It’s not what you said, it’s the way you said it

Blake, 2021. Photo by Rod Kersh
Blake, 2021. Photo by Rod Kersh

I received a surprise reply to one of my postings on LinkedIn yesterday.

It was in response to my blog about baby Kfir and his mum and the lies and manipulation of truth.

Let’s start with the premise that what I say I believe.

Now, just because I believe something doesn’t make it true.

And, even if something is true, it is not necessarily a fact.

It reminds me of the path I followed this summer on my bike.

Initially it was a good trail, clear, free of mud, rocks, or other obstacles. At a certain point, it started to narrow.

‘I’ll see it through, it is, after all, a way,’ I reckoned.

Yet, the route became narrower.

Nettles and brambles encroached.

I pushed-on.

Eventually I reached a dead-end.

A trick.

There was no going forwards.

I had to reverse, about turn and pass through all the stinging and scratching plants that had reclaimed what was originally their own.

That night, such was my degree of discomfort, I woke and took an antihistamine. My skin was on fire, paraesthesia scintillating my knees and calves.

All to end up where I began.

I’ve spoken with fellow runners and cyclists and this phenomenon is not unusual.

Perhaps it reflects something in the human psyche.


My colleague empathised with Kfir’s situation and then challenged me on the 4,000 Palestinian children who have died since the outset of the war (Hamas data).

I appreciated his emphasis, at the end of his post, of not supporting Hamas.

I agreed. He further replied, if only the Palestinians had been given a country in 2000.

I wasn’t sure about his dating and did not want to correct or challenge as I got his point.

I could of course have replied, what about ’48 and ’56 and ’67 and ’73 and, and?

I let it lie.

Sometimes you need to accept, particularly when social media is involved, the toxicity of the interaction, its inherent gamification is what earns the companies their money.

The more hate and dispute, the more clicks.

Love does not increase revenue.

Another post of mine led to consternation.

It was a group of smiling dogs. The caption underneath reported that these were the dogs rescued from the South of Israel, currently seeking owners.

At the time, I did think it suspicious as the dogs looked both very happy and well organised, not the traumatised creatures you might expect.

I posted it anyway.

Like nearly all dog or cat posts it got a couple of likes, even a ‘Poor dogs.’

Those of you familiar with social media will know that puppies and kittens get more engagement that victims of terror, it’s just the way of the human psyche.

I guess, if the inverse were the case, we, that is humanity, would be in an even worse state than it already is.

And so, another colleague replied a fortnight later, ‘I reverse image searched your photo and it is from 2015, a US dog show. Why have use used this picture?’ The insinuation, ‘You have made this up, there are no dogs and, by corollary, no October 7th.’

At least that was how I took it.

I will not describe the rest of the communication.

No, I am not a fan of intentional disinformation.

Dolls wrapped in ketchup smeared sheets pretending to be dead babies is, I believe an order of magnitude greater than my canine misadventure.

And so it goes.

Remember Markus Zuzak’s novel, The Book Thief?

Every time the numbers of murdered innocents increased; the devil rubbed his hands.

Today, the Devil must be getting RSI.

His lips chapped, cracked, from repetitive licking.

Yesterday I listened to Yonit Levi and Jonathan Freedland on their podcast Unholy interviewing the journalist Kara Swisher.

Where will this end?

The Devil appears to be the only one gaining traction.

Hate and more hate, lies and deception.


As the hundreds of thousands of people march through the streets of London, in the UK we are having the ‘Covid Enquiry,’ or, you might call it, ‘The investigation into the unnecessary deaths of 200,000 plus innocent people,’ this has been whitewashed, pushed from the headlines.

Across the world, other leaders are gaining momentum, increasing their traction by the distraction in the Middle East.

I wonder how much this is part of Iran’s long-term plan.

Generate global hysteria about the Jews, then complete their plans to obtain a nuclear weapon.

It can’t help but end badly.

As a doctor I am morally and legally bound to be honest.

As I said at the beginning, honesty is frequently relative.

My truth is not necessarily yours.

‘It looks bad,’ I tell my patient, with full knowledge that it is worse than bad. It is terminal.

I attenuate my words to soften the blow, is this lying?

My patient, I always call her Enid (89 years), asks me where she can find her mum. ‘I haven’t seen her yet, I am sure she is on her way,’ I reassure.

Life is a balancing, a levelling of truth and reality.

It strikes me that when people claim to either have the revealed truth or believe they are in a position of absolute objectivity, that is when things start to go wrong.

I think of Christopher Hitchens.

He wasn’t well liked.

We like our fantasies.

Reality can be brutal.

About the Author
Dr Rod Kersh is a Consultant Physician working in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. I blog at
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