Rabbi Yitschak Rudomin
Rabbi Yitschak RudominCourtesy
The expression "fog of war" refers to the military confusion on a battlefield during times of war. There are other kinds of "fog of war" such as confusion among the civilian populations during wartime who are thrown out of their familiar lives into unknown situations. There is yet another type of "fog of war" that occurs when nations deploy propaganda that they may believe and try to get their opponents to believe.
In our own times there is war of words and images happening on mass media and communications through radio, television, the Internet and social media. There is the fog of war in diplomacy where nations and the media blabber away trying to blind their opponents and push their own biased point of view on the world that goes on in the United Nations, the European Union and other international bodies. Television and the Internet rely a lot on colorful moving images that sway the emotions but often have no connection to actual historical facts and truths.

Note: All references and links below are from Wikipedia.

In many ways the fog of war is symbolized by foggy thinking or a foggy brain that denotes confusion or a clouding of consciousness in ordinary people. There is a lot of that when it comes to the subject of the Arab–Israeli Conflict and the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict as in the current 2023 Hamas–Israel War that began on October 7th with a barbaric massacre by Hamas We see that everyone has an opinion about it, mostly with a mentality of let the facts be damned and with a total ignorance of the historical background, truths and facts within and about the nations and groups that have these opinions:

Russia holds the record for international hypocrisy as it is presently still in the midst of the Russian invasion of Ukraine that it began on February 22, 2022, but that does not stop it from posturing as a "peacemaker" bewailing the fate of the Arab Palestinians and on calling out Israel for acting in response to the 2023 Hamas attack on Israel and leading the charge for a ceasefire. Let Russia lead by example and implement a ceasefire in Ukraine and pull out of it and then it will prove its moral right to judge Israel. Russia is faking it when it comes to claiming it upholds the rights of Arabs and Muslims.

Starting from 1991 there is a very long list of conflicts involving Russia and its suppression of various minorities, including Muslims both in the territory of the former Soviet Union and in other countries, some of the more notable ones being:

  • First Chechen War (1994–1996) when Russian troops invaded, after Chechnya declared independence, but withdrew in 1996.
  • Second Chechen War (1999–2009) with Russia restoring its control over Chechnya, albeit as a conclusive response to Chechen terrorists..
  • Georgian Civil War (1991–1993), former Soviet leader Shevardnadze is asked to lead the country while supporters of the ousted president stage a revolt, which is crushed with the help of the Russian military.
  • Russo–Georgian War (2008), a war between Georgia on one side and Russia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia on the other side.
  • Russian Intervention in Syria (2015–Present), Russia launched a military intervention in Syria after a request by the government of Bashar al-Assad for military support in its fight against opposition militias and Islamic State in the Syrian civil war.

Not to mention that in the days of the USSR (1922–1991) it murdered tens of millions of its own citizens during Collectivization, Dekulakization, Famines, Terrors, Purges, Gulags, as well as occupying Eastern Europe under the Eastern Bloc (1947–1991), with a long list of foreign interventions, some of the main ones being:

  • 1921 Invasion of Mongolia (1921–1924) Soviet troops fought against the anti-communist government of White Russian Baron Ungern and occupied the entirety of Mongolia and fully pulled Mongolia out of the influence of China, and under Soviet Russia's.
  • 1934 Soviet Invasion of China, two brigades of about 7,000 Soviet troops, backed by tanks, airplanes and artillery with mustard gas, crossed the border in gaining control of Xinjiang.The joint Soviet-White Russian force was called "The Altai Volunteers".
  • 1956 Invasion of Hungary when the Hungarians revolted against Soviet control of their country. The uprising lasted 12 days before being crushed by Soviet tanks and troops. Thousands were killed and wounded and nearly a quarter-million Hungarians fled the country.
  • 1968 Invasion of Czechoslovakia. 250,000 Warsaw Pact troops and 2,000 tanks entered the country. The total number of invading troops eventually reached 500,000, the invasion was dominated by troops from the Soviet Union and the Soviet High Command was in charge of the invading armies.
  • 1979 Invasion of Afghanistan (1979–1989), the initial Soviet force was around 1,800 tanks, 80,000 soldiers and the total Soviet force rose to over 100,000 personnel.

No wonder the Jews of the former Soviet Union ran away from it as fast and as far as they could run the minute the Iron Curtain collapsed!

