Forman & Son MD Lance Forman asks why media turns Gaza into a sports score


- Credit: Archant

There have been two situations in recent weeks where the issue of proportionality throws up some interesting questions.

The first was around the time Prime Minister David Cameron had his cabinet reshuffle.

Labour accused him of having insufficient female cabinet members and fairness could only be achieved if 50 per cent was reflected, representing society at large. What a completely spurious argument this is.

The average IQ of the UK is 100, so does that mean we want an average IQ of our cabinet to be 100? I don’t think so.

Only a handful of our population of 70million are politicians, so to be truly representative of our population, perhaps the cabinet should not have any politicians either. What a great idea!

On a more sombre note, every day we hear in the news about the trouble in Gaza.

Media reports always start or end with the numbers of dead and injured, 30 Israelis dead, 600 Gazans dead, as though it’s a sports score, implying that unless there is a balanced number of dead, there is some kind of moral imbalance.

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Hamas, in control of Gaza, plays on Western media’s weakness for this simplistic moral calculation.

By firing their missiles indiscriminately into large Israeli population centres hiding behind their own civilians, they know they have a win-win strategy.

Unlikely as they are to hit Israel, due to the Israeli’s Iron Dome missile defence system, if they did succeed, they would be dancing in the streets at the deaths of innocent Israelis. On the other hand, by inciting an Israeli response, which inevitably causes civilian losses on the Gazans’ side, they also succeed in gaining world sympathy through the media.

Morals are not about proportionality and numbers. They are about right and wrong.

Two wrongs don’t make a right any more than 200 wrongs or 22,000 wrongs. Read more from Lance Forman