Economist

UK Media Watch prompts Economist correction on Palestinian casualty stats


An Economist article (What is the Palestinian Authority for?) included the following claim:

THE men who patrol the isolated village of Douma after nightfall cannot do much except raise the alarm; they must hope it will be enough to prevent another tragedy. Two Palestinian homes in the village, outside Nablus, were firebombed early on the morning of July 31st, killing an 18-month-old toddler named Ali Dawabsheh, and leaving his parents and young brother severely burned…Such violence is common in the occupied West Bank: the UN recorded 109 attacks on Palestinians by Israeli settlers in the first half of this year; in 2014, there were 331.

However, the figures cited by The Economist, derived from the latest Humanitarian Bulletin of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), inadvertently combined both vandalism against property and violence against persons together. This left the false impression that the figures (331 and 109) represent the total number of violent settler “attacks on Palestinians”.  

Here’s OCHA’s graph, where you can see that most ‘incidents’ involved property damage, not violence against persons. 

graph
We complained to Economist editors, and they agreed to revise the passage accordingly. It now reads:

Such violence is common in the occupied West Bank: the UN recorded 109 attacks on Palestinian people, land and property* by Israeli settlers in the first half of this year; in 2014, there were 331.

Additionally, the following addendum now appears.
addendum

We commend Economist editors for the speedy correction.

4 replies »

  1. How many of each were caused by the other side? All of the attacks against Jews were caused by Arabs and well as about 90% of the claims for ‘attacks’ against Arabs.

    The Arabs commit the crimes and point the finger at Jews. This has been proven time and time again.

    • @gee59 –

      You say: “All of the attacks against Jews were caused by Arabs [as] well as about 90% of the claims for ‘attacks’ against Arabs. The Arabs commit the crimes and point the finger at Jews. This has been proven time and time again.”

      By my count, the number of alleged price-tag attacks between 2010 and 2015 subsequently found to have been falsely or mistakenly blamed by Arabs on Jews is SEVEN – and that’s out of a total of well over 1,500 documented incidents where blame laid on Jewish assailants doesn’t seem to be disputed.

      Even if you quadruple the tally of falsehoods/mistakes to compensate for cases I may have failed to spot in my internet trawl, this comes to less than 2%.

      Maybe you can “put me straight” by pointing to the PROOF you say exists for your assertion…?