Guardian grudgingly amends op-ed which peddles Oct. 7 Inversion

Earlier in the month, we posted about an April 16th Guardian op-ed by Alan J. Kupperman titled “Civilian deaths in Gaza rival those of Darfurwhich the US called a ‘genocide'”.

We demonstrated that the premise, per the headline, was demonstrably untrue, that the op-ed was riddled with lies and distortions, and represented a form of Oct. 7 Massacre Inversion. Such inversions – the kind of which we’ve seen on display at the Guardian in various ways since the first days of the war – downplays the worst antisemitic atrocity since the Holocaust, and accuses the victims of being guilty of the very crimes committed by the perpetrators.

We complained to editors on multiple points, such as Kupperman’s false Gaza civilian casualty claim, when he wrote that “In January, a US official confirmed that more than 25,000 civilians have been killed” since the start of the war.  However, that was based on a misstatement by the US Secretary of Defense, which was walked back almost immediately by a Defense Department spokesperson, who clarified that the 25,000 number was the total number of those killed in Gaza, both combatants and non-combatants.
Editors responded by amending the sentence include the extremely relevant caveat that not even Hamas has claimed that all those killed are civilians.
In January, a US official stated that “more than 25,000 civilians have been killed” (although in fact official figures from Gaza’s health ministry do not distinguish between civilian and non-civilian deaths).

We further objected in our complaint that the numbers employed to support the author’s premise simply don’t add up.

For instance, the author writes that “From late 2003 to early 2004 [Sudanese] government forces and associated militias killed up to 10,000 civilians per month“.  He then later wrote that, after six months of war, “Gaza officials now say the toll exceeds 33,000 people”.

However, even Hamas claimed in February that 6,000 of the total number killed are Hamas fighters  (IDF claims that more than twice that number are combatants.) So, that would bring the number of civilians killed, according to Hamas’s own numbers, to 27,000 – or roughly 4,500 per month, again, based on six months of fighting. If, as the author says, 10,000 civilians in Darfur were being killed monthly, the claim that “civilian deaths in Gaza rival those of Darfur” is clearly untrue.

Though editors declined to revise the headline and make the major revisions we sought, they did partially amend the relevant sentence to grudgingly acknowledge that the total number of combatants and civilians killed during six months of fighting following Hamas’s massacre was not, in fact, equal to the 10,000 number he cited in Darfur.
The sentence claiming that “Israel’s killing rate of civilians in Gaza is roughly equivalent to that in Darfur” was modified to say that “Israel’s peak monthly killing rate of civilians” is roughly equivalent to that in Darfur.  Nonetheless, this still isn’t accurate, as the monthly number of those killed in Gaza during the deadliest month, from Oct. 7 to Nov. 7, which is roughly 10,000. includes both combatants and civilians.
Here’s the editor’s note following the revisions.
We followed up with editors, asking that a further revision be made to note that even Israel’s “peak monthly killing rate” of civilians does not equal the average number of civilians killed monthly in Darfur.
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Guardian again engages in Oct. 7th Massacre inversion (Update)

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