Friday, December 12, 2014

Taking Things Out of Context

     There has been a lot of that going on lately, some malicious, some careless, and some completely unintentional.
 
     Prime Minister Netanyahu has repeatedly been taken out of context - at best. Recently, he has not only been taken out of context but blatantly libeled. Case in point: the "Jewish State Bill". Some swear this bill makes Israel for "Jews alone", an egregious lie I caught a reporter tweeting over the Internet as an "exact quote" from the Prime Minister during a recent speech at the Knesset. I knew better when I first read the tweet, although it took some time for the transcript to come out. Meanwhile, that "news" spread like wildfire (with even President Rivlin joining in!), until now the State of Israel will be undergoing ill-timed and unnecessary elections.
 
     I feel Prime Minister Netanyahu's pain.
 
     Recently, people have been jumping into the middle of my Twitter threads, picking out some part in the middle, taking the context completely away from the conversation, and announcing to the world that I "believe" thus-and-so. But, the most insanity erupted yesterday over my last blog post on Israel dated November 28, 2014.
 
     When someone writes an essay, there is a beginning, a middle, and an end. Those parts exist for a reason. Take one or two of those three ingredients away and the entire message is lost. That is what happened Thursday. I do not know how many times in my life I have started to read something, prepared to blast the author to pieces, only to find as I read that the article did not go in the direction I thought it was going.
 
     It pays to read a piece in its entirety.
 
     For the record, not once, even for an instant, in my wildest dreams, my drunkest moment, my highest fever-induced delirium, have I EVER blamed Jews for the Holocaust!
 
     My last post outlined a progression of thought (beginning in childhood!) throughout my life, beginning with my inability to understand the Holocaust. Understand. Not blame. What a scurrilous accusation, and I resent it.
 
     I would, however, like to thank the person who sent me multiple direct messages explaining both the reaction yesterday and some of what was behind my bewilderment about the Holocaust itself. That is called dialogue, and it gave me food for thought. Todah Rabah.
 
     Dear readers, please: Next time, READ.
 
     Shabbat Shalom.