The National Jewish Assembly (NJA) expresses deep concern and condemnation of a recent Sky News report by journalist Mark Stone on November 8. In the report, Stone made a blatantly untrue statement, suggesting that “the Israeli military clearly has a higher threshold or higher tolerance for civilian casualties than any Western country has had in the modern age.”
The NJA strongly believes that such a statement is not only factually incorrect but also tantamount to a blood libel against Israel, portraying it as a barbaric and bloodthirsty force. This baseless accusation misrepresents Israel’s campaign against Hamas and unjustly implies that Israel intentionally targets civilians.
It is crucial to correct this misinformation and provide context. Historically, many conflicts in the “modern era” have resulted in far higher civilian casualties than the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. These conflicts include World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War,, the Yugoslav Wars (including the NATO intervention), the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War, and the Western-led war against the Islamic State (ISIS). The casualties in these conflicts far exceed those in the Israel-Hamas conflict.
It is essential to recognise that Israel takes extensive measures to minimise civilian harm, such as warning civilians before military operations and targeting terrorists and their infrastructure. The suggestion that Israel has a higher tolerance for civilian casualties is not only false but also undermines the efforts of the Israeli military to protect innocent lives.
The NJA calls on responsible journalism to uphold the principles of accuracy and fairness, especially when reporting on complex and sensitive topics like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Misleading statements, such as those made by Mark Stone in the Sky News report, do nothing to advance the public’s understanding of the conflict, and serve only to fan the flames of anti-Israel hate.
The NJA urges the media to exercise caution and responsibility in their reporting and to refrain from perpetuating baseless accusations and mischaracterisations that only serve to deepen divisions and misconceptions.