The topic is sensitive. Couple of times, I desisted the idea of writing anything on it. 

I got the idea after reading an article in the Wall Street Journal (‘Turkey’s Minister Criticizes U.S.’). It would be improper to say that the idea came from reading the article, it would be more appropriate to say that it came from reading the comments (more than 230) that the article generated. 

The temptation of writing on a complex geo-political area was difficult to control. Still, considering the sensitivity of the issue; coupled with my comparative ignorance against many-an-expert; I resisted the idea. 

However the resistance proved to be too weak once I read another article (‘Stop the hypocrisy about Israel’). This time it was an editorial, and in CNN. The 2nd article had around 1570 comments.  

Internet has done one thing for sure. It has proved beyond doubt that the readers collectively have more insight, more knowledge, more facts and even less bias than the reputed journalists/columnists.  

I was indeed flummoxed by the 2nd article. I had an altogether different expectation before clicking on the article in Google News. I never heard about David Frum as a columnist of repute; however CNN commands some credibility in my mind.   

Am I becoming negatively biased against the actions of the Binyamin Netanyahu-Ehud Barak Government of Israel (which is a dangerous sign, if true), even if the decisions/actions taken by Binyamin Netanyahu-Ehud Barak Government be of the best nature, given the complex situation? If it is so with me, is it broadly right for the rest of the world also?  

Reading some of the comments the article generated also highlighted that I am not alone. The flotilla incident, the blocking of humanitarian aid in Gaza in spite of a UN resolution to do away with it, flying fighter planes over Lebanon again in spite of another UN resolution against it, continuing with the occupation and further ‘stealing’ land (the word is borrowed from those comments) from its neighbors, the list of agression of Israel continues.Then there is war-related deaths due to an excessive overuse of modern military power against a population having no formal military but having elements of terrorists within that population.  

And the U.S. continues to keep quite. Some comments suggested China to be more responsible in keeping another rogue state North Korea under control.   

The anti-Semitism card, often played by some sections of Jews in defense of their overuse of forceful actions, has lost its appeal. If anti-Semitism at some point of time meant anti-Jewish; now the ‘misnomer’ term (since the Arab peoples are also Semitic people as descendent of ‘Shem’) means ‘anti-Palestinian’.   

I really don’t understand it. The Jews suffered in the hands of the Nazis. The death toll might have been even higher than 3.5 millions. That does not mean one can’t question the actual figure or the methodology of arriving at it. I am surprised at the legal protection Anti-Semitism debates get in many of the nations, known for their progressive views where one can question anything under the Sun. It was a historical event, by questioning it one isn’t necessarily subscribing or supporting it. Russia (USSR) lost more number of civilians (12-14 million) in the 2nd World War, China and much of East Asia suffered under the brutal regime of Japanese rulers around the same time, and Bangladesh suffered brutalities during its freedom fight. The list is indeed long. All these come under same category of inhuman episodes of history.   

None of those sufferings of mankind get mentioned in the same scale as the sufferings the Jews had. Even if that comes to be true due to the worst horrific incidents against the Jews during the 2nd World War, what should be done now? Does it give a perpetual right to the present state of Israel to do anything in the name of self-defense?  Israel, as a state, seems to be at perpetual (mental + physical) multi-front war with others; without giving peace a chance. Terrorists would do their job; Governments need to attack terrorism by protecting its people and by attacking terrorists or by rectifying genuine grievance, if any, that drive one to terrorism. Presence of terrorism or hostile states, however, doesn’t give Israel, as a modern liberal state, any excuse to act as a more powerful terrorist state to defend itself against terrorism,  usig terrorism as a tool. Flotilla incident highlighted Israeli state terrorism being used against humanitarian aid carriers. Sad but true, the horrific actions of Israel, as a state and over the last few years, increasingly show Israel itself poses its biggest existential threat.

At the same time, I really don’t know the dangers that Israel keep on talking about, and how real those threats indeed are. History proves to be at odd with Israeli claims (Israel again makes these claims everywhere everytime as if they see a ‘ghost’ that no one else perceives to exist) as they magnify those threats many times.

Before reading the CNN article, I also read another (‘We control America’), recommended in a comment in the WSJ article, and came to know about USS Liberty, or the that of the Exodus ship (1947). In the age of information, we all need to be careful about one thing. And that’s falling in the trap of believing something (or anything) without getting actual facts or real truth about it.   

If one wants to believe in X, there’s enough compelling material online in support of X and against Y (directly opposite of X). Similarly if one wants to believe in Y (opposite of X), one can find enough material for that too. It is a dangerous trap of information that Internet provides for zealots.  

I admit my ignorance on the complex issues of anti-Semitism and self-defense cards being played again and again by Israel in killing innocent people by an excessive overuse of force. But it does not make sense to me. I don’t understand why the U.S. continues to look otherwise when the control of media is no longer with the erstwhile powerful Jew lobby (due to the Internet and the information age).   

The comments in those two articles (as samples from a large population), both in reputed Western media, show the divide in society (presumably in the West). The divide is even more in the rest of the world, and more so in the Middle-East. The world needs clarity, or else it will further get dangerously divided by articles/opinions that offer dangerous half-truths.

Ranjit is the author of Wondering Man, Money & Go(l)d, and is on Twitter 

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