Russia is certainly not the one to preach in any international body and against any country, let alone democratic Israel about "human rights", "humanitarianism", "military intervention", "bullying" or about any forms of sanctions or terror.

China is no angel when it comes to its own disgraceful record of human rights violations of its own citizens and minorities as well as with foreign interventions and it should not preach to others about violations of human codes of proper behavior. Just a quick glance at China's abysmal failures in the following areas is enough to prove that it is no more than a state ruled by a political tyranny that seeks to throw its own weight around against its weakest citizens and neighbors:

  • Invasion and Annexation of Tibet (1950–1951). Chinese PLA units quickly surrounded the outnumbered Tibetan forces and captured Tibet.
  • Great Leap Forward (1958–1962) Millions of people died in China during the Great Leap, with estimates ranging from 15 to 55 million, making the Great Chinese Famine the largest or second-largest famine in human history.
  • Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) It has been estimated that up to seven million Chinese died in atrocities committed during the so-called "cultural revolution".
  • Tiananmen Square Pro-Democracy Protests (1989) Estimates of the death toll vary from several hundred to several thousand, with thousands more wounded. The vast majority of those killed were civilians.
  • Uyghur Genocide (2014–Present). The Chinese government 1. has committed a series of ongoing human rights abuses against Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang that is often characterized as genocide. 2. Incarcerated more than an estimated one million Turkic Muslims without any legal process in internment camps. 3. It is the largest-scale detention of ethnic and religious minorities since World War II. 4. Experts estimate that, since 2017, some sixteen thousand mosques have been razed or damaged, and 5. hundreds of thousands of children have been forcibly separated from their parents and sent to boarding schools. 6. The arbitrary detention of Uyghurs in state-sponsored internment camps, 7. forced labor, 8. suppression of Uyghur religious practices, 9. political indoctrination, 10. forced sterilization and forced abortion. Chinese government statistics reported that from 2015 to 2018, birth rates in the mostly Uyghur regions of Hotan and Kashgar fell by more than 60%.

Turkey has sadly moved in recent years from being a reliable ally of Israel to being one of its most vociferous opponents by supporting radical Islamist ideology over practical good common sense as it did in the past. Over the last century Turkey has changed from an Ottoman Empire, into a secular state to a de facto Islamist one. As the Turkish Ottoman Empire (1299–1922) it was an empire that took in many Jews after they were expelled from Spain in 1492 during the Spanish Inquisition. The Ottomans conquered Eretz Yisrael from 1517 until 1917 they opened the gates to more Jews moving there and allowing what would be the beginnings of the settlement by Jews of pre-modern Israel.

The Turkish Sultanate was abolished in 1923 and its place came the Republic of Turkey that was under the influence of the so-called Young Turks that created a mostly secular Turkey. It was this Turkey that was very friendly with and towards Jewish Israel after it was founded in 1948. However, as symbolized in the person of its leader Erdogan starting in the late 1990s Turkey has taken a strong turn towards Islamic fundamentalism and ties with Israel have subsequently suffered and been reduced to tatters compared to the close ties that Turkey used to share with Israel before the rise of the likes of Erdogan.

Turkey does not have clean hands when it comes to its record in relation to other nations and non-Turkish ethnic groups, as can be seen from the following examples:

