Much of What You Believe About the Middle East Conflicts Is Probably False

I don’t like posting about Israel and Palestine because it’s hard for me to compensate properly for my bias. But I’ve seen posts by Facebook friends of faked or falsely attributed photos about the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian violence and feel I must at least help dispel some of the lies.

My bias makes me react more strongly to the lies about Israel than to the lies about Palestine, but there are indeed lies 0n all sides. Because of all the lies, you cannot form an intelligent opinion about the Middle East by reacting to Facebook posts and tweets. If you have a few Zionist or anti-Zionist friends and you mindlessly forward their shocking pictures or heartbreaking stories without taking at least a couple of minutes to find out if they are real, then you are probably helping to disseminate false propaganda, which leads to more violence.

So here is a quick list of things to consider and hopefully compel you to do more research on more than one side of the issue. Some of my items are pro-Israel, some pro-Palestine. It’s not an “all you need to know” list, but it’s a start.

* Hamas uses human shields, and that is part of the reason the body count is so one-sided (another, of course, is Israel’s military superiority). And Israel warns the Palestinians about their targets. (see Video Shows Gaza Residents Acting as Human Shields, Newsweek, and Israel drops leaflets warning Gaza residents to evacuate ahead of airstrikes, CNN )

screen capture from IDF blog with photo of rocket launch labeled: Hamas Caught Firing Rocket from Civilian Area

Photo: Screenshot of page on

* Some of the horrible pictures that we’re seeing are not current and/or not from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Many are from Syria (see Report: Gaza supporters using false images on Twitter, Haaretz. Also see More Fakestinian lies, old lies, and video tape, from Almost Midnight in the West. I don’t advocate the hate that this website promotes, but this page has good examples of falsely attributed images.)

* Many would be surprised how many Jews opposed the creation of Israel, and still oppose its existence. There is a rational for saying the Jewish Religion forbids a Jewish homeland. ( see Why Orthodox Jews are Opposed to the Zionist State, Neturei Karta )

* There are a significant number of Arabs and Muslims who will not accept any solution other than the destruction of Israel, and are lying when they come to the negotiating table. (see Benny Morris: “The 1948 War Was an Islamic Holy War”, Middle East Quarterly).

* Israel also lies at the negotiation table, and cannot in good faith work towards peace while it continues to build settlements. (see Obama and Israel: The pessimistic perspective The Hill)

Update: A counterpoint to my first point. Emily Hauser suggests we read Is Israel committing war crimes in Gaza?, Haaretz.

Update 2014 July 25: I had originally written “there is rational for saying the Torah forbids a Jewish homeland.” That was completely wrong. I changed “Torah” to “Jewish Religion”.

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