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US Academic Skews Stats to Compare Gaza to Actual Case of Genocide

FILE PHOTO: Sudanese refugees who fled the violence in Sudan’s Darfur region and newly arrived ride their donkeys looking for space to temporarily settle, near the border between Sudan and Chad in Goungour, Chad May 8, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra/File Photo

False statistics have been used to devastating effect since the outbreak of the October 7 Hamas-initiated war against Israel.

From Hamas’ curated death tolls reported in the Gaza Strip, to disputes over the number of aid trucks entering the Strip, the spread of misleading or outright false data has done considerable harm to Israel’s reputation.

The latest example of such statistics being weaponized to smear Israel comes in the form of an op-ed by Alan J. Kuperman, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, whose research reportedly focuses on the causes and preventions of genocide.

Unfortunately, Kuperman’s expertise in the crime of genocide hasn’t stopped him from fudging his calculations to supposedly make the case for the greatest and most persistent anti-Israel libel in existence: that it is committing genocide against the Palestinians.

In “Civilian deaths in Gaza rival those of Darfur – which the US called a ‘genocide,” the academic states the “death rate in Gaza has equaled or exceeded that in three other recent cases that US presidents did call ‘genocide.’”

Incorrect figures, faulty calculations, relying on Hamas statistics, & the hideous comparison of Israel to Darfur – there are almost too many problems to list with Alan Kuperman’s @guardian piece.

Lucky it was filed in the op-ed section because the article is a work of fiction.…

— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) April 17, 2024

Comparing the war in Gaza to the outbreak of the still-ongoing Darfur war in 2003, Kuperman writes that from “late 2003 to early 2004” up to 10,000 civilians were killed per month, in addition to the displacement of 2 million civilians.

He goes on to compare this to Gaza, claiming that Israel retaliated to the October 7 Hamas massacre “by attacking Gaza so indiscriminately that nearly 20,000 Palestinians, mainly civilians, were killed during the first two months alone.”

“In January, a US official confirmed that ‘more than 25,000 civilians have been killed.’ Gaza officials now say the toll exceeds 33,000 people. Netanyahu himself has conceded 28,000 deaths,” he adds.

Kuperman argues these figures demonstrate that Israel’s “killing rate of civilians in Gaza is roughly equivalent to that in Darfur and higher than in the other two recent cases, all of which our government labeled ‘genocide.’”

A Lesson in Skewing Statistics

First, the headline of Kuperman’s piece claims “civilian deaths in Gaza rival those in Darfur,” which misleadingly implies there has been an equivalent death toll. But in the piece, Kuperman fails to state the overall number of civilian deaths in Darfur, instead referring to the average number of people who died during an undefined period from the start of the Darfur conflict.

He states that the Gaza death toll reached 33,000 in the six months since the war began (an average of 5,500 per month). However, he then claims that the “killing rate of civilians” matches that of Darfur, where 10,000 were killed from “late 2003 to early 2004.” Misleadingly, he is actually comparing the first two months of the October 7 war, during which 20,000 people in Gaza were killed. Of these, 7,000 were confirmed as Hamas terrorists, resulting in a civilian death count of 13,000.

Additionally, Kuperman does not provide the metrics necessary for a thorough comparison. We do not know the exact time-frame of the deaths in Darfur, nor the population sizes of Gaza and Darfur at the time.

In 2003, Darfur’s population was 6 million, three times larger than Gaza’s 2 million. Furthermore, no information is given about the geographical landscapes of the conflicts. Israel is fighting terrorists in Gaza, a densely-populated enclave of 141 square miles, while Darfur consists of rolling plains stretching over 170,000 square miles.

Interestingly, if one applied Kuperman’s “killing rate of civilians” calculation to support a claim of genocide, it would reveal that the October 7 massacre, which resulted in 1,200 victims slaughtered over 12 hours — or a rate of 100 people per hour — has the highest death rate of all.

Kuperman closes the piece with an appeal for people to consider the “facts” before defending Israel’s military campaign in Gaza.

What a shame he didn’t take his own sage advice to heart before rushing out such a misleading article.

The author is a contributor to HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias — where a version of this article first appeared.

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OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse

Samantha Kline, 22, presented photos of antisemitic graffiti she says targeted her.

The post OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in a propaganda video released by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Tuesday released a short propaganda video featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare.

Trufanov’s mother said in a video released by the family that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but “it was heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Trufanov was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend.

All three were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

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Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023

Gal Gadot as Rachel Stone in a scene from the trailer for “Heart of Stone.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

Netflix released its engagement report that details the films with the most views from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2023, and Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s action thriller Heart of Stone secured the number two spot with 109.6 million views.

The film — starring Gadot alongside Jamie Dornan and Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt in leading roles — was the runner-up to Leave the World Behind, the drama starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke that garnered 121 million views on Netflix.

Heart of Stone, directed by Tom Harper, was released on the streaming giant on Aug. 11 of last year. The action film is about international intelligence operative Rachel Stone, played by Gadot, who goes on a mission to protect an artificial intelligence system, known as The Heart, from falling in the wrong hands. The film was produced by Pilot Wave, a company founded by Gadot and her husband Jaron Varsano.

Gadot also stars in Netflix’s most popular film of all time, Red Notice, alongside Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.

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