Thursday, March 15, 2007

286% of Lancet editors hate Israel

Richard Horton, the Lancet editor and Stop the War campaigner, has a piece in the New York Review of Books. It's been reviewed by CAMERA - not the Real Ale people, the Campaign for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting. Unfortunately, Horton's approach to statistical accuracy hasn't improved since he published the discredited report that gave an inflated figure for Iraq War casualties:

He cites an apparently shocking figure of forty percent of Gazan children having relatives who died during the second intifada. But the math poses problems. The total number of Gazans who died during the second intifada as a result of Israeli actions is 1,956 (PHRMG - through Jan. 31, 2007). The population of Gaza is approximately 1.43 million (CIA World Factbook). This computes to 1 person out of 730 killed in the second intifada over more than 6 years. How distantly related must these relatives be for 40% of the children to be able to claim a relative killed in the intifada. The statistic offered by Horton is provocative, but actually quite meaningless.

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