Here is an Israeli source for how many people died in the period between the onset of the Second Intifada (September 9, 2000) and the instigation of Operation Cast Lead (December 26, 2008). Just looking at the numbers for the Israelis, it appears that 39 civilians were killed in the Gaza Strip, 200 in the West Bank, and 492 in Israel. If we include Israel’s security forces, the numbers are 97 in the Gaza Strip, 146 in the West Bank, and 89 in Israel. So, all told, 731 Israeli civilians and 332 Israeli security forces were killed in the eight-year period that followed the beginning of the Second Intifada. If we combine the two, we get 1,063 Israelis who lost their lives at the hands of the Palestinians. You can consider that a staggeringly high number or a relative low one when compared to how many Palestinians died (4,817). My point is not to debate the level of violence or even the relative culpability of each side. My point is that Mario Loyola has no basis for writing this (emphasis mine):

If you want to appreciate how ironic (and frankly ridiculous) this passage is, consider that Bibi fully embraced the Oslo peace process; that the years of his first government (1996–99) were dominated by unseemly schoolyard spats over what a particular bulldozer might be doing in a mixed neighborhood on the outskirts of Jerusalem (talk about intruding on internal politics); and that the peace process failed not under Bibi or because of him, but under a left-wing Israeli government, because of the intransigence of Yasser Arafat and the cabal of unreformed terrorists who represented the Palestinians. The Palestinians promptly unleashed a terror war that killed thousands of Israelis in buses, restaurants, and weddings throughout Israel, and it was in that midst of that constantly televised paroxysm of violence that we awoke to the World Trade Center burning in New York.

Let us count the ways that this is wrong. When he uses the word “thousands” that can only be true if at least two thousand Israelis died. Further, since he didn’t mention any deaths in the Occupied Territories, neither should we. He referred only deaths “throughout Israel.” Finally, he put a cap on his timeframe of September 11, 2001. I generously gave him seven more years.

The truth is that Palestinians killed slightly less than 600 Israelis (whether civilians or combatants) within the borders of Israel in the period between the outbreak of the Second Intifada and Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip.

I point this out in no way to suggest that 600 deaths are acceptable or to diminish in any way the pain Israel suffered in those years. I point it out strictly to show how dishonest Mario Loyola is with facts and figures.

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