.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Egypt vs. Israel casualty coverage (update)

A few things are notable about the current fighting in Egypt between the government and the supporters of Morsi in comparison to how the media covers Israel.

Firstly, as of this writing, the death toll in less than 24 hours is 281, mostly civilians (no matter what you think of the Muslim Brotherhood, while some of them are armed, most of the protesters were peaceful.)

Last November, Israel and Gaza terror groups fought Pillar of Defense. Israel dropped hundreds of bombs on Gaza and the news coverage was non-stop, as was the vitriol against Israel for supposed wanton killings and disregard for civilian lives.

The one day with the most Arab casualties in Pillar of Defense was November 18. Guess how many were killed by Israel's fearsome war machine on that day?

35.

Either the Egyptian security forces' bullets are far more deadly than Israel's bombs and missiles - or Israel was extraordinarily careful in who they targeted and how.

In fact,  in one day, Egypt has killed more Arabs than Israel did since January 2012 - including Pillar of Defense!

Also, the number  of civilians killed in the current fighting is much, much  higher than the number killed by Israel since the end of 2011.

There is another double standard to the reporting that is important to note as well.

The Muslim Brotherhood claimed at various times during the day a death toll of over 2000. While these huge numbers were quoted, practically no reporter took those claims seriously, knowing that the group would tend to exaggerate to a great degree and because the numbers just didn't seem realistic. The media acted responsibly and reported only the statistics that could be confirmed by more reputable sources.

Yet, the same media swallows the death statistics from Muslim Brotherhood offshoot Hamas and reports them in detail, as fact, without the slightest amount of skepticism.

The only way to explain this is to recognize that the media, by and large, has a false impression of Israel as a brutal regime and is willing to believe the worst about it - no matter how many times the lies are exposed (unfortunately, often days or months later.)

Yet even after seeing the Egyptian security forces machine-gun civilians at point blank range, the media is not willing to believe inflated claims about casualties without further checking.

This encapsulates the problem with media coverage of Israel nicely. Pre-existing biases are assumed true, and fact checking is lacking when the reports fit what the reporter believes.

Watch the coverage from Egypt. The double standards are clear.

UPDATE: The death count for Wednesday now seems to be 535, which is more than the number of Arabs killed by the IDF since the beginning of 2010.