MIFF (I hope you have made a generous donation in support of their hard work) has been very busy over the weekend, responding to erroneous and biased reporting in the wake of the terror wave we are suffering here in Israel now. This has earned them front pages and big headlines.
Here is an example of their enhanced public profile, lifted from miff.no – google translate
Græsvik’s blood libel
08/10/2015 11:10 p.m.
VG’s review of Fredrik Græsvik new book is titled TV2 Græsvik accuses Israel of infanticide. Græsvik claims “Israeli officers gave the order to kill children, women and elderly.”
– The IDF never orders soldiers to go after civilians, regardless of gender or age. On the contrary. IDF adds great emphasis on avoiding hits on civilians. IDF can only guess the author’s motives when they read such unfounded claims, says IDF spokesman Bjorn Hermann to VG.
We have not read Græsvik book yet, but there is very little reason to believe that Græsvik has compared Israel’s war with other countries warfare.
Israeli child murder and Norway’s child murder
Let us begin with the Kosovo war in 1999, where Bondevik government was full partner in the bombing operations.
Ben-Dror Yemini writes in MIFF’s new book The Industry of Lies:
“The number killed [in the Kosovo war] is disputed. NATO and others believe that it concerned approximately 1000. Belgrade believes that the figure is in 6000. The latest survey estimates 12,000, but does not specify the number of children. Another source, cited in David Roberts’ book, talking about 1400 dead, including 600 children. According to the highest estimate was smaller than 300 Palestinian children killed by Cast Lead [Gaza war 2008/2009, of around 1,300 to 1,400 killed. In other words: Compared with NATO, and not with Hamas, Israel struck far fewer children, both in relative and absolute terms, and NATO did not have an enemy that actively hid among civilians and used them as human shields. Children and adolescents did also not participate in frontline skirmishes to attack NATO troops or the enemy’s civilian population. ”
Has Græsvik accused Norway and our NATO allies for infanticide? No. He uses a different standard for Israel. When Israel wages war, Græsvik tallies up the number of children killed every day. When a much larger number of children are killed in a large number of conflicts worldwide, Græsvik’s Twitter account is quiet. (An account he has blocked MIFF from seeing.) Has Græsvik lifted a finger to find out how many children Norway and Denmark killed in Libya in 2011?
Israel’s child murders and Britain’s child murder
Let us take the Iraq invasion in 2003. According to the British medical journal Lancet were 100,000 people killed in connection with the British and Americans’ invasion of Iraq in 2003. 46 percent of these were children under 15 years. Children in this age group were overrepresented among those killed. Children under 15 years accounted for 42 percent of the population.
Compare with the Gaza war in 2014. According to Hamas figures, 16 percent of those killed children under 15 years (336 of 2100). Children in this age group makes up 43 percent of the population in the Gaza Strip. In other words: Children were significantly underrepresented among those killed in the Gaza war – and, according to Hamas figures.
“We could have continued these comparisons and examined how many children were killed when the US invaded Panama, or when they fought in Somalia in 1993-1995, when the combatants actually used civilians as human shields. In both cases, the percentage of innocent civilians killed, both by UN soldiers and American soldiers, are far higher than when the IDF fought against Hamas. It is safe to assume that the same applies to the number of children killed, whichever yardstick used.
Anti Israeli activists often argue that there is disproportionate relationship between Israeli casualties (a handful) and the over 1000 Palestinians killed by Cast Lead. There is nothing wrong with the numbers, but they are not relevant. Nobody threatened NATO, and NATO suffered no casualties. No rockets were fired against London, Paris or Berlin. No one in Western Europe had to rush to shelters several times daily. No sirens sent people fleeing several times a day. But in spite of this NATO dropped their bombs. They did not intend to frame innocent civilians, but did it anyway. It happens in all wars, and the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is no exception. But there is one difference: Israel hits far less women and children than any other military organization, as expressed by any measurable parameter that exist.
These are facts. The media has created an opposite impression. ”
Palestinian child murder
It is deeply tragic that children are being killed in war and terror. No words can express how terrible it is.
Israeli soldiers are trained to distinguish between combatants and civilians, in the manner national armies are obliged by the law of war.
But not all societies have mechanisms in place to prevent the killing of children. Some societies reward such warfare.
Malki Roth (15) was a ray of sunshine that spread joy playing his flute. On 9 August 2001, she was killed along with her friend while they enjoyed themselves at the pizza restaurant. The man who made the bomb gets at least NOK nine thousand per month in wages from the Palestinian Authority (PA). By comparison, a Palestinian teacher or policeman is paid NOK 3000-4000 per month. The woman who led the attack is television star in the Arab world and very proud of their murder of Jewish children.
In 2011 the then Prime Minister Salam Fayyad tripled wage payments to Palestinians who sat in Israeli captivity convicted of security breaches (several of them baby killers). Already in 2012 could MIFF report that the payroll system was scaled. Prisoners who have the strictest punishment – because they committed the most deadly terrorist attacks – get the highest salaries. Prisoners with the longest to be served are getting closer to NOK 20,000 per month. At least six percent of the PA’s budget goes to security prisoners and families of suicide bombers.
In 2013 some aid giving countries increased pressure on the Palestinian authorities to get information about the reward system by terrorists. Palestinian authorities claimed that when Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons and their families receive “social benefits”. The then NorwegianForeign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre was among those who uncritically relayed this to Parliament. But to their own the Palestinian Authority spoke at the time of “wages” and stressed that “the prisoners issue was central.”
Finally, Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide in March 2013, did admit that the Palestinian Authority give “greater and more extensive” support for Palestinian prisoners than the government previously disclosed to Parliament. – It is unfortunate that information (…) in retrospect is imprecise, wrote Barth Eide. In an interview with the NRK he sharpened his criticism: – The Palestinian Authority misinformed Norway. It turned out that the scheme was just as the PMW had claimed from the beginning. In Norway the MIFF played a pivotal in exposing this matter, and politicians from the Christian Democratic Party and the Progress Party raised the matter in Parliament.
After the Palestinians ‘first hoax was revealed, they began to argue that the incentive system was funded by the Palestinians’ own funds, not by international aid. It is time that donor countries like Norway speaks up against the whole system, wrote MIFF in April 2013.
“The Norwegian government must be clear: A reward system for convicted terrorists, scaled by length of punishment, and thus also by terrorist action severity, is totally unacceptable. Something is fundamentally wrong in PAs priorities when terrorists who planned attacks in which dozens of civilians were killed getting monthly salary that is several times greater than Palestinian policemen. Without terror could a Palestinian state been in place long ago. As long as terror rewarded will not Norway inject a single new penny in the state-building project. ”
It is not only imprisoned terrorists who receive salaries. Also freed terrorists get monthly salary at the level of senior positions in the Palestinian Authority. They also get six digit one-off payments.
All this was known by Espen Barth Eide, after he gave in May 2013 Parliament “the Palestinian perspective” on terrorists’ reward. Palestinians claim the scheme “prevents radicalization”. The question is whether anyone would buy this argument if there were groups or States which gave tens of thousands per month in reward to terrorists imprisoned in Norway!
Græsvik should be familiar with all this. We can bet that none of this has been given a place in his book, or is it just VG that has been very selective in its approach?
Græsvik is of course protesting his innocence, saying that he in no way is twisting the facts. Just in case you had forgotten just how disingenuous Græsvik is, let’s remind ourselves about how he attributed words that Gerstenfeld never had uttered, to give the false impression that Gerstenfeld in an interview with Græsvik had claimed that Norwegians are barbarians and unintelligent.