As we noted earlier in the week, the Independent doesn’t have a correspondent in the region, but has a stable of Israel ‘critics’ ready on a moment’s notice to launch polemical assaults on the Jewish State. Last week, they published one op-ed (by Mira Bar-Hillel) which evoked Nazi Germany in vilifying Israeli military actions in Gaza, and another one (by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown) which all but accused Israel of engaging in a plan to exterminate the Palestinians.
This week, Mira Bar-Hillel (a British Jew who has admitted to being antisemitic) returns in a July 17th op-ed erroneously suggesting that the Israeli media has demanded the IDF bomb Gaza “back to the Stone Age” (see here), and accusing the country of believing that “Palestinians aren’t quite human”. (She also falsely claimed that no Israelis were killed during previous Gaza war in 2012.)
Another July 17th op-ed by Yana Hawari actually endorsed Hamas’s refusal to agree to a ceasefire last week, and finished her diatribe with the following accusation:
It [the war] also allows them to break up the unity between Hamas and Fatah. But most importantly it allows them to continue the strangulation and the genocide of the Palestinian people of Gaza in front of an international audience.
Of all the hateful, perverse smears against Israel leveled by the hard-left against Israel, the genocide charge is by far the most ludicrous, and the most pernicious.
As we’ve argued previously, debating the “question” of whether Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians seems at first glance to be as productive as ‘arguing’ whether or not Jews are trying to take over the world. However, unlike the latter charge, which, no matter how bigoted and irrational, is not really quantifiable, the former malicious smear – reflecting the “Israel as the new Nazis“ narrative – can be easily refuted by a few population statistics.
- The Palestinian population in the West Bank increased from 462,000 in 1949 to more than 2.5 million today.
- In Gaza, the population increased from 82,000 in 1949 to 1.7 million today.
Additionally, to add further context:
- The number of Arabs killed (since 1920) in Arab-Israeli wars is far less than the number of Arabs killed by Arabs in Syria alone since 2011.
As a point of reference, the Jewish population of Gaza and Palestinian controlled West Bank is practically zero (save a few pro-Palestinian “journalists” who reside there), while the Jewish population in the entire Arab Middle East has decreased from over 850,000 in 1949 to less than 5,000 today. (Yet, relatedly, despite the almost complete disappearance of Jewish inhabitants in territories they control, some Palestinian and Arab leaders often incite their citizens to engage in the mass murder of Jews in Israel, and even in the diaspora.)
The broad charge that Jews are ethnically cleansing Arabs (Palestinians or otherwise) in the Middle East, based on the numbers, represents the opposite of the truth. The only group which has actually been ethnically cleansed in the Middle East since the end of World War 2 has been Jews. (Though, it should be noted that Christians are also in danger of extinction.)
The Independent – which risibly claims to be guided by “enlightened” values and once even strongly denied that it demonizes Israel – should be ashamed of itself for peddling such lies.