Truth has many faces.

Truth always makes me think about Buttercup when she sings to Captain Corcoran in HMS Pinafore:  buttercup

“Things are seldom what they seem, Skim milk masquerades as cream;

Highlows pass as patent leathers; Jackdaws strut in peacock’s feathers.”

Our parents’ generation placed great Trust in newsmen like Edward Morrow, David Brinkley and Mike Wallace.  We believed what we read, or heard on the news.  When I became an adult I considered it my responsibility to be informed.  Time, Newsweek and Life made a valiant effort to bring Truth to light, covering the news from differing perspectives.  We Trusted the sources, considered the merits and made informed decisions about Truth.

Many of you know that I’m a voracious reader and student of history.  It’s not unusual for me to have several books going at once.  I shift from one to the other as mood, time or location dictates.  Recently I’ve been completely enmeshed in William Manchester’s Winston Churchill – The Last Lion, volumes 1, 2, 3 (a whopping 2500 pages) along with a very unusual book called Jerusalem, The Biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore.  I’m also in love with historical fiction and we’re currently enjoying the entire series of the BBC’s Foyles War (available on Netflix.)  In all three cases the ugly face of antisemitism appears without varnish.  Sadly, I am never not surprised by its easy acceptance then, as now when public opinion has shifted away from its previous support of Israel.

I  cannot help but compare the events of the 1930s to today’s Muslim extremists rattling their sabers in Iran, Syria and Egypt. Israel is completely surrounded by antisemites who chant daily prayers for Israel’s destruction.  Why are Americans and in particular our government covering their collective ears – unwilling to hear the Truth in these threats? Last September Iranian President Ahmadinejad stated in a speech to the UN General Assembly that “Iran has been around for the last ten thousand years. They (the Israelis) have been occupying those territories for the last 60 to 70 years, with the support and force of the Westerners. They have no roots there in history.”

Since there is empirical evidence of the presence of the twelve tribes of Abraham going back further than 1200 BC in the land of Canaan, I’d say those are pretty significant roots.  But I heard no outcry from our leaders; no contradiction of Ahmadinejad’s statement.  When I was a young student studying the honored profession of journalism, I was taught that journalists had a sacred duty to report the Truths and call out the liars. I hear very few calling out the liars.  More evidence appears in a recent LA Times article that covered the Lance Armstrong scandal.  They reported that “Lying is common, useful and… one of the most durable threads in our social fabric and an important bulwark of our self-esteem.”  

Okay, I suppose I could accept that statement as it relates to little lies, like my weight, or how much I like your new haircut.  But when a culture falls so low that really big lies are routinely ignored, isn’t it time to re-examine the immorality of hate speech towards all groups?   I readily admit I am more sensitive to antisemitism.  Although born into the Christian culture, in my married life the Jewish customs of my husband’s family play a prominent role and I’m quite comfortable with that.  I’ve never found it very logical to have Christian Gods in competition with Jewish Gods or Muslim Gods.  If each religion believes that they worship the one true God, how can they all be right?

Throughout history, one  need only observe the power of certain religions  to realize that organized religion has caused more death and destruction than any single ruler perhaps with the exception of Hitler.  That brings me back to The Last Lion Volume II, which focuses on the 1930s and the buildup to World War II.  Each page brings (at least to me) new revelations of Britain’s widespread antisemitism and how close the British government was to making a “peace” pact with Hitler.  There’s a chilling thought.

The one lonely voice throughout that period was Churchill, who seemed to have a keen insight into the chilling intentions of Herr Hitler and his bold lies.  Incidentally Hitler clearly spelled out his intentions in Mein Kampf.  So it should not have been a surprise to anyone, but Churchill’s railing about the dangers of Hitler and his Nazis fell on deaf ears.  Not much diffeent than today – I hear no such railing against the bold lies coming out of the Middle East.  evilChurchill was an unapologetic throwback to the Victorian era. God, Country, Duty and Truth were sacred to him. A most complex man, he was full of contradictions, wrong as often as he was right, but his commitment to what he believed never wavered.  During that period, (without the benefit of 20/20 hindsight,) “Winnie” was treated as an outcast and a has-been; a back-bencher in Parliament’s vernacular.

No one wanted to hear what Churchill believed was True about Germany’s build up and the looming threat to England and the rest of the world. From the King to the street corner newsboy, England was absolutely opposed to any thought of another war, no matter how dire the circumstances; no matter what Hitler was doing; no matter how frightening the Truth as Churchill saw it.  All of Britain reviled Churchill for telling them something that they simply didn’t want to hear. The devastation of WWI was still too fresh a memory twenty years after an entire generation of English lads had given their life for God and Country.  Their Truth was therefore appeasement.  It was the only course to follow.

