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.

It is hard to see how denigrating the pro-Israel  constituency in the United States, but rather supporting those who side with the enemies of Israel, could ever produce good outcomes for Israelis... but that is what is happening.

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

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