Dear Reader:

If you’re reading this, you are not likely in need of any proselytizing on the need for fair and balanced reporting on Israel. Still, your acquaintances and Facebook friends might not be so well-informed, perhaps sometimes tending to see tree more often than forest.

Have you ever been frustrated by their self-righteous diatribes, their holier-than-thou attitude, their perennially misinformed, often ugly and – to call a spade a spade – asinine and insufferable philippics? If the answer is yes, read on.

If you’ve ever wanted to craft a short response to put them in their place (behind a computer equipped with a search engine, so they could do some research and get the facts before mouthing off on pet topics indiscriminately) but the perceived lack of time / writing skills has kept you from acting on your desire, help has arrived. Below, in quotation marks, you will find a compact cluster of pointed, to-the-point questions that should keep your Facebook cohort busy either soul-searching or un-friending you. Whatever the aftermath, you’ll have gotten a load off your chest, while finding out who your real friends are – something useful in this world.

“To all the the haters of J̶e̶w̶s̶ Israel on Facebook and Twitter: the woefully underinformed, never-been-to-Israel-or-the-region, faddish fighters for human rights in Gaza – a letter of protest to the Gazans’ elected leadership, Hamas, might be a good idea, since it’s Hamas who is actually violating these rights. And if you want to call your obsession with human rights only as regards Israel (as opposed to the places where human rights are actually grievously violated) at all defensible, steel yourself and read this (don’t worry, the author is not Jewish).

Don’t read it, though, if you’re afraid of your position becoming indefensible because of factual information, clearheaded reasoning or a long, deep look into your soul, followed by the question: “What – habit, fad, a genetic predisposition to reviling a particular group of people? – makes me hold J̶e̶w̶s̶ Israel to a Platonic, essentially unattainable standard of perfect fairness, justice, patience, and turn-the-other-cheek meekness, while all the other countries and people in the world get a free pass and can do whatever they want to each other without spiking my inner moral compass?”

“Might I have double standards? Might I then by definition be a hypocrite? Might I be talking and arguing with such rabid energy about something which I know not at all? Might I then by definition be an ignoramus and a fraud?” It isn’t easy to ask these questions, but you should try it. If you’re so concerned about fairness and justice and morality, that is.

“Be the change you want to see in the world,” Gandhi taught us. Well, start with looking into yourself. Ask yourself: “Am I just, fair, aboveboard, impartial, sufficiently informed? Am I? Or am I just out for my 15 minutes of Facebook fame?”