FYI 11

We all have opinions on issues about which we are ignorant. They arise from our characters, our prejudices, and our emotions. Fortunately, in our private lives, our opinions seldom matter enough to cause much harm. But when persons in power form policies based on uninformed opinions arising from their deep-seated prejudices, they affect the lives of millions, necessarily for the worse.

And in the arena of politics, the prejudices and uninformed opinions of many individuals can all too easily influence the actions of the powerful.

One of the dangers of democracy is that the vote of the know-nothing counts for exactly the same as the vote of the well-informed, and the know-nothings can swing an election.

It’s the business of the mass media to inform the public. When journalists let their own opinions keep them from telling the truth about an issue or a candidate for office, they empower the ignorant. The media failed in their duty to inform the electorate that Barack Obama was a poorly-educated, inexperienced, far-left ideologue with close ties to terrorists and jihadists. The votes of the uninformed gave him the presidency. The result is a wrecked economy, and the weakening of the United States as a power in the world and so of Western civilization as a whole.

If there is one issue in world politics on which opinions are held most strongly while being least informed it is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Vast numbers of people, almost certainly a majority, believe these falsehoods:

  1. The Palestinians had their country taken away from them by the Jews.
  2. The Israelis expelled the Palestinians.
  3. The Israelis illegally occupy territories that belong to the Palestinians.
  4. The Israelis refuse to negotiate for peace with Palestinian leaders.
  5. Israeli intransigence impeded a peace process that Palestinian leaders pursued in good faith.

We summarily dismiss points 1 and 2: –

  1. There never was, in all history, a State of Palestine.
  2. There is no evidence that any Arabs were expelled from the State of Israel. There is evidence that in at least one city – Haifa – they were implored to stay. There is also evidence that the Mufti of Jerusalem and Arab leaders urged them to leave before five Arab armies invaded the newly-declared State of Israel, promising them a victory after which the refugees would return to their homes. And there is absolute certainty that hundreds of thousands of Jews were forcibly expelled – stripped of all they possessed – from the Arab states. 

As for points 3, 4, and 5, we quote from an excellent recent column by Melanie Phillips at the Mail Online. She writes:

One of the most egregious signs of western irrationality and bigotry over the issue of Israel is the way in which its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is routinely scapegoated for causing the breakdown of the so-called peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

This charge is based on the widespread fallacy that the ‘peace process’ has stalled because Israel keeps building more Jewish ‘settlements’ on ‘Palestinian land’. This reasoning is not only totally wrong but utterly perverse on the following grounds:

1) The actual reason for the collapse of the ‘peace process’ is that Mahmoud Abbas repeatedly maintains that he will never accept that Israel is entitled to be a Jewish state, hails Palestinian terrorists as heroes for murdering Israelis and does nothing to end the incitement to murder Jews disseminated in schools, mosques and media under his control. In other words, Abbas is not a legitimate interlocutor in any civilised ‘peace process’ since he remains committed to the eradication of Israel [as are all Arab and Muslim leaders – JB]. Yet Netanyahu is blamed for the impasse.

2) It is only Israel that has made concessions in this ‘peace process’ [giving up vast areas of land conquered in defensive wars in exchange for peace that was never granted]. The Palestinians not only failed to deliver what was expected of them under the Road Map [or under any of the signed agreements] but now, with their UN gambit, have unilaterally reneged on their previous treaty obligations. Yet Abbas is given a free pass while Netanyahu is blamed instead for the impasse.

3) The claim that the ‘settlements’ are the key to resolving the dispute is ridiculous. First, they take up no more than one or two per cent of West Bank territory. Second, even when Netanyahu froze such new building for ten months as a sign of good will, Abbas still refused to negotiate. Yet this is all ignored, and Netanyahu is blamed instead for the impasse.

4) The claim that the establishment of a Palestine state would end the dispute is also ridiculous. Such a state was on offer in 1948; Israel offered to give up more than 90 per cent of the West Bank for such a state in 2000; and an even more generous offer was subsequently made by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. The Palestinian response was in every case war and terror. Yet all this is ignored, and Netanyahu is blamed instead for the impasse.

5) Whatever land Israel may choose to give up in its own interests, under international law Jews are entitled to settle anywhere in the West Bank. There is no such thing as Palestinian land and never was.The West Bank and Gaza never belonged to any sovereign ruler after the British withdrew from Mandatory Palestine; before that it was part of the Ottoman empire. Israel’s ‘borders’ are in fact merely the cease-fire lines from its victory in 1948 against the Arab armies that tried unsuccessfully to exterminate it at birth. It is therefore more correct to call the West Bank and Gaza disputed territory. Yet this history and law are denied and Netanyahu is blamed instead for the impasse.

6) The Jews alone have the legal – as well as the moral and historical – right to settle within the West Bank and Gaza, a right given to them by the Great Powers after the First World War on account of the unique historical claim by the Jews to the land then called Palestine. This Jewish right to settle anywhere in that land was entrusted to Britain to deliver under the terms of the Mandate for Palestine – an obligation which it proceeded to break. [Even giving away the greater part of the territory to the Arabs to create the Emirate of Transjordon – now the Kingdom of Jordan – which is therefore an Arab state of Palestine.] Yet this history and law are denied, and Netanyahu is blamed instead for the impasse.

This information is the bare minimum a commenter needs before he is justified in expressing an opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. An opinion formed with any less knowledge is worthless and potentially dangerous.

