Israel lies (pardon the pun) in a corner of the world where lying is more frequent than local sunburns and speaking the truth rarer than flooding in its deserts. Just the other day, I made an Arab friend who is as honest as the Dutch. (I’m a chauvinist so I can’t help saying that most of his roots were Jewish 200 years ago. But he considers himself a Palestinian and not a Jew.) But lying around here seems the default, not just for fun and profit.
However, the Jewish Tradition teaches us to stick to the truth ferociously. Our Sages in the Talmud are exemplary in their integrity. Moses in the Torah calls upon our judges to pursue the utmost justice. We are even told that the Seal of G^d is Truth. This in sharp contrast to millennia of anti-Jewish sentiment that accuses the Jews of being wicked liars. And for all these reasons, we should adhere to the purest honesty with all our might.
So, when someone falsely slanders an enemy of ours, we don’t enjoy or spread the libel. We fight it and promote the truth. The truth about Israel’s enemies is damning enough! It needs no exaggeration and no fabrication.
This all came to mind when I read what seemed a news report but turned out an opinion piece that claims that the Palestinian Authority (branded “(the) Palestinians”) “Support China’s Muslim Concentration Camps.”
I read the whole allegation and found that the headline was (of course) not telling the truth. The PA seeks rapprochement with the Chinese regime. It will not address human rights problems for the people in Hong Kong or for Muslims in China (interned in concentration camps for ethnic cleansing). That’s not a way to make new friends. It will just overlook China’s morals.
Make no mistake. The PA has a deplorable human rights record itself. And ethnic cleansing (of Jews) is at the top of its wish list. But to say it wants the Muslims of China to be secularized is absurd. The PA condones, looks away, avoids mentioning–but doesn’t “support” abusing Chinese Muslims.
And that is identical to the Chinese dictatorship ignoring the Palestinian Authority’s genocidal agenda. Neither regime pretends to award prices for ethical behavior. They’re only concerned with gaining ‘friends’ and power.
The Palestinian and Chinese dictators don’t respect freedom of the press, free elections, women’s and LGBTQ+ rights, equality for the law, due process, or any human rights. China also still oppresses Tibet. One could hardly be surprised or disappointed that their populations are suffering.
Still, the junta of the PA (not: the Palestinian People!) is anti-Zionist. Maybe, as a Zionist, I should be happy when they are falsely accused of some immorality? Reminds me of this client who receives an SMS from his lawyer: ‘Truth has prevailed.’ He texts back immediately: ‘Appeal at once.’
No, we need to be on the side of truth. It is possible that a liar lies that a bunch of liars was lying but we must stay clear of all of that. If integrity means that we’re not for sale, no revenue of lying is worth it. Period.