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In his 2010 song 'Terrorist' the artist Lowkey asserts:

It seems nuts, how could there be such agony?

When more Israelis die from peanut allergies

In the context of the song, he seems to be claiming that more Israelis die as a result of peanut allergies than violence as a result of the conflict with Palestine. If this is indeed his claim, is it true?

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    Please note the dates involved. This isn't a claim about 2023 Israel.
    – Oddthinking
    Nov 8, 2023 at 0:36

1 Answer 1

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No, Israelis don't die from peanut allergies at all, and considerably fewer people die from food-related allergies than from terror attacks.


it's a very distasteful and cynical argument. There is no place for comparison between accidental or health-related death and murder, in the US more women die from breast cancer each year than are killed by their partner it doesn't mean that domestic violence is not a problem or that people that kill their partners are not despicable murderers.

This is even without talking about the number of terror threats that were stopped in time and the effort that is put into lowering the number of deaths from terror attacks.


The song was released in 2011 so I chose that year for comparison, but this would hold for any year, as Israelis don't die from peanut allergies. Starting with the number of killed from terror attacks:

According to the Shabak end of year report from 2012:

במהלך 2012 נרשמה ירידה של כ- 55% במספר ההרוגים בהשוואה לשנה שעברה; 10 הרוגים, לעומת 22 במהלך 2011.

...

במספר הפצועים חלה בשנת 2012 עלייה. במהלך השנה נפצעו 309 בני אדם (300 ישראלים ו-9 זרים), לעומת 159 פצועים בשנת 2011.

During 2012 there was a drop of approximately 55% in the number of dead compared to the previous year, 10 deaths compared to 22 during 2011.

...

There was a rise in the number of injured in the year 2012. During the year 309 people were injured (300 Israelis and 9 foreigners), compared to 159 injured in 2011.

There are also graphs with the number of dead and injured per year:

graphs of dead and injured In total 1221 dead and 8519 injured between Sep. 29th 2000 and Dec. 31st 2012.

Regarding the number of deaths from food allergies in general and peanut allergies specific, Israel has a very low number of people suffering from peanut allergies, and the number of dead (and injured) from all food allergies is extremely small as well.

From the Israeli Journal of Pediatrics, issue #78, June 2012. An article titled Peanut allergy is a geographical issue by Prof. Ilan Dalal:

הם בדקו את שכיחות האלרגיה לבוטנים בילדים בגילים 18-4 שנים במדינות אלה. כדי לנטרל גורמים גנטיים שונים, נבדקה השכיחות רק בקרב ילדים בבתי ספר יהודים. שכיחות האלרגיה לבוטנים בבריטניה הייתה 1.85% לעומת שכיחות של 0.17% בלבד בישראל, כלומר בבריטניה האלרגיה לבוטנים שכיחה פי 10!

They tested the prevalence of peanut allergy among children aged 4-18 in those countries [Israel and Britain]. To neutralize different genetic factors, the prevalence was checked only among kids in Jewish schools. The prevalence of peanut allergy in Britain was 1.85% compared to a prevalence of only 0.17% in Israel, meaning in Britain the peanut allergy is 10 times more prevalent.

In the same article appears:

לצערנו, בשנים האחרונות היו 5 מקרי מוות מאלרגיה למזון, 4 מתוכם בשל אלרגיה לחלב פרה. לאחרונה, נוסף לרשימה מקרה טרגי של בחורה שנפטרה לאחר אכילת אגוזים.

Sadly, in the last years, there were 5 cases of death from food allergies, 4 of which were due to an allergy to cow milk. Lately, a tragic case of a woman who died after eating nuts was added to the list.

I have also found a news article talking about the death of a 15-year-old boy from cow milk allergy in 2014 pointing out:

בממוצע מתרחשים בישראל שני מקרי מוות בשנה עקב אלרגיה למזון וסיבוכים בדרגות חומרה שונות.

On average, in Israel, two cases of death and serious complications of varying degree are caused by food allergy each year.

All translations were made by me

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    I think those graphs include israeli military in addition to civilians; just from eyeballing the difference between them and the B'Tselem data: statistics.btselem.org/en/all-fatalities/… I don't think that changes the overall conclusion because so few israelis die of peanut allergies, but worth noting. IDF members engaged in combat are legitimate military targets for Hamas, unlike civilians. Nov 8, 2023 at 0:45
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    @JamesPicone, Most of the dead are civilian, some of the "military forces" include police officers, which are not the same as soldiers. A. as you said, this doesn't change the conclusion. b. Doesn't change the fact that there is no place to compare between intentional murder and health related death and c. Even if it was only military death, it's still a problem in the eyes of every country that its military personal are killed, before 9/11 all of EL Queda attacks were against US military targets or embassies, what you called "legitimate" targets. They were still terrorist even before 9-11.
    – SIMEL
    Nov 8, 2023 at 3:32
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    my point is that Hamas shooting an IDF soldier is counted as a "death" in the graphs you show, but probably isn't what people are getting at when they're talking about this kind of thing. As I said, it doesn't change your overall conclusion; very few israelis die of peanut allergies from the data you've presented. But for the sake of intellectual honesty you shouldn't mix soldiers in. By B'Tselem's data ~a third of the dead Israelis since 2000 are soldiers; they have 881 total civilian deaths; but their data for 2023 is incomplete and the recent massacres aren't included. Nov 8, 2023 at 5:28
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    In fact the B'Tselem data doesn't line up with your source at all; e.g. 2012 your source lists 10 dead; B'Tselem says 4 dead civilians and 3 dead soldiers. Not sure what the source of the disparity is. Nov 8, 2023 at 5:30
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    As a side note, early exposure to Bamba is sometimes cited as being one of the reasons their prevalence of peanut allergies is so low. Nov 8, 2023 at 16:26

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