  • Ottoman Arabia (1517–1918) extended the rule of the Ottoman Turks who are Muslims but not Arabs over much of Arabia, including at the time those areas that would later be called Syria, the Arabian Peninsula, Palestine including Jordan, Egypt and more Arab areas. The Turks were tough rulers and brooked no opposition from the occupied Arabs, and the Jews among them. They moved the center of Islam, the Caliphate, to Turkey. At no point did the Ottoman Turks willingly grant independence to any Arabs who they kept under their thumbs until World War One when the British invaded and kicked the Ottomans out of the Arab populated areas in 1917 that eventually resulted in the Partition of the Ottoman Empire (1918–1922). Today's Islamist Turkish rulers have dreams of going back to the days when Turkey was a Sunni Islamic Empire and radical Islamic Shiite Iran has similar fanciful expansionist dreams.
  • Xenophobia and discrimination in Turkey: In Turkey, xenophobia and ethnic discrimination is present in its society and throughout its history, including institutional racism against non-Muslim and non-Sunni minorities notably Kurds, Armenians, Arabs, Assyrians, Greeks, Jews, Syrian refugees, Afghan, Pakistani, and African migrants. Anti-Arabism in Turkey dates back to the Ottoman Empire, which has risen significantly in recent years partly because of the Syrian refugee crisis.
  • Armenian Genocide (1914–1916) was the systematic destruction of the Armenian people and identity in the Ottoman Empire during World War I. At the orders of Talaat Pasha, an estimated 800,000 to 1.2 million Armenians were sent on death marches to the Syrian Desert in 1915 and 1916. The deportees were deprived of food and water and subjected to robbery, rape, massacres and were dispersed into concentration camps. In 1916, another wave of massacres was ordered. Around 100,000 to 200,000 Armenian women and children were forcibly converted to Islam. Massacres of Armenian survivors continued through the Turkish War of Independence after World War I. Together with the mass murder and expulsion of Assyrian/Syriac and Greek Orthodox Christians, it enabled the creation of an ethnonationalist Turkish state, the Republic of Turkey. As of 2023, 34 countries have recognized the events as genocide.
  • Persecution of Kurds: Mahmut Esat Bozkurt, a former Minister of Justice claimed in 1930 the superiority of the Turkish race over the Kurdish one, and permitted non-Turks only the right to be servants and slaves. At the Zilan massacre of 1930 during the Ararat rebellion about 15,000 people were killed. During the 1937-8 Dersim rebellion 13,160 civilians were killed by the Turkish Army and 11,818 people were taken into exile and many tribesmen were shot dead after surrendering, and women and children were locked into hay sheds which were then set on fire. David McDowall states that 40,000 people were killed while sources of the Kurdish Diaspora claim over 70,000 casualties. In an attempt to deny their existence, the Turkish government categorized Kurds as "Mountain Turks" until 1991.
  • Turkish Invasion of Cyprus (1974): At first Turkey captured 3% of the island before a ceasefire was declared. Turkish forces enlarged their original beachhead in August 1974 resulting in the capture of approximately 36% of the island. Around 150,000 people (amounting to more than one-quarter of the total population of Cyprus, and to one-third of its Greek Cypriot population) were displaced from the northern part of the island, where Greek Cypriots had constituted 80% of the population. Over the course of the next year, roughly 60,000 Turkish Cypriots amounting to half the Turkish Cypriot population were displaced from the south to the north. In 1983, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus declared independence, although Turkey is the only country that recognises it.

Iran is ruled by an extreme Shiite Islamist regime that hates Israel and the West and works to spread fanatical Islam wherever it can:


