soldiers.  During each act of exposure, the lives of the IDF fighters were at risk from Palestinians terrorists.  As aforementioned, less than an hour before the incident that is the focus of this lawsuit, a live hand-grenade was thrown at the IDF force.

For this reason, I hereby determine that the act of clearing the land with which the IDF force was occupied during the event was “a war-related action” as defined in The Civil Wrongs Ordinance.

f.     On March 16, 2003, the decedent and her fellow ISM activists arrived at the location where the IDF force was working to clear the land.   They did so, they claim, in order to prevent the IDF force from demolishing Palestinian houses.  They did so illegally and in contradiction of the military directive declaring the area a “closed military area”.  They held signs, stood in front of the bulldozers and did not allow them to carry out their mission.  The IDF soldiers informed the activists that they had to distance themselves from the area, threw stun grenades towards them, fired warning shots towards them and used methods to disperse demonstrations.  All without avail.

The IDF force was very careful not to harm the Organization’s activists.  Because of the activists’ interference, the force repeatedly relocated to continue carrying out their mission.

g.    Based on the evidence presented to me, including the testimony of the expert for the prosecution, Mr. Osben, I hereby determine that at approximately 17:00, the decedent stood roughly 15 to 20 meters from the relevant bulldozer and knelt down.  The bulldozer to which I refer was a large, clumsy and shielded vehicle of the DR9 model.  The field of view the bulldozer’s operator had inside the bulldozer was limited.  At a certain point, the bulldozer turned and moved toward the decedent.  The bulldozer pushed a tall pile of dirt.  With regard to the field of view that the bulldozer’s operator had, the decedent was in the “blind spot”.  The decedent was behind the bulldozer’s blade and behind a pile of dirt and therefore the bulldozer’s operator could not  have seen her.

The bulldozer moved very slowly, at a speed of one kilometer per hour.

When the decedent saw the pile of dirt moving towards her, she did not move, as any reasonable person would have.  She began to climb the pile of dirt.  Therefore, both because the pile of dirt continued to move as a result of the pushing of the bulldozer, and because the dirt was loose, the decedent was trapped in the pile of dirt and fell.

At this stage, the decedent’s legs were buried in the pile of dirt, and when her colleagues saw from where they stood that the decedent was trapped in the pile of dirt, they ran towards the bulldozer and gestured towards its operator and yelled at him to stop.  By the time the bulldozer’s operator and his commander noticed the decedent’s colleagues and stopped the bulldozer, a significant portion of the decedent’s body was already covered in dirt.

The decedent’s entire body was not covered in dirt.  In fact, when the bulldozer backed up, the decedent’s body was seen to free itself from the pile of dirt and the decedent was still alive.

The decedent was evacuated to the hospital and after 20 minutes, her death was declared.

I hereby determine unequivocally that there is no foundation to the plaintiffs’ claim that the bulldozer struck the decedent intentionally.  This was a very unfortunate accident and was not intentional.  No one wished to harm the decedent.  I was convinced that the bulldozer’s operator would not have continued to work if he had seen the decedent standing in front of the bulldozer, as he and his colleagues acted in similar circumstances earlier that day, when they moved from location to location because of the disturbances caused by the members of the Organization.

h.    Because I find, as aforementioned, that the decedent was accidentally killed in the framework of a “war-related activity” as defined in The Civil Wrongs Ordinance, and in light of the instructions laid out in Article 5 of the aforementioned ordinance, the State bears no responsibility for the damages inflicted on the plaintiffs resulting from a war-related action.

This makes superfluous the need to discuss the cause of action made by the plaintiffs because legally their demand should be rejected.

Nevertheless, above and beyond what is necessary, I have also decided to discuss the cause of action filed by the plaintiffs as well as their other claims.

i.      The plaintiffs claimed that evidentiary damage was done in two areas: first, they claim that the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) investigation carried out after the event was sloppy and unprofessional and led to evidentiary damage for the plaintiffs; the second area, which refers to the responsibility of the Institute for Forensic Medicine for evidentiary damage caused to the plaintiffs as a result of the violation of the judicial order and the destruction of the recording documenting the decedent’s autopsy.

It could be expected that, in light of the claim made above, the plaintiffs’ representative would submit to the court the file of the investigation conducted by the CID so that I could form my own opinion regarding the investigatory actions carried out and the manner in which the investigation was carried out, and to learn if the actions taken by the CID were sufficient or not.  However, it was the plaintiffs that objected to submitting the full file of the investigation as evidence, even though the defendant agreed to do so.  Thus did the plaintiffs, by their own actions, introduce circumstances in which an extremely important tool to examine their claims was denied to the court.

