The lead article at the Times of Israel recently was about the new mini-series written by the ‘Fauda’ co-creators Lior Raz and Avi Issacharoff who teamed up with Showtime on ‘Ghosts of Beirut,’ a mostly-true account of the assassination of Hezbollah terror chief Imad Mughniyeh. It should be a most interesting and, as usual, riveting and exasperating series.

An obviously Islamic Arab commentator wrote the following (copied with grammar and spelling unchanged):

Imad Mughniyeh was "terrorist" as west say about those who are against there thoughts and there interests . He is the real Man as His appearance make Israel go nuts. He him self chose to go out otherwise he was as Like Qasim Sulaimani in Middle east ...He Was Real Ghost...

Killing Some one using Millions Of Dollar and numbers of people to gather intelligence just to eliminate one single Person Shows How Powerful he was......"Live long Martyr Mughniyeh" .... (Sic)

To which I replied:

This view is strictly only in your limited cultural interpretation. Essentially, Imad Mughniyeh, as is most often the case with your "hero" terrorists, hid behind others, using and abusing them and destroying their brainwashed lives.

You are correct in your grouping Mughniyeh and Sulaimani, note actually a Jewish name taken from a Jewish king, together. They were thugs, murderers, and terrorists, not fighting a war heroically, but persuading others to do their dirty work.

In the end, what this film series shows is, that no matter what it costs in money, which is irrelevant in this case as the real cost was the lives of innocents unable to defend themselves, in the end, the Mossad and CIA will get their man. This applied then and applies to this day and you know that it may take time, but Israel will get to its target.

I suggest you consider the six Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders killed last week in Gaza. The same will apply to Yahya Sinwar, the current Palestinian Arab leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip and his surrounding thugs as well, and in the end, to Nasrallah of Hezbollah. They may hide, bury themselves cowardly in bunkers under hospitals, run and hide in Iran, but they will all go the same way as Mughniyeh and all your hero worship and praise will come to nought and is meaningless. In the end, like Mughniyeh, you will all lose.

I posted this comment and it was immediately rejected on the grounds that it went against “Community Standards”, a weak kneejerk reaction perfected by the likes of Facebook, which either has algorithms that reject a particular word, meaning that the content is not viewed at all, or has their usual anonymous bunch of “Fact Checkers” who decide on the fly that the comment goes against their ever so sensitive strictly amorphous and really undefined “Community Standards”. What a wonderful pile of hogwash! Oh how language can be abused!

The Supreme Court of America has just unanimously sided with Twitter, Google, and Facebook, finding in a pair of decisions on May 18 that the Silicon Valley giants are shielded from liability for content posted by users. This opens a Pandora’s Box, but once Biden and coterie are no longer in charge, I have no doubt Congress will eviscerate Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act of 1996, which generally prevents internet platforms and internet service providers from being held liable for what users say on them. This has allowed these various social networks to get away with much.

I must admit that a certain amount of checking, monitoring and editing in this age of instant media and communications is required as it is obvious that sometimes the most ridiculous and offensive comments still sneak through, often with deliberate misspellings. However, in this, my most recent experience, I get the distinct impression that politics enters into the fray and the Times of Israel’s bent is clearly politically left.

But I then have to ask, how come the original comment by what is clearly an enemy of Israel, is allowed through, but a response, which in my humble opinion is not offensive, is rejected? Is it some ridiculous fear of “offending” this enemy or showing just how liberal they are that his opinion is clearly published, but mine isn’t as if it doesn’t matter that I am a loyal Jew and 100% in support of Israel and our people? And this doesn’t mean I am blind to what Israel does or what happens in Israel or elsewhere.

The terms left and right, shall we throw in liberal as well, are simple economic use of language in a single word which most often doesn’t always cover the issues or problems and is easily abused. Unless irrational and genuinely radical, which both left and right extremes can display, I see the issue as one of being rational, pragmatic and logical, or the lack thereof. Let us for now discount all the other issues that complicate a person’s approach and opinion such as their various psychological needs, whatever they are, including virtue signalling or being tough or, for that matter, sheer ignorance and balance. We could add all sorts of external influences, not least of which is media, especially electronic media. We only have to see the difference between MSNBC, CNN et al and Fox News. In my opinion, the first two are atrocious and yet so many draw their limited knowledge and opinions from them.

I don’t discount newspapers. I deliberately read leftist newspapers and publications and sometimes may know the journalists, who often have an agenda, and am appalled at what they write. I have had personal experience with such reports in Israel, knowing the subjects of the report and the ridiculous lack of balance in the reporting astounds me, yet these journalists are often “sold” as heroes of the publication and given huge undeserved kudos. It is up to the reader to sift the wheat from the chaff, which he often does not or cannot do.

As the influences from America are pervasive, and in today’s world, unescapable, with the Biden/Obama regime and the Democrats currently ruling the roost in America, it is extraordinary how Israel’s left completely emulates and copies the faulty American model. Shocking, in my opinion, for what is supposed to be an above average intelligence population, but as we know and have seen, personal ambitions often trump common sense and logic. However, the worm is turning and like the biblical seven good years and seven bad years, we might be moving into the seven good years at last. Of course, who knows what the “great” American electorate will decide, for on their decision rests the rest of the world and all of us.

Meanwhile, Facebook sets our "community standards" for social media and it is up to us to do the "fact checking" on the news provided by those running the mainstream media.

David Hersch is Chairman of SAIPAC, the South African Israel Public Affairs Committee. Former chairman of the South African Zionist Federation (Cape Council) as well as a former national vice-chairman of the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF). He is also a former member of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (Cape Council). Retired businessman and broadcaster.