May 15, 2024

Lies, Damned Lies, and the Hamas-Run Gaza Health Ministry

What should shock us about our current supposedly intelligent and enlightened world is the one-sided nature of reality itself.

Whether we’re talking about inflation, pandemics or sex scandals, we all know that politicians fudge numbers. This kind of behavior has become such a dark artform that the following quote has become infamous in the world of abusing numbers to prove your point:

“There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

Funny, sure, but why are statistics to blame? Statistics are simply a tool, and like so many tools in our world, tools are only as useful as those who use them.

Credit cards, gasoline and dental floss are all wonderful and effective tools in the hands of someone who understands how to use them properly. But these same tools can be disastrous in the wrong hands.

Numbers are no different.

Politicians, journo-activists and terrorist groups alike know this, and gleefully use (or create) data as a tool, shield and a scapegoat in pursuit of their goals.

Unfortunately, we’ve become an easy mark, hamstrung by, as Iowa State University Professor Mack Shelley puts it, our society’s lack of statistical skills; willingness to be influenced by emotions, preconceived notions, and things we think we know but do not; and the Dunning-Kruger effect, where those with “lesser abilities tend to overstate their level of knowledge and understanding.”

But even this might be too complimentary. Too many are happy to skip these psychological quirks and jump straight to voluntary stupidity, with deadly results.

There is no better example than the world’s bizarre acceptance of data provided by the Hamas-controlled “Gaza-based Ministry of Health,” whose absurd propaganda has been repeatedly swallowed by the West as absolute fact.

The issue here isn’t even that Hamas is lying. Of course they’re lying! Given that Hamas is openly seeking the mass murder of the world’s Jews, it’s hardly beyond the realm of possibility that they would be prepared to spread porky pies in the process.

If being a genocidal terrorist group alone isn’t enough of a red flag for you, the laziest Google search proves Hamas’s lack of reliability as a news source. For example, following an explosion at the al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City on Oct. 17, 2023, the Gaza Health Ministry (and subsequently the vast majority of mainstream media and multiple American politicians) announced that hundreds had been injured and killed by an Israeli strike on the hospital … despite every important detail being wrong, including casualty rates, damage and the pesky detail that the rocket was fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, not Israel.

But this highlights the real problem: the total willingness to accept the word of a terrorist organization, no matter how many times reality slaps us in the face.

As Alan Dershowitz writes in his latest book, “War Against the Jews”: “Hamas puts out false information and exaggerated figures that are immediately accepted by much of the media and many human rights groups.”

Even after the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) quietly revised its own data, almost halving the number of Palestinian women and children killed, we won’t learn. There will be no public reckoning to question why we ever relied on figures from Hamas in the first place. Instead, we will happily play into Hamas’s entire gameplan and help spread the false image of Israel (i.e., Jews) as warmongering demons thirsty for the blood of innocent women and children.

It’s simply the latest incarnation of the blood libel.

What should shock us, at the very least, about our current supposedly intelligent and enlightened world is the one-sided nature of reality itself. It’s, of course, perfectly reasonable to question any information provided by those actively engaged in any form of conflict, especially given the fact it’s notoriously difficult to garner the truth through the “fog of war.”

No, the problem comes when there are those who assume any information that paints a terrorist group in a negative light is a propagandist lie promulgated by evil Zionists (i.e., Jews), while any information provided by that same terrorist group is the war-time equivalent of 2 + 2 = 4.

This is, of course, part of a deliberate strategy. Speaking at the University of Kentucky, for example, I began by discussing the incontrovertible realities of Hamas’s actions on Oct. 7, including widespread murder and rape. Palestinian attendees in the audience — before they dismissed me as a paid Zionist shill (i.e., a Jew) responsible for the same death count provided by Hamas — responded by screaming, “source?!”

By all means, treat information provided by both sides with reasonable skepticism. But skepticism has itself become a weapon against intellectual honesty. If you don’t trust primary source evidence of war crimes live-streamed by the perpetrators, shouldn’t you at least pause to think before trusting the anti-Jewish propaganda put out by those same perpetrators?

Unfortunately, the brutal reality is that, despite having access to more information than ever before in human history, we don’t share the same reality. And when the words of a terrorist organization are deemed unquestionably trustworthy not only by Palestinian activists but journalists, human rights organizations and the pro-facts president of the United States, how can we hope for change?


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