After examining the evidentiary material and studying the claims made by representatives of both sides, I reached the conclusion that the CID investigation was conducted appropriately and without fault.

j.      With regard to the claims made regarding evidentiary damages relating to the Institute of Forensic Medicine:

Investigators from the CID concluded that in order to advance the investigation, an autopsy would have to be performed on the decedent.  As a result, they approached the District Court in Rishon LeZion and asked for a court order that would allow for such an autopsy.  The court order “…that the body be autopsied at the Abu Kabir Institute for Forensic Medicine by a doctor who is not in the military and in the presence of a representative of the American State Department” (Exhibit 6/T).

Professor Hiss testified that since the American Consulate saw no need to send a representative to be present at the autopsy, the autopsy was conducted, with the family’s agreement, without a consular representative.  He also testified that the Consulate sent a fax confirming that the autopsy could be conducted without a representative from the family (Exhibit 11/T).

After examining the evidentiary material and studying the claims made by representatives of both sides, I reached the conclusion that the plaintiffs’ claim of evidentiary damage by the Institute for Forensic Medicine seems strange.  This is because the decedent’s father himself testified that, from the outset, the family had no intention of conducting an autopsy and that their intention was to pursue the matter diplomatically in order to clarify what happened to the decedent.  Moreover: it appears that the decedent’s family had no interest regarding the identity of the Consular representative that was to be present during the autopsy, nor in the type of professional training they had had.  The family wanted a Consular representative to be present even if a secretary or typist had been sent!

Professor Hiss explained in his testimony that the aforementioned fax was sent to him after he telephoned the United States Embassy and asked that they send an American doctor to be present at the autopsy.  He claims that the embassy did not find a need to do so.  Professor Hiss asked to receive approval from the decedent’s family and he then received the fax 11/T in which it is specifically stated that the decedent’s family agreed to the autopsy and that no other faxes would be sent.

I believe that under these circumstances, Professor Hiss was well within his rights to conclude that, ultimately, the decedent’s family conceded its demand for a representative to be present during the autopsy.  The family’s desire was to receive the decedent’s body as soon as possible.  Indeed, the family did not conduct any additional examinations after receiving the decedent’s body and it was cremated: see Mr. Craig Corrie’s testimony.

I am aware of the fact that, according to the language of the District Court’s decision regarding the autopsy of the decedent’s body, there should have been a representative of the US Embassy present during the autopsy.  However, under the circumstances, when it was explained that the embassy saw no reason to send a representative, as Professor Hiss testified, and because the fax sent to Professor Hiss (11/T) stated that the family agreed to the autopsy, we can understand why Professor Hiss believed that there was nothing preventing him from conducting the autopsy without an embassy representative being present.  There is no doubt that the proper course of action would have been to return to the District Court so that, in light of the change in circumstances, the court could amend its decision and remove the condition regarding the presence of an embassy representative.  However, given the circumstances and in light of the aforementioned, it is not clear what evidentiary damage was made to the plaintiffs’ case because of the conduct of the Institute of Forensic Medicine.

With regard to the plaintiffs’ claim regarding the recording documenting the autopsy, I found no grounds to accept it.  It is an audio recording (as opposed to a video recording) which served as a draft for Professor Hiss when preparing his report.  Recordings like this are made because, during an autopsy, the doctor’s hands are holding scalpels and covered in blood, and therefore notes cannot be taken.  Apparently, the aforementioned audio recording simply does not exist anymore because, due to budgetary problems, the Institute of Forensic Medicine recycles tapes (see the testimony given by Professor Hiss).  Under these circumstances, it is not clear what evidentiary damage was caused to the plaintiffs as a result of the aforementioned draft having been erased due to recycling.

In summation, with regard to evidentiary damages, I hereby determine that the two cumulative conditions necessary as laid out in the precedent determined by the Supreme Court were not upheld.  They did not prove that evidentiary damage was caused which harmed their ability to prove their claims, nor did they prove that the defendant, through negligence, caused the claimed evidentiary damage.

k.    With regard to grounds for assault I hereby determine that there is no foundation for such claims because there is no component of “malice”.  As I have determined that the decedent was killed accidentally and not intentionally, legally the claim regarding grounds for assault must be rejected.

l.      With regard to grounds for negligence:  I am convinced that, given the circumstances created at the location of the incident, the actions taken by the force were without fault.  Indeed, the field of vision of the bulldozer’s operator was limited.  However, the decedent’s field of vision while she stood in front of the bulldozer and knelt down was open and without any limitation.  The decedent could have distanced herself from any danger without any difficulty.  However, she chose to take the risk described above, and that eventually led to her death.

Given these circumstances, I have reached the conclusion that it was not negligence on the part of the defendant or any of its representatives that caused the decedent’s death.  Therefore it can be understood that I reject the claim that there is any foundation for the grounds of negligence in this case.

m.   The defendant claims a “willing endangerment” defense, in accordance with Article 5(A) of the Civil Wrongs ordinance.  I reached the conclusion that the foundation for this defense, as determined by the Supreme Court, has not been proven in this case, and therefore I hereby determine that the aforementioned defense does not exist with regard to this lawsuit.

