How the AP Botched Its Investigation of Civilian Deaths in the Israel-Hamas War
On February 13, 2015, the Associated Press published and distributed an article that stirred the conscience of the world. It gave its many readers—“AP news content is seen by half the world’s population,” according to the wire agency’s website—a disturbing picture of Israel as a serial violator of the norms of warfare, wantonly and indiscriminately slaughtering civilians during last summer’s war with Hamas in Gaza.
The AP’s exclusive investigation was botched in just about every imaginable way.
According to the Jerusalem-based watchdog organization NGO Monitor, Al Mezan’s statistics on civilian casualties are “highly unreliable.”
B’Tselem—The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories shares Al Mezan’s long history of anti-Israel bias. B’Tselem “has faced serious criticism for its misrepresentations of international law, inaccurate research, and skewed statistics,” reports NGO Monitor.
Using Mr. Van Esveld to discuss the Israeli war against Hamas, notes Gerald Steinberg, head of the NGO Monitor, is akin to “asking a tobacco company for their view on whether smoking is hazardous to one’s health.”
NGO Monitor contends that its analyses “demonstrate that HRW disproportionately focuses on condemnations of Israel and that publications related to Israel often lack credibility.” In fact, HRW’s own founder, Robert S. Bernstein, severed his ties with the group because of what he felt was virulent anti-Israel bias.