  • Jewish exodus from the Muslim world was the migration, departure, flight and expulsion of around 900,000 Jews from Muslim-majority countries in West Asia, North Africa and, to a lesser extent, Central Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia in the 20th century. Predominantly in response to the creation of Israelc, the exodus mainly transpired from 1948 to the early 1970s, with one final exodus from Iran in 1979–80 following the Iranian Revolution. An estimated 650,000 of the departees settled in Israel.
  • Relations between Nazi Germany and the Arab world: The relationship between Nazi Germany (1933–1945) and the leadership of the Arab world encompassed contempt, propaganda, collaboration, and emulation in some instances. Cooperative political and military relationships were founded on shared hostilities toward common enemies, such as the United Kingdom and the French Third Republic, along with communism, and Zionism. Another foundation of this collaboration was the antisemitism of the Nazis and their hostility towards the United Kingdom and France, which was admired by Arab and Muslim leaders, most notably the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini (see Antisemitism in Islam). In public and private,
  • Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt by Hassan al-Banna in 1928. It opposed British rule in Egypt. al-Banna had been in contact with Amin al-Husseini since 1927. Its pro-Arab activism for the Arab-Zionist conflict in Palestine, which in 1936–1939 culminated in the great Arab revolt. It made use of aggressive anti-Jewish rhetorics which also targeted the Jewish community in Egypt. 'Abd al-Rahman al-Banna, the brother of founder Hassan al-Banna, went to Mandatory Palestine and established the Muslim Brotherhood there in 1935. Al-Hajj Amin al-Husseini, eventually appointed by the British as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in hopes of accommodating him, was the leader of the group in Palestine. In 1945, the group established a branch in Jerusalem, and by 1947 twenty-five more branches had sprung up, in towns such as Jaffa, Lod, Haifa, Nablus, and Tulkarm, with a total membership of between 12,000 and 20,000.
  • Origins of Hamas: After the 1967 Six Day War, the Muslim Brotherhood members in the early 1980s, and Islamic organizations became more involved in Palestinian Arab politics. The driving force behind this transformation was Sheikh Ahmed Yassin who became one of the Muslim Brotherhood's leaders in Gaza. In 1988,
  • Hamas published the Hamas Charter, wherein it defined itself as a chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood and its desire to establish "an Islamic state throughout Palestine". The original Charter identified Hamas as the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine and declares its members to be Muslims who "fear God and raise the banner of Jihad in the face of the oppressors." The charter states that "our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious" and calls for the eventual creation of an Islamic state in Palestine, in place of Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and the obliteration or dissolution of Israel. It emphasizes the importance of jihad, stating in article 13, "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors." The Charter adds that "renouncing any part of Palestine means renouncing part of the religion [of Islam]" and rejected recognition of Israel, which it terms as the "Zionist enemy" it advocates the "liberation of all of Palestine".
  • Antisemitism in the Arab world has increased greatly in the Arab world since the beginning of the 20th century, for several reasons: the dissolution and breakdown of the Ottoman Empire and traditional Islamic society; European influence, brought about by Western imperialism and Arab Christians; Nazi propaganda and relations between Nazi Germany and the Arab world; resentment over Jewish nationalism; the rise of Arab nationalism; and the widespread proliferation of anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist conspiracy theories.
  • Hamas, an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, has a foundational statement of principles, or "covenant" that claims that the French revolution, the Russian revolution, colonialism and both world wars were created by the Zionists. It also claims the Freemasons and Rotary clubs are Zionist fronts and refers to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
  • Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the PLO, published a Ph.D. thesis (at Moscow University) in 1982, called The Secret Connection between the Nazis and the Leaders of the Zionist Movement. His doctoral thesis later became a book, The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism, which, following his appointment as Palestinian Prime Minister in 2003, was heavily criticized as an example of Holocaust denial. In his book, Abbas wrote: "It seems that the interest of the Zionist movement, however, is to inflate this figure [of Holocaust deaths] so that their gains will be greater. This led them to emphasize this figure [six million] in order to gain the solidarity of international public opinion with Zionism. Many scholars have debated the figure of six million and reached stunning conclusions—fixing the number of Jewish victims at only a few hundred thousand".

If only the enemies of the Jews and of Israel would take a realistic long hard look in a real mirror they would have to face the realities and implications of the longest hate in history, their own dismal human rights and international relations records and of course their hatred of the Jews. To the Jews this should be no surprise, although many of the secular-minded left-wing Israelis have been dealt a hard core reality check with what happened on October 7th 2023. To Torah believing Jews it is no surprise that Esau the progenitor of the West and the Christians and Yishmael the progenitor of the Arabs and the Muslims hate their Jewish brother Jacob also called Israel.

In the Torah, Esau was given the dubious honor of being told that he would "live by the sword" (וְעַל חַרְבְּךָ תִחְיֶה) (Genesis 27:40) and about Yishmael the Torah says that "his hand will be against everyone and the hand of every one will be against him" (יָדוֹ בַכֹּל, וְיַד כֹּל בּוֹ) (Genesis 16:12) with the Torah prophetically predicting the behaviors and actions of Easu's and Yishmael's seed down to our very own days that only the arrival of the Mashiach will finally stop forever!

Also see: "War is not new to Israel" (Oct 16, 2023); "Jewish wisdom during war" (Oct 23, 2023); "Abraham's principles in war and peace" (Oct 31, 2023).

Rabbi Yitschak Rudomin was born to Holocaust survivor parents in Israel, grew up in South Africa, and lives in Brooklyn, NY. He is an alumnus of Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin and of Teachers CollegeColumbia University. He heads the Jewish Professionals Institute dedicated to Jewish Adult Education and Outreach Kiruv Rechokim. He was the Director of the Belzer Chasidim's Sinai Heritage Center of Manhattan 19881995, a Trustee of AJOP 19941997 and founder of American Friends of South African Jewish Education 19952015. He is also a docent and tour guide at The Museum of Jewish Heritage A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in Downtown Manhattan, New York.

He is the author of The Second World War and Jewish Education in America: The Fall and Rise of Orthodoxy. Contact Rabbi Yitschak Rudomin at[email protected]