However, even though I have determined that it was not negligence on the part of the defendant or its representatives that led to the death of the decedent, and although the aforementioned defense does not exist with regard to this lawsuit, it is not enough to change the result of rejecting this claim.

n.    With regard to legal grounds:  It is true that the decedent was killed during the incident that is the focus of this lawsuit.  However, in this case the defendant did not violate the decedent’s right to life.  The decedent put herself in a dangerous situation.  She stood in front of a large bulldozer in a location where the bulldozer’s operator could not see her.  Even when she saw the pile of dirt moving towards her and endangering her, she did not remove herself from the situation, as any reasonable person would have.  The decedent began to climb the pile of dirt, got tangled up in it, fell and eventually died.

The decedent’s death was the result of an accident that the decedent caused.  This occurred despite the efforts of the IDF force to distance her and her colleagues from the area.

I believe that, under these circumstances, there is no justification to obligate the State to pay compensation for damages that the decedent could have prevented, but preferred not to, thereby choosing to risk her life as she did.

Therefore, I reject the request to obligate the State to pay compensation on legal grounds.

6.     Because of this and in light of the aforementioned, I reject the lawsuit.
Because of the circumstance surrounding the decedent’s death, I will not make the plaintiffs’ pay the legal expenses and each side will bear its own costs.

[ENDS]

Where, Oh Where is the Israeli Tom Wolfe?

This woman claimed at a talk held in Westminster not long ago in that Israel is actually far worse than apartheid South Africa. She recently toured Ireland to tell everybody how persecuted she is.

She is an Arab member of the Israeli Knesset. One of her uncles was a judge on the Israeli Supreme Court. Another served as deputy minister of health.

The self-styled Arab Mandela earns a nice salary from the Israeli state, is a regular fixture in Jerusalem’s fanciest restaurants, and clearly has great taste in sunglasses. Those prisoners force-fed salt in China don’t know how good they have it. Taxpayer-funded trips around the world so that you can call those who pay your salary a bunch of racists are incredibly draining.

What is EAPPI?

Last week, the General Synod of the Church of England endorsed something called the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). EAPPI is a program I knew little about, but I was intrigued by the statement of the Board of Deputies of British Jews on the matter. It mentioned that one EAPPI publication called ‘Chain Reaction’ endorsed hacking Israeli websites and sit-ins at Israeli embassies. If the Synod was aware of this, their endorsement was a completely inappropriate and rotten act that damage the credibility of their church. I desperately wanted to see the EAPPI material in question.

I must mention that I am a researcher for Anglican Friends of Israel, which has a natural interest in this subject. My research was carried out on AFI’s behalf.

I contacted EAPPI and the Quaker Press Office. EAPPI in the UK and Ireland operates out of the Quakers. I asked them for a copy of ‘Chain Reaction’, as there was no version on their website. EAPPI said it ceased publication 4 years ago and they could not supply one, electronic or otherwise. I did not believe them. The Board of Deputies and several other contacts of mine were later able to give me a copy.

And here is the funny thing. When calling the Quaker Press Office, I used my real name and said I was from AFI. Anne van Staveren, their press officer, called me back and insisted that ‘Chain Reaction’ was put out by ‘a group of individuals’, and was clearly trying to distance the Quakers and EAPPI from it. She even went so far as to say it was not EAPPI’s publication.

When I called EAPPI, for obvious reasons I never mentioned Anglican Friends of Israel. They seemed to have no problem taking responsibility for ‘Chain Reaction’ and did not try to deny it was theirs.

The whole thing stank to high heavens. The Quakers and EAPPI were clearly lying and conspiring to cover up the truth about their past publications, in the wake of the attention EAPPI received from the Synod’s endorsement.

The Board of Deputies provided this screen capture from EAPPI’s website:

Not an official EAPPI publication, eh?

Here is a typical issue of Chain reaction. Pages 23-25 contain an article by Ronan Quinn and Trond Botnen. It does indeed endorse hacking Israeli websites, sit-ins at Israeli embassies and illegal activities. Ronan Quinn is an interesting figure I have never encountered before. He’s clearly active in Palestinian and left-wing causes. Note also the endorsement of Trocaire, an Irish Catholic charity heavily biased against Israel.

The lies of EAPPI and the Quakers have little to do with Christianity, but everything to do with left-wing politics. Which highlights a great absurdity of out times. How on earth can even left-wing Christians like Stephen Sizer stand alongside Communists, responsible for the murder and torture of millions of his co-religionists, and Islamists like Raed Salah, responsible for the murders of countless Christian missionaries and the destruction of ancient Christian communities all over the Middle East? How can they do all this in the interests of undermining Israel, the only country in the Middle East where Christianity is actually going and Christians enjoy basic freedoms?

Oy vey is mir.

================================================================================

See also: NGO Monitor on EAPPI.