Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics


About 150 years ago the first and only Jew to ever serve as British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli said, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

At least that is who Mark Twain attributed the quote to, and who doesn't trust Mark Twain?

If you guessed that this is part two of what I was arguing a couple of weeks ago about the manipulated statistics reported by the ADL regarding a "surge" in White Supremacy groups in the United States since Trump took office, you are right.

The manipulated ADL statistics are a false assertion that must be exposed especially among people of faith. We are to know the truth and not be taken in as so many are by "the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments." We cannot make informed decisions in our voting responsibilities if we have been convinced of lies based on manipulated statistics.

I'm sure the Anti-Defamation League, like the Southern Poverty Law Center, started out with noble motives, but today they are riding on a past reputation that has been spoiled. ADL and SPLC are too politically biased against Republicans and for Democrats to deliver the unvarnished facts about anti-Semitism in America. If they were, they would be forced to reveal that the source of the great majority of rising anti-Semitism comes from Leftist activists and much of it is originating on college campuses across the USA.

That is why it was disturbing to me to see the Israeli Ministry of Diaspora Affairs (headed by Naftali Bennett) publish the false statistics of the Anti-Defamation League with the indication that there was a rise of Right Wing anti-Semitism starting with the Trump presidency.  This is a false assertion that has been made across the liberal American news media, and the Israeli news media is just as Leftist leaning as their American counterparts in bias against conservative Republican leaders.

This seems counter-intuitive because one would think that Israeli news media would be more interested in seeking the facts when it comes to issues directly impacting Israeli security. Apparently the Israeli news media are just as agenda driven as the American news media. Perhaps it is because they want to oust Benjamin Netanyahu from office in a guilt-by-association-to-Trump mentality. For certain the Israeli media smacks of anti-Trumpism and do follow the lead of liberal American Jews on that point.

At the very least the Israeli news media needs to recognize that the ADL statistics are so skewed, it really is a detriment to Israel's national security to make decisions based on them. Trump is not the cause of anti-Semitism in America and is the most pro-Israel president in my 67-year old lifetime. But fake statistics die as hard as fake news, and the ADL statistics are fake statistics that are being widely distributed for political agendas - not a pro-Israel agenda or even a pro-Jew agenda, but for American Jewish Liberal Democrat political agenda. Is that really what Israelis want?

Let's break it down to why the ADL numbers are fake. First the stats are too generalized. Reporting the ADL's report, the New York Times headline read simply: "Anti-Semitic hate crimes are on the rise, up 57 percent in 2017 from 2016." But that statistic covers 3 categories of incidents: vandalism, harassment, and assault.

According to the ADL: "The sharp rise, reported in ADL's Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, was in part due to a significant increase in incidents in schools and on college campuses, which nearly doubled for the second year in a row."

 Vandalism accounts for much of the overall increase, with harassment also seeing an increase, largely due to the series of false bomb threats made by a troubled Israeli teenager on Jewish institutions across the U.S.  The assault category actually saw a 47% decrease.

We know that the precursor to assault is harassment and vandalism, which points us back to the Leftist activist rhetoric on college campuses as the ground zero of anti-Semitic incidents —not Trump, who by great contrast is consistently vocal on his pro-Jew and pro-Israel sentiments.

We count on our government and our media to get it right, but what happens when their political agendas get in the way of relaying solid facts? We have to be on our toes in a propaganda-rich environment as information-overloaded as the world is today. 

How do we do that? The old fashioned way: we have to know the source — the original source of the information, and the reliability of the source publishing the information.  We always have to ask, does this source have an agenda beyond providing me with facts? Usually they do.  That's why I am devoting more focus in Arrows from Zion to highlighting important news stories from sources I consider to be reliable.

There are many individual ministry leaders that I personally count on to shed light on the news in and about Israel. There are also Israeli Messianic Jewish news platforms that are able to sift through and bring the news stories that are most pertinent to international Christians and Messianic Jews.  These Israeli believer sources and platforms are what should be our Ground Zero for obtaining the news we need related Israel, although I will also include reliable secular news stories and sources too.
— Donna Diorio


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

In Another League



Historically considered a wise point of etiquette, the admonition to "Never discuss politics or religion in polite company" does not seem to apply to the times we live in. When polite runs head on into the dangers of remaining silent, we had better start talking with others about our religion and our politics, or so it seems to me.

That is why this week I want to put in front of you some of the things that are being said about the upcoming election for Prime Minister in Israel by Messianic Israelis along with some of the directions Israel's Liberal news media are saying.


First, let me say that I do not know who would make the best Prime Minister for Israel in the coming season.  I am confident however that God does know and that He will have the last say in how the vote goes.  There is a scripture verse that says of God, "He removes kings and establishes them." But Daniel 2:21 goes on to say, "He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning." 

 

It seems to me there is an invitation there from God to believers to be with Him in our prayer petitions to Him for the next Prime Minister of Israel. God can do anything He wants, but what He really wants is for us to be on the same page with Him, because when we aren't, He has been known to give us what we wanted that was in opposition to what He wanted for us. King Saul instead of David, for example.

 

If believers in the United States were voting in the Israeli elections, there is little doubt that Benjamin Netanyahu would win this election hands down. The majority of Israel-supporting Christians are conservatives (Republicans) who relate to Netanyahu's strong Israel-national security positions.  To us, Netanyahu is a Trump-like figure, something the Israeli news media really doesn't like and writes to dispel.

For example, today in the Jerusalem Post
Did Trump Interfere in Israel's Election by Sharing Netanyahu Instagram Post? the paper took issue with President Trump's re-tweet of the above pictured political billboard bearing the slogan,"Netanyahu: In a different League." 

