‘Comment is Free’ contributor John Pilger spins lies about Gaza War casualties

CiF Watch’s profile on ‘Comment is Free’ contributor John Pilger sums up the Australian journalist and documentary maker, thus:

John Pilger is a darling of the extreme Left, and, perhaps, one of the most vociferous demonizers of the Jewish state in the mainstream media. In his writings on “Palestine”, he regularly equates Israel to Nazi Germany, propagates the “Israel lobby” and Jewish conspiracy lie, accuses Israel of practicing racism and ethnic cleansing  and regards Israel as the most dangerous country in the world (after the United States).

In fact according to Pilger “the Zionist state remains the cause of more regional grievance and sheer terror than all the Muslim states combined.” 

So, given Pilger’s deep-seated hatred for the Jewish state, the following lie in his most recent CiF piece is not surprising.

Pilger’s piece, ‘Julia Gillard is no feminist hero‘, Oct. 15, represents a broad critique of Australia’s Prime Minister, but also includes this passage:

“A passionate supporter of the Israeli state, Gillard in 2009 went on a junket to Israel arranged by the Australian Israel Cultural Exchange during which she refused to condemn Israel’s blood-fresh massacre of 1,400 mostly women and children in Gaza.”

In fact, even the link Pilger uses in his piece – a report by Harriet Sherwood in 2009 – doesn’t support the stats he cites. 

While Sherwood’s report lists statistics (from the NGO Gaza Community Health Programme) on the number of children (under 18) killed in Cast Lead, nowhere does she cite the number of women killed.

In fact, even figures by the highly politicized pro-Palestinian NGO B’Tselem contradict Pilger’s numbers.

B’tselem reports that 452 of the 1387 Palestinian casualties were children or women.  So, even assuming B’tselem is correct – and Israeli figures, by the way, significantly contradict B’tselem’s findings – Pilger’s claim that those killed in the Gaza War were “mostly women and children” is simply a lie.

Given Pilger’s animosity towards Jews and Israel, we’re not surprised that he would engage in such disinformation.  

However, aren’t we to assume that ‘Comment is Free’ editors at least engage in basic fact checking before essays are published?

The Guardian Readers Editor, Chris Elliott, can be contacted at this email:

23 replies »

  1. I interviewed John Pilger many many moons ago.

    I remember he told me: “You should ALWAYS be scared.”

    What a sad way to live, I thought.

  2. Pilger is probably more than just a darling . He has an honourary position at the Guardian and has immense influence and power, that few there would want to contradict him. What’s a few details to have to be corrected? Bash Israel and keep going. What arrogance and what a liar! – great combination!

  3. I saw the G. homepage link to the Pilger piece earlier and immediately thought: no ta.

    But he actually managed to crowbar an anti-Israel reference into an article about Gillard and women’s rights? Sadly not surprising.

    • I’m amazed Adam found this. After all, it was an article about Australian politics – but of course, even that is is all about Israel in the Pilger-Milne-Rustbucket nexus.

      Pilger is pathetic.

  4. I once destroyed – in my pre-banning days – one of Pilger’s moronic columns on the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He, of course, would have been quite fine had a couple of hundred more Americans died in a land-based attack on Japan, and was completely ignorant of the Allied plans to starve the Japanese into submission by interdicting food supplies between the islands and by transport to the cities, with estimated deaths by starvation and violence in the millions.

    But he has never been one to let facts or history get in the way of a good anti-US or anti Israeli spin.

    • That should have been “a couple hundred THOUSAND more Americans” – anticipated losses for the conquest of Japan by a land invasion.

          • Why do some idiots persist in framing I/P as a left/right issue? It clearly isn’t. There are plenty of examples of antisemites on all parts of the political spectrum, but they tend to gather most at the extremes of both left and right. As I have posted elsewhere, there is very little difference between extreme left and extreme right, in any case.

            • Because, to a large extent the left are anti-Israel for Ideological reasons. If you look this is reflected in the media, with the left and centre left being institutionaly anti-Israel. I.e. Guardian, Independent, BBC. So in the context of the British media, it is true to say the left are anti-Israel. (This is not saying the right love them, just that the left hate them.)

  5. Sickening

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    >________________________________ > From: CiF Watch >To: >Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 4:35 AM >Subject: [New post] ‘Comment is Free’ contributor John Pilger spins lies about Gaza War casualties > > > >Adam Levick posted: “CiF Watch’s profile on ‘Comment is Free’ contributor John Pilger sums up the Australian journalist and documentary maker, thus: John Pilger is a darling of the extreme Left, and, perhaps, one of the most vociferous demonizers of the Jewish state in ” >

  6. What is there to say about John Pilger other than he claims a right to attack people for being supporters of the Israeli state as Nazis but then claims that all of his personal attacks on the State of Israel is merely criticism? Here’s some criticism for Mr Pilger: His behavior reminds me of thigh high boot stomping Nazis.

    The Guardian and her bloggers clearly have no shame. They must really enjoy wallowing in their own shit.

  7. Pilger is a serial liar who – unfortunately – has rarely been taken to task.

    An exception was twenty two years ago, when he falsely accused two soldiers in 22SAS of training the Khmer Rouge. The troopers took legal action, and Pilger was obliged to settle out of court, admitting (via his lawyers) that he had distorted the evidence to make his case. This has not, unfortunately, stopped him from subsequently repeating his lies.

  8. I almost forgot about his ‘we cannot be too choosy’ comment when it came to his support for the Iraqi ‘resistance’.

    A vile, vile man.

  9. The unnecessary death of one child is enough and all these are a consequence of Israel’s harsh and unnecessary actions against the Palestinians. Every day Palestinian civillians sffer and Israel sees this justifiable as a means of her own “protection” but it is rather t subjugate and trodd on the spirit of the Palestinian peple. How does destroying water sources, schools and houses improve the security of Israel? Does it not breed more hatred?