But the Goldstone Report took the figures and rounded them down by a mere 50,000 (making the real number of prisoners since 1967 a statistical error):
¶1444. It is estimated that during the past 43 years of occupation, approximately 700,000 Palestinian men, women and children have been detained under Israeli military orders. Israel argues that these detentions are necessary on grounds of security
And now, Martin Kramer noticed that in the Goldstone report, the number of factories knocked out by Israel resulted in 40,000 jobs lost, when the original report only stated 4,000.
One can see the “factoid” given birth before our very eyes. In his testimony, Amr Hamad, speaking for the Palestinian Federation of Industries declared:
The industrial sector that was destroyed, for example, the 324 factories that were destroyed, that we[re] destroyed used to employ four-hundred thous-, uh, 40,000 workers. And these have lost their uh, jobs, uh, forever.
Apparently 4,000 seemed too small a number, and perhaps the Mission members had already shown themselves so gullible (this was the same session where Colonel Travers asked psychiatrist el Sarraj why the Israelis kill kids in front of their parents), that they’d swallow anything. So Amr Hassan corrected in mid-flight and switched to 40,000, when he knew full well the report upon which his testimony was based read 4000. And he read the panel right: they didn’t check the report and bought his invented number.
All of the fifty acknowledged attacks targeting Iraqi leadership failed. While they did not kill a single targeted individual, the strikes killed and injured dozens of civilians. Iraqis who spoke to Human Rights Watch about the attacks it investigated repeatedly stated that they believed the intended targets were not even present at the time of the strikes.
“Garlasco says, before the invasion of Iraq, he recommended 50 air strikes aimed at high-value targets — Iraqi officials. But he says none of the targets on the list were actually killed. Instead, he says, “a couple of hundred civilians at least” were killed.”
Still probably off by a factor of 5-10. Garlasco apparently illustrates the classic pattern of defensive admission and aggressive accusation: he admits to the minimum and accuses to the max.
Indeed, the whole history of other Western armies’ targeted killings is under-reported, even though it is roughly close to 10-50 civilians for every target acquired, in comparison with 2:1 for the IDF in the last decade. (Garlasco, in illustrating how much the US cares about not harming civilians, mentions proudly that if there will be more than 30 civilian casualties, you need to get permission from the president or the secretary of Defense: NPR interview at 14:30) And in the meantime, the NGOs and news media like the Guardian, demonize Israel for its criminal record in targeted killing.
Of course, it’s important to remember that both the US and Israel, no matter what their flaws, are on one side of a continuum that has, at the far end, the “weak” and vicious asymmetric armies of Jihadis who deliberately target not only their enemies’ civilians, but also their own.