  • Liz

    even if we leave the nit-picking over what “poorly educated” means, the fact remains that Obama IS an “inexperienced, far left ideologue with close ties to terrorists and jihadists”.  That is not a subjecive opinion, its proven fact.  Which really makes his quality of education immaterial.  It is also a proven fact to anyone paying attention that the media deliberately failed to inform the voting public of this.  Are you splitting hairs to try to distract from the real issue here? 

  • Harold

    In reply to Don L.
    Poorly educated could mean two things, I will grant you that.  It could mean that a person has an objectively low level of education, such as failing to complete high school, or only having primary level of education.  On this definition, we can clearly and objectively define “poorly educated”.  It was my belief that this was what most people understood by the term.  On this definition no-one with two degrees is poorly educated, and therefore the media could not point out Obama’s “poor education” since it is not true. 

    It could also mean someone who has been educated to believe something different from me.  This is purely subjective, and therefore has very little meaning. Anyone who believes they are right (and that is most of us) can legitimately consider anyone who disagrees with them “poorly educated”, since they clearly have not received the education that would lead them to have the right views.  It would be nonesense to expect the media to point out Obama’s “poor education” using this meaning, because it is purely a matter of opinion. 

    Either way, to say the media had a duty to point out Obama’s “poor education” is wrong.

     “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

  • Liz

    Excellent article!  Thanks for posting this.  And yet it’s only a drop in the bucket compared to the vast ocean of mainstream media nonreporting, misrepresentation and coverup of all this.  No wonder so many, even our trusted “leaders”, are so ignorant of it. 
    To reply to a couple of comments below –  Obama is “badly educated” because he CHOSE as mentors people like Bill Ayres – a college professor, no less, who is an unrepentant terrorist, and the “Reverend” Wright, a pastor who is a Marxist America hater.  Besides that, when a person seals their educational records, what else are we to think?  If he were WELL educated he would be proud of it and would WANT his records to be well known.  Keeping them hidden is basically admitting they’re bad. 
    Its quite easy to tell the difference between the terrorists and the true human beings here, David B.  If the Palestinians stopped attacking Israel, the violence would end, because Israelis are not terrorists. There’s a huge difference between a few isolated incidents and an ongoing, never-ending campaign of terrorism.  Indocrinating children to hate and kill Jews, to become  “martyrs” by blowing themselves up in order to kill Jews…how can you even stoop to make that comparison?

  • Harold

    “The media failed in their duty to inform the electorate that Obama was a poorly-educated, inexperienced… “.  This is just wrong.  By what standard is Obama poorly educated?  He is a graduate of Columbia and Harvard.  In what way did the media not inform the public that Obama had little Government experience?   This was widely known and a simple matter of public record. 

    • Jillian Becker

      “Corpse-man”? “57 states of the Union”? They speak “Austrian” in Austria? Need for translators of Arabic in Afghanistan? … the list of his displays of ignorance would be long. 

      And he has sealed his academic record. Why?

      And do you really believe that being a graduate of Columbia and Harvard – or any university these days – necessarily means that you’re well-educated? 

      And did the mass media really do a thorough job investigating his past? His Communist and terrorist ties, for instance? If anything about his life is now on public record it’s despite the mass media, not because of them.  

      • Harold

        I think it generally understood that graduating from Harvard represents “well educated”.  Even well educated people make mistakes.  The part of his life that was public record was his experience.

        • Don L

          “Generally understood…generally accepted” …the red flags of stupidity.
          Graduating from Harvard and Columbia is synonymous with blinded by progressive socialism.  Has nothing to do with well educated and more to do with well indoctinated.  And, the man has proven he hasbn’t got a smart bone in his body!

          Harold, at one time I was actually giving you the benefit of the doubt as to your smarts.  Your jib seems to be definitely cut from the left.  too bad.

  • The State of Israel was created by the UN. Why shouldn’t the UN be allowed to create a State of Palestine. It’s not like the Jewish people who flooded the Palestine area after WWII didn’t engage in terrorism against the British who were in charge.

    • Jillian Becker

      Certain conditions, the establishments of viable institutions, are required by the UN’s own rules before it can recognize and admit a state. You can find these out with a little research. Neither Gaza nor the West Bank fulfills these conditions.

      A  few Jews – not “the Jewish people” – committed acts of terrorism against the British. Those acts of terrorism are as much to be condemned – and were at the time by the Jewish leaders and institutions and press – as all other acts of terrorism. They hindered, rather than helped, the creation of a state.    

    • Keith

      A few years back some settlers from a different world banded together, boarded boats that didn’t belong to them and destroyed property that wasn’t theirs. They say it was an act of rebellion others might say it was an act of terrorism. In fact I have liberal friends who can’t believe a political movement would align themselves with terrorists. They are refferring to the “Tea Party”.

      Just as we today confuse or diffuse what the word hero means, i.e. a sports hero as opposed to risking ones life to save another, we also tend to use terrorism to describe acts that may be acts of rebellion.

      I don’t know the history of what you are referring to here and maybe terrorism is an appropriate description but it appears to me that throughout history the jewish people have been the recipients of terrorism rather than the perpetrators of it.  

  • Ralph

    Neville Chamberlain tried to exchange land for peace. It didn’t work well for him then and it won’t work well for the Israelis now. It seems even recent history lessons have been forgotten. It isn’t possible to deal rationally with irrational, mindless and violent people.