Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Propagandists at Reuters launch appeal to pity laden with errors of omission and of commission

An appeal to pity is a logical fallacy and propaganda technique designed to persuade by exploiting the natural tendency to sympathize with human beings who are ill, impoverished or downtrodden.  Rather than provide facts or evidence which would enable a reader to form a dispassionate and informed view on the authenticity, extent, and cause of the adversity, highly emotive stories and photos are deliberately deployed to manipulate the reader into docilely embracing the propagandist's advocacy agenda.  When it comes to the Palestinian Arabs, Reuters has elevated the appeal to pity to a rare art form.

In a story on a report by the Association for International Development Agencies (AIDA), a forum of international NGOs operating in the disputed territories of Gaza and the West Bank (also, Judea and Samaria), Reuters correspondents Nidal al-Mughrabi and Douglas Hamilton quote Max Gaylard, United Nations "resident Humanitarian Coordinator for the Palestinian territories", complaining that Israel is not providing Gazan Arabs with advanced medical care on a timely basis:
"It is causing on-going deterioration in the social, economic and environmental determinants of health," he said. "It is hampering the provision of medical supplies and the training of health staff and it is preventing patients with serious medical conditions getting timely specialized treatment."
Presumably, the "it" being referred to by Gaylard is the state of war between the Gaza-ruled terrorist group Hamas and Israel.  And yes, one might expect that given the firing of over 8,000 Hamas rockets and mortars into Israeli civilian communities and a religious mission to exterminate every last Jew, Israel might be somewhat guarded about allowing supplies into Gaza which could be converted into war materiel or throwing open its borders to Gazans seeking free medical care in Israel.

More flagrant however, is Reuters' uncritical parroting of this bald-faced lie:
"The humanitarian community is gravely concerned about the future of this generation whose health needs are not being met. The decline in infant mortality, which has occurred steadily over recent decades, has stalled in the last few years."
In fact, infant mortality in Gaza has declined 25 percent in recent years, from over 24 per thousand live births in 2003 to just over 18 per thousand in 2009:

Not only that, but life expectancy has been steadily increasing:

And the death rate has been falling:

Hmmm.  Quite odd for a territory AIDA suggests is suffering from "on-going deterioration in the social, economic and environmental determinants of health".

If Hamas used its ambulances to transport the sick rather than terrorists, the numbers might be even better.


  1. A report issued by UNICEF last Novemeber shows that Palestinian children are among the healthiest in the Middle East. Only Qatar has a lower rate of stunted growth due to malnutrition

  2. A very revealing study that needs greater exposure. Thanks.