Rod Kersh
Person-centred physician


friends by Rod Kersh 2024

I am not good with certain details in life, for example, remembering when an event took place or what I did previously, maybe a holiday, trip, or a day in the past.

Some things, I have whole, complete recollection viz. the farmer and the strawberry field, some holidays, the caves in Almagruz, the otter at Gariloch or Hyraxes in Ein Gedi.

I don’t remember more than I remember.

I think this is normal.

We are designed to forget to avoid an overcrowding of the brain.

Some are better than others at detailing the events of their pasts.

Suffice it to say, I am more towards the not recalling than the recalling.

I’ve encountered something odd on Facebook.

I might be wrong with this as it fits with the area of my memory that is in the “not that robust” section.

Readers might remember that soon after October 7th, I unfriended a couple of people, mostly because they appeared to side very rapidly and very dramatically with Hamas.

And so, they were gone.

Interestingly, I only remember one who was a porter at a hospital I used to work.

The other (I think there were just two) I can’t recall.

I know I am not alone in this; I have written previously about my daughter unfollowing people, mostly in relation to similar situations, for example, comparing Gaza with the Holocaust.

I get that some people want to compare; you can, after all, compare anything with anything, that is not the issue, it is more the diminution of what happened in Europe in the 30s and 40s and the magnification of what is happening in Gaza now.

No – I am not trying to minimize the suffering, the tragedy of the innocent men, women and children who have been killed by Israeli and Hamas bombs – that is awful, terrible, heartbreaking.

It might even fit with a legal definition of genocide as per the ICJ – to my mind it is different from the systematic murder of six million people: the branding, the transports, death marches, gassing, saponification.

You can argue if you like, that is not my point.

I am talking about friends.

And, yes, before going there, is the acknowledgment that the term “friends” in the world of Facebook is broadly dissonant from the context of “friends and family” whereby the friends in this instance are people you hang out with, who you have lived, celebrated or partied alongside; the FB friend is much broader, it is acquaintances, colleagues, family, and traditional friends.

And so, what I have noticed is that some people I thought had been friends of mine on FB in the past are popping up again as proposed friends.

As with my earlier statement, this might not be the case, I might never have been friends with these people, and this is an entirely de novo situation, however, I have a suspicion that people have potentially unfriended me and are now appearing as potential friends.

And yes, I understand why I might have been un-friended.

I have been publishing blogs about Israel and Judaism for years although focusing on the Gaza-Israel conflict since 10/7. (Trust me, I’d prefer to be back writing about healthcare and patient safety – I can’t, I am stuck).

I have made my position clear, that being, a firm advocate for the existence of Israel (aka Zionist), the goodness of many of its institutions and organizations and its place as the homeland of the Jewish people. I could go on. I am a fan of Israel. I see its flaws, its awful leadership, the inequalities and inequity. I am, according to my passport, an Israeli. A Jew in the Daniel Pearl sense; not one who believes in a bearded spirit in the sky, but one who is never happier than appreciating the culture and art of the people with whom I share 100% of my DNA, my genetic, cultural and ethnic heritage.

Don’t get me wrong – I have an affinity for those from Arab countries and Palestine in particular; sharing a common identity, the overlap between Jewish and Muslim culture and practice is unavoidable. (Funny – last week I pointed out to my daughter a new Halal freezer section in our local Tesco; amongst the packets were Tival spring rolls; made in Israel. Culinary Peace Now.)

The point being, I have not remained silent, and my bias has been towards Israel, the hostages, the murders of 10/7. I have, I admit, downplayed the events in Gaza, I suspect because I like many others in Israel and the Jewish Diaspora have been living in a state of trauma, shock and grief for the past eight months.

When you are filled with grief it is hard to take the perspective of another; that is being human. I think.

And so, back to the friends.

It is possible that people who, disagreeing with my sentiments or not wanting exposure to my point of view have unfriended me.

I don’t know if when you are unfriended you receive a notice – “Rod unfriended you” – I have not had one of those; is FB more subtle? If so, what is behind the process of re-introducing or re-proposing the unfriended – surely, if I ask someone who unfriended me to friend me again that is making matters worse, bringing to the fore the unspoken. Again, do I want or need to make friends (this is FB friends) with someone who has unfriended me? Is a reproachment necessary? Beneficial? Healthy?

(Fiddler On the Roof style: Matchmaker, matchmaker, I rejected him last year, please don’t try again, now he has been around the houses.)

Would the world be a better place if we all returned to friends being those you know and associate with, who when upset or offended are able to pull you aside and express their feelings?

Where would we be without FB, X, Instagram, Snapchat and TT?



Shortly after writing this blog, I googled, ‘How to find if someone has unfriended me…’

This led me downs a rabbit hole of articles and YouTubes.

I didn’t proceed.

Some things are best left unknown.

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