Churchill famously said “History is written by the victors” and the history of WWII certainly ignored Britain’s willingness to ignore the Truth of Hitler’s actions.  That little bit of history was left on the cutting room floor. I cannot help but compare dear old Winnie to another current outcast, an equally passionate politician and historian, Newt Gingrich, who has never been afraid to voice unpopular views, such as his recent comments to the New York Times.  Newt’s is a lone voice regarding Israel and Palestine.

So meanwhile back at the war, Germany rearmed, bitterly fueled by the unreasonably harsh terms of the Versailles Treaty and all of Europe buried their heads. Hitler said one thing and did another, giving impassioned speeches that contained not a word of Truth.  PM Chamberlain, along with his fellow Tories were blinded by their own arrogance, thinking that they could “manage the little man” so it didn’t matter what he said.

Germany rolled into Czechoslovakia and they said, “Don’t offend Hitler, that will make it worse.”  And Hitler reassured all that he was only liberating his German countrymen, marooned in a foreign land.  When he marched on Poland,  England and France said “Now Hitler’s appetite will be sated.”  Hitler made more impassioned speeches laced with even bolder lies.  Europe believed him when he said he had no aggressive intentions and with yet another sleight of hand, he rolled into Belgium, Luxembourg and Holland, landing at Frances doorstep.  But as long as he was telling everyone what they wanted to hear, Europe did nothing.

With all things Internet,  my motto is “Crede sed proba” –  trust but verify.  As I researched this article I was struck by a “quote” from Benjamin Netanyahu which gave his justification for the Israeli retaliation in the Gaza Strip.  Apparently this quote has swirled around the internet for years and after much checking, I’ll accept its veracity.  The words are thought provoking regardless of when or where he said them. The closest I could come was an explanation that while the words were Netanyahu’s, they have been edited from his various statements, not from one particular interview.  I therefore share them with that caveat.

The interviewer asked him: “How come so many more Palestinians have been killed in this conflict than Israelis?”BenjaminNetanyahu

Netanyahu: Are you sure that you want to start asking in that direction?

Interviewer: Why not?

Netanyahu: “Because in World War II more Germans were killed than British and  Americans combined, but there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the war  was caused by Germany’s aggression. And in response to the German blitz  on London, the British wiped out the entire city of Dresden , burning  to death more German civilians than the number of people killed in  Hiroshima … Moreover, I could remind you that in 1944, when the R.A.F.  tried to bomb the Gestapo Headquarters in Copenhagen , some of the bombs  missed their target and fell on a Danish children’s hospital, killing 83  little children. Perhaps you have another question?”

In another interview Netanyahu was asked about Israel ‘s occupation of ‘Arab lands’.

His response was, “It’s our land.” 

Do you see the tiny red sliver of land in this map?  That’s Israel.


POPULATION (in millions)

AREA (in sq. miles)










Saudi Arabia















Sifting through all the various versions of Truth, whose Truth do we believe?  Churchill’s?  Hitler’s?  Chamberlain’s? Ahmadinejad’s?  Netanyahu’s?  Buttercup’s?  With Easter and Passover upon us isn’t this a Truth we should all consider? It’s clear to me that this conflict is not about land – it’s about one group of people who are committed to the destruction of another group of people – and all nicely sanctioned by their religion. 

Crash Course on the Arab-Israeli Conflict:

Here are some overlooked facts in the current & past Middle East situation, compiled by a Christian  university professor:

  • Nationhood and Jerusalem : Israel became a nation in 1312 BC, two  thousand (2000) years before the rise of Islam.
  • Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian  people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.
  • Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 BC, the Jews have  had dominion over the land for one thousand (1000) years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.
  • The  only Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 lasted no more than 22 years.
  • For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim  entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem , they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to  visit.
  • Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the  Jewish Holy scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned even once in the Koran.
  • King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed  never came to Jerusalem.
  • Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray facing Mecca.
  • Arab and  Jewish Refugees: in 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave  Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of  Jews. Sixty-eight percent left (many in fear of  retaliation by their own brethren, the Arabs), without ever seeing an  Israeli soldier. The ones who stayed were afforded the same peace, civility, and citizenship rights as everyone else.
  • The  Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution and pogroms.
  • The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be around 630,000. The  number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is estimated to be the same.
  • Arab refugees were INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated  into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only  refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated  into their own people’s lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel , a country no larger than the state of New Jersey.
  • The Arab-Israeli Conflict: the Arabs are represented by eight separate nations, not including the Palestinians. There is only  one Jewish nation. The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost. Israel defended itself each time and won.
  • The PLO’s Charter  still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. Israel has given the Palestinians most of the West Bank land, autonomy under  the Palestinian Authority, and has supplied them with most of  their needs.
  • Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were denied access to places of worship. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and  made accessible to people of all faiths.
  • The UN Record on Israel and the Arabs: of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed  before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel.
  • Of the  690 General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed  against Israel.
  • The UN was silent while 58 Jerusalem synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians.
  • The UN was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish  cemetery on the Mount of Olives. They used  tombstones to pave roads.
  • The UN  was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like a policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.