This month, another dose of Hamas honesty has shown the rife dishonesty within NGOs when reporting about Israel. Many NGOs reported the civilian death count at 75%+ of the 1,100+ Palestinian deaths. Naturally, by the time Israel released her numbers (Sadly, 39% of the dead were civilians, with the remaining 709 Palestinians being militants), the world had already slammed Israel for this 'Jenin' like massacre.
In a November 2010 interview given by Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hamad to the Al-Hayat newspaper, Hamas acknowledged that 600-700 Hamas members were killed in the Gaza fighting – more than double the number of combatants published by the NGOs’ and Richard Goldstone’s unreliable version of events.
In the already linked article, Anne Herzberg made some important points:
In particular, NGOs and Goldstone used their unsupported casualty claims as the sole basis for charges of “disproportionate” or “indiscriminate” Israeli attacks against Gaza civilians, even though under international law, the number of casualties is not a dispositive factor in determining whether war crimes were committed.
Each NGO conveyed its version of events. B’Tselem alleged that 75% of those killed were civilians. PCHR originally claimed 70% and later increased to 85%, and DCI-PS alleged that Israel killed 352 “children” (PCHR claimed 313).
The damage has already been done. It is essential however that we learn and internalize (yet again) the lesson that our country will always be attacked - from within and without - with falsehoods. We do make our mistakes, and when we do, we need to acknowledge and learn from them. However, before we do so, let's make sure the truth hasn't been swept under the rug in order to allow more disgraceful and hateful attacks on Israel.