Really shoddy Guardian article on the new U.N. report about ‘Operation Protective Edge’.

The article was written by Peter Beaumont, their Jerusalem correspondent.

The most glaring misrepresentation in it – whether it’s deliberate or not – is when Beaumont writes that:

More than 2,200 Palestinians, including hundreds of civilians, were killed during the fighting, according to UN and Palestinian officials.

But what the report actually says is this:

The death toll alone speaks volumes: 2251 Palestinians were killed, including 1462 Palestinian civilians with 299 women and 551 children. – p.153

1462 dead civilians simply can’t reasonably be described as ‘hundreds’.

And by writing ‘hundreds’, Beaumont has significantly played down the death toll among Palestinian civilians.

The article also features this graphic:

Again, the graphic fails to make clear that the vast majority of Palestinian casualties were civilians, or indeed, that the vast majority of Israeli casualties were military.

I’m left wondering whether they’d have been quite so sloppy had the boot been on the other foot (i.e. the vast majority of the deaths comprising of Israeli civilians).

On the report in general: at first glance, it seems much more conservative in its conclusions than The Goldstone Report was.

The Goldstone Report accused Israel of committing Crimes against Humanity, for example, while this one doesn’t (as far as I can tell).

This despite the fact that the crimes documented in both this report and The Goldstone Report appear very similar – deliberate attacks on civilians, massive and indiscriminate fire within civilian areas, attacks on medical facilities, etc.

With, if anything, the crimes committed during ‘Operation Protective Edge’ actually being of a bigger scale than the crimes committed during ‘Operation Cast Lead’.

And while the apologists for Israeli atrocities will argue fervently that the report was inherently politicised and biased against Israel, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the opposite was true.

We’ve seen in recent months how both the U.S. and Israel can and do bring pressure to bear on the U.N. to get them to play down or whitewash Israeli crimes, and i’ll eat hay with a donkey if they haven’t been doing precisely that here.

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