Zen and Understanding Middle East News and Issues
& Israel Center
Zionism and Israel Pages
MidEastWeb Middle East News Views & Facts
The Will to Believe and Selective vision
Understanding the Middle East
Will to Believe
Rules of Thumb
"The truth is out there "
Use & misuse of words
False information signals more false information
Understand the Context
Lies, More Lies, Damn Lies and Newspapers
Beware of Generalizations
Theology and scripture
Smoke in your eyes: a picture can be worth a thousand lies
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
Appeal to Novelty
Appeal to Emotion
Appeal to Tradition
False Dilemma or Black and White Thinking
The Spotlight Fallacy
Who is to Say?
The Will to Believe and Selective vision|
Each side in a conflict has its gurus, and is a sellers' market for people of the same
opinion. It is comforting to read facts or opinions that agree with your ideas, and unsettling to be confronted with
facts that do not fit. This behavior is supported both by emotional and cognitive mechanisms. We each want to belong to
a group and to get positive reinforcement for our beliefs. We each have constructed a "theory" of the world, and our
perceptions and memories are based on that theory or schema.
In the very well known Ash experiment, subjects are asked to judge which lines are of equal length. When a
group of people deliberately choose the incorrect pair of lines, the subject's judgement is influenced dramatically.
About a third of the subjects will bow to group pressure and choose the pair of lines that is grossly unequal in length.
People tend to believe what others believe.
We see what we are prepared to see. New learning is based on old learning. Experiments in memory and
perception show that people tend to ignore or distort bizarre facts in story, because they don't fit with their own
ideas. If I tell you that I went to the grocery to buy a bottle of milk and met a nice unicorn on the way who told me
about a treasure, when you retell the story the unicorn might become a dog who barked or an old man who told me about
Not surprisingly, the facts of Middle East events become distorted both by inadvertance and by
intention. What happened five minutes ago is already history by the time you hear about it, and it has already been
worked over through the eyes of the reporters. Immediately after the failure of the Washington and Taba peace talks in
2000 and 2001, two "histories" were created. One history that was partial to the Palestinians blamed the Israelis, while
the other history, partial to the Israelis, blamed the Palestinians. When there is a Palestinian terror attack and an
Israeli reprisal, the partisans of one side will focus on the Palestinian attack, while the partisans of the other side
will focus only on the reprisal. What do you remember about the events of the summer of 2006? Do you remember that
Hezbollah attacked Israel, or do you remember that Israel attacked Lebanon?
Rules of Thumb
Understanding the Middle East I
Middle East II - Words about Words
the entire book (PDF)
This material is copyright
by Ami Isseroff and MidEastWeb for Coexistence RA, 2006. Please do link to these pages and tell your friends about them.
by e-mail. You may print out these materials for nonprofit use. Do not reproduce these pages or the entire book
for any other purpose in any media other than e-mail without permission.
This site provides resources about Zionism and Israeli history, including links to
source documents. We are not responsible for the information content of these sites. These links are NOT intended to be
an exhaustive reference about Zionism, but the list will keep growing...
Please tell us about your favorite links and we will review them for inclusion.
Please be careful to credit the Zionism pages and link to us. Please do
copy these links to your Web site, giving credit to Zionism Israel Center
Sister sites : Zionism Pages Brave Zionism
Zionism and Israel information center and Zionism and Israel On the Web Brave Zionism
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.
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.
Guide to the Middle East Conflict (Peace, Zionism, antiSemitism ...)
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
ZioNation - Zionism-Israel Web Log
Zionism & Israel News Israel: like
this, as if History of Zionism Zionism FAQ Zionism Israel Center
Maps of Israel Jew Zionism and its Impact
Israel Christian Zionism Site Map