 

In the U.S. that will be seen as a plus among Christian Israel-supporters but the trouble is, they are not well versed in the religious side of the coin. US Christians don't really know the factors shared in Daniel Juster's recent article about the political alliance Netanyahu is overly dependent on. Because of Bibi's need for the religious parties in his government coalition, it gives power for the religious persecution of the Israeli believing community.  This is something we need a real breakthrough in of understanding among international Christians, so please read Juster's,  The Painful Rule of the Shas Party.

 

There is also misunderstanding even within the Israeli Messianic community about the main source of rising anti-Semitism in the United States. The Israeli news media continually stress that it originates primarily in the conservative Right wing of US politics. Nothing could be farther than the truth.  This misunderstanding is based on liberal Israeli news media flat out misreporting and misrepresenting the facts. 

You can take that from the US liberal left Jews or from the liberal right Jews, but know this: "Republicans now sympathize with Israel (as opposed to the Palestinians) by a whopping 52-point margin over Democrats—79 percent to 27 percent—the greatest spread between the two parties in the last 40 years. Republicans have never been more favorably disposed toward Israel, while for Democrats, the opposite holds true."

Jonathan Tobin of the Jewish News Syndicate writes,
No, there’s no Trump-fueled surge in anti-Semitism. Tobin cites false data by the ADL and other the false claims that Trump is responsible for provoking revival of right-wing extremism that targets Jews.  The Christian Family Research Council begins to clear up some of the false narrative in Left-Wing Anti-Semitism: The Greatest Campus Threat Is Ignored by the SPLC.


Benjamin Weingarten notes in
Israel as a Partisan issue that "The Democrats have ceded the Jewish State to the GOP for future political gain" and asks, "Could it be that liberal Democrats have grown more Arabist, consistent with the growing anti-Zionist nature of the progressive movement?"

 

Aligning with the Jewish Liberal Left in the USA who are mostly Democrats, Israeli news media have naturally adopted the same narratives.  This leaves two big problems: (1) the real roots of rising anti-Semitism in the US goes unaddressed by Jews. (2) Israeli Messianic Jews may not be as questioning of the narratives they read in their own newspapers regarding politics concerning Jews and the United States.

 

On Twitter I see consistent false narratives from Israeli news sources about Trump, where American anti-semitism is originating from and our politics in general. To be like the men of Issachar in our day, we need to develop a sense of what subjects our news sources are trustworthy in reporting on, and what subjects they simply are not.

On Israel Today I noticed an article by Tsvi Sadan titled, Democracy in Danger: A Call for Revolt where he notes that "Israel's left is becoming increasingly hysteric in its outlook, now openly calling for violent revolt and even civil war." This is what we have been dealing with in the United States throughout the Trump presidency, plus all the accompanying dirty tricks of the so-called "deep state,"  the entrenched powers seeking to halt drag Trump from office by hook or by crook.

 

Anyone who follows Israeli politics is well aware that this is how the political game is played in Israel too, which means we need to be cautious about narratives, which are not the facts, and turn up our God-given discernment to the highest level.  Our nations are so on the line but God wants to give us understanding of our times so we can enter into unreserved agreement with Him as to which way we should go. We can turn our discernment into action in the voting booth - and we should!

If you remember my recent article
The Cave of Adullam & The 3 anointings of David, when David fled from the jealousy of King Saul, he was joined immediately by 400 men from the tribe of Judah. But that wasn't the end of it because 1 Samuel 22 tells us that after that, "Day after day men came to help David, until he had a great army, like the army of God."

Among them where the men of Issachar, who "came to David at Ziklag, while he was still banished from the presence of Saul son of Kish."  As I Chronicles 12:32 says of the men of Issachar, they were men "who understood the times and knew what Israel should do'.

We are like those men who came day after day to help King David (a type of Yeshua) until he had a great army like the army of God. We are also like those men of Issachar who came to David to cooperate with the will of God in setting up David as their king and fighting with him until it was done. The men of Issachar were those who were especially  granted the gifts of God in "wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning"as are we! 

We need to see ourselves in a new light, not merely being politically opinionated like everyone else in our nations, but being in another league of Spirit-led understanding of the times and what Israel should do, so we may enter into full agreement with whatever God wants to do next. - Donna Diorio

Post Script: After writing this yesterday, President Trump delivered his State of the Union message to the American people in which he could not have made a stronger statement as to his personal commitment to the Jewish people when he concluded the SOTU speech with a strong emphasis on honoring Holocaust survivors, a Pittsburgh Synagogue survivor and strongly opposing anti-Semitism. See a small portion in this video clip (apologies for the advert in the opening)

Caspari Media Review gives a summary on Anti-Semitism articles in the Hebrew press, one of which highlights exactly what I wrote about in my opening commentary, In Another League. Unfortunately, the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, headed by MK Naftali Bennett got bad (false) statistics from the US for its annual report.

    I don't know about Europe, but as far as the United States, that conclusion is a bold faced lie, likely based on the deceptive reporting habits of long trusted Jewish sources that are no longer credible due to falsification of statistics by the ADL, SPLC and other trackers.

     Israelis need to wake up that this is part of the narrative battle that is being played out in the politics of the US, false narratives which are repeated as factual by the Liberal news media in Israel. This is a battle for the truth and the truth in certainly that the uptick of anti-Semitism in the USA is coming from Left-Wing activist groups, Islamists and their adherents. Right Wing anti-Semitism is factually miniscule in comparison.