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What is Missing?

CONTENTS

Zen & Understanding the Middle East

Introduction
Sellers' Market
Will to Believe
Rules of Thumb

"The truth is out there "
Use & misuse of words
False information signals more false information
Technical whiz-bang
Understand the Context
Lies, More Lies, Damn Lies and Newspapers
Beware of Generalizations
Theology and scripture
Misleading Statistics
Smoke in your eyes
What is Missing?
Myth versus fact versus narrative
The past was not like the present; the future will be different

Fallacy Recognition in the Middle East

Fallacies and Arguments
Cause and Effect
Slippery Slope
Gambler's Fallacy
Ad Hominem
Authority
Beliefs
Appeal to Novelty
Appeal to Emotion
Appeal to Tradition
False Dilemma or Black and White Thinking
Special Pleading
The Spotlight Fallacy
Who is to Say?

Fallacy Handbook

What is Missing?

Deceptive Summaries - Events and histories are like fractals. At each level there is more information. Unless you are reading an original source document, you are always reading a summary. Summaries can be misleading, intentionally or otherwise. A summary of the US Civil war never has the same "feel" as a book about the civil war, and a book about the war doesn't leave you with the same impression as a book about one battle or one general, and no two summaries will be quite alike, and the is always another level of detail.


What did they leave out? - Every report or history leaves out some facts and emphasizes others. That is legitimate and inevitable. However, deceptive reports and histories leave out important facts and focus your attention only on the things they want you to see. Like a magician doing a trick, they focus your attention on one place, while the real action is going on somewhere else. One person actually complained that a history was biased because it included too much information. He insisted it should have started from a later date and should have excluded information that was unfavorable to his cause! Many histories do that. If you see a history that describes Palestinian refugees (or Sudetensland refugees) in detail, but says nothing about the war that created them and how it started, the history is not telling you the whole truth. Suppose a man from Mars read a history of World War II that began, "Allied troops invaded Germany, destroyed and occupied its towns, Soviet artillery pounded Berlin into rubble. Constant allied bombings forced Germans to live in constant terror." What would he think?


At any time there is an infinity of facts that may or may not be important. In 1996 -1998, Americans were attending to Monica Lewinsky, the war in Yugoslavia and perhaps to the peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine. Few paid attention to the Fatwa of an obscure fanatic in Afghanistan, who vowed to fight America, Saudi Arabia and Israel. Osama Bin Laden's ignored religious edit became important news only after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.


Interest groups can also manipulate and divert our attention. A dozen dead Israelis or a thousand dead Lebanese are somehow of greater importance than tens of thousands of dead in Chechnya or Darfur. The occupation of Palestine is top news, but the occupation of Tibet is not. Self-determination for Palestinians is a viable issue, but self-determination for Basques, Welsh people, Kurds or Tibetans is not. What is shown to be important and what is really important may be two different things.

Previous: Smoke in your eyes  Next: Myth versus fact versus narrative


Understanding the Middle East I Understanding the Middle East II - Words about Words

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Copyright

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MidEastWeb  History of Israel Palestine and the Middle East Conflict conflict   

MidEastWeb Middle East News, Views, Maps and History

Zionism  Definition and Brief History  A balanced article that covers the definitions and history of Zionism as well as opposition to Zionism and criticisms by Arabs,  Jewish antiZionists.

Labor Zionism   History and Critique  Contribution of Labor Zionism to the creation of the Jewish state, and problems of Labor Zionism in a changing reality.

Concise Guide to IsraeliZionist CyberSpace

Israel-Palestina  (Dutch) Middle East Conflict, Israel, Palestine,Zionism... Israël-Palestina Informatie gids Israël, Palestijnen en Midden-Oosten conflict... Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a European perspective  Dutch and English.

English  Israel-Palestine.info Guide to the Middle East Conflict (Peace, Zionism, antiSemitism ...)

Advocacy

Active Zionism  A Zionist advocacy site with many useful links

PEACE Watch  Middle East Dialog and Peace Process

Pnews  Progressive Views on Zionism Israel Jews & AntiSemitism

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