So what if I am biased

I don’t often get many people writing on my blog. Most of the people who comment on what I write either comment on TREmeritus or the Facebook page of the Independent Singapore. However, in my piece “An Eye for an Eye Makes the Whole World Blind,” I received the following comment:

I suspect the Anonymous commentator was either an Israeli or someone, probably a Christian Zionist who took issue with the fact that I stated that Israel, as the greater power had the responsibility to end the cycle of unholy violence in the Holy Land.

As with a lot of emotional comments, I think the chap didn’t actually read my piece nor did he or she fully understand the meaning of bias nor did he or she want to get what I was saying. At no time did I try to excuse the October 7 attacks on Israel. I was quite clear that the actions went above any moral call of “resistance.” I was also quite clear that I accept that Israel has a right to defend itself and to go after the perpetrators.

What I do take issue with, is the response. Yes, killing 1,400 people is awful. However, responding by killing 9,061 people in response is not the answer either – unless you want to believe that the life of an Eastern European decent practicing the Jewish faith is worth far more than that of a Semite practicing the faith of Islam. Just as the actions of Hamas cannot be justified in the name of resistance, the bombardment of the Gaza strip cannot be justified in the name of “self-defense.”

Leaving aside the morality of trying to out kill each other, there’s also the practicality of things. If you look at the situation, it’s clear that the latest round of violence is going to continue and never stop. Israel will not be secure and the HR department will have a never-ending supply of recruits. The message that Hamas’s HR department is simple – “there’s no point making peace with the people who bombard you and starve you,” and when you make that the reality on the ground, a people with no hope will bite.

Arguing that “we gave them land in 1948 but they said no,” is not a viable excuse to take more of what little they already have. Sure, it might seem like a mistake on the part of the Palestinians not to have accepted the offer in 1948, however, let’s not forget that when the late Saudi King Abdullah proposed Israel withdraw to its 1967 borders in return for diplomatic recognition by all 22 members of the Arab League, the then Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert gave him the proverbial middle finger.

The pattern is clear, land for the Palestinians is getting scarcer and while everyone has argued that Israel has the right to defend itself, it needs to stop giving an incentive for people to attack it. Jewish settlement in what is nominally Palestinian land only encourages people to hate people of East European decent.

Israel is a miracle in so many ways. However, keeping the Palestinian population hemmed up is only creating a powder keg that will keep things uncertain and dangerous. Again, let’s look at the American response to September 11, 2001. America invaded Afghanistan and two-decade latter and 20 trillion dollars later, the Taliban are back in charge. They also invaded Iraq, which gave is ISIS, the people who would make Saddam look like a Teddy Bear.

So, if I am biased for saying that the response to October 7 is going to make the problem worse, what does that make the people who created a response that was worse than the original problem?


Tang Li

*Although I’ve been based mainly in Singapore for nearly two decades, I’ve had the privilege of being able to meet people who have crossed borders and cultures. I’ve befriended ministers and ambassadors and worked on projects involving a former head of state. Yet, at the same time, I’ve had the privilege of befriending migrant labourers and former convicts. All of them have a story to tell. All of them add to the fabric of life. I hope to express the stories that inspire us to create life as it should be.



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12 Responses to “So what if I am biased”

  • opposition dude:

    Leaving aside the fact that neither Israel nor Hamas wants to sit down and talk about a 2 state solution the only way out of this is the following 2 options neither of which has happened so far.

    Option 1 : Hamas or someone else somehow manages to kill/chase out all Israelis. Since this has never happened we can all continue with all the possibilities.

    Option 2: Israel eliminates all Palestinians in Gaza and the West bank. This hasn’t happened either but Israel could do it but would incur the wrath of probably the entire Middle East which might result in all of them attacking Israel all at once.

    And here we have the usual kaypoh in the form of the US. Saying Israel has the right to defend itself is one thing, giving them the ammunition so that they can keep on doing what they are doing now is another thing altogether.

    Will this be another long war like Ukraine? If it’s going to be so then it would be interesting to see if the US gives up on Ukraine to help out Israel.

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  • SpecOps:

    The whiner commenter in the above article as with the far-right Zionist factions inside Israel are just tools for Israel’s own version of Temasick corporation, fulfilling the age old reason for war – resources.

    “The Genocide for Gas Program is in progress.

    And it’s a killer – literally.

    Gaza has been split EXACTLY at the point defining the territorial waters of North Gaza and South Gaza, under which terms the North has access to ALL offshore gas and oil fields.” – Pepe Escobar, Geopolitics Commentator, 7th November 2023

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  • Peacemaker:

    Si vis pacem, para bellum


    There is no peace when the wick*d is present

    Isaiah 48:22
    “There is no peace for the wick*d”

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  • Tracey Ching:

    Yawn…zzz.. As if anyone give a damn about your perspectives on Middle East continent politics and wars. You should write only on what you know which is on Vietnam and lesbianism. You are not qualified nor sufficiently educated enough to comment on foreign policy issues.

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  • Endless cycle:

    Endless cycle of violence…
    No easy Solution.

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  • Dalai Says "Read My Lips":

    It is fascinating that in the one case to emerge out of the Middle Eastern cauldron that the writer seems to cry out for *INJUSTICE*; we are currently being treated to all of this moral introspection, particularly a newfound concern over what was his disproportional “collateral deaths/damages”. Here is the thing about revisionist history: it is made up narcissistic fiction. but, oh how those who love those fairy tales love themselves. Morality is a messy area, in part because of the existence of a vast variety of belief systems. I hope it never again becomes a commonly held belief that religion (fake OR real) is a just reason for the killing of “non-believers.” or *infidels* by those terrorists. I really don’t see how we can turn our backs on this kind of behavior.

    It is naive in the extreme to think that there are wars which fit the neat category of “just.” Targeting of civilians has ALWAYS been a component of every human conflict, on every side. In modern warfare, the inclusion of bombs dropped from great heights via airplane complete removes the ability to pick specific targets. That said, some acts are so repugnant as to put their commission beyond the pale–maybe. After all, we’ve just passed the 78th anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which registered less with the public today than does Biden’s hair.

    Once one commits to war, it is difficult to avoid atrocity, of course. The old saying that everything is fair in love and war holds so true even today. When the Muslim onslaught on India started some 1000 years back, Indian Kings had some code of conduct during wars like not hurting peasantry and any non combatant, not fighting during nights, forgive your enemy if he asks for it after defeat and honor no fight agreement etc. of course, the history tells that some 50 million Hindus were slaughtered and millions more enslaved in the conquests.

    So, the lesson is that fight the war at least on the same terms as those of your enemy. The only morality in a war is winning. Only winners get to write history.

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  • rice:


    Agree 101 pct.
    The wick*d is unpeaceable and restless .
    They are always looking for an “enemy” to bitch around with.
    Self-justification n glorification.

    Peace is the nemesis of The Wicked.
    Can the wick*d deny?

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  • Israeli go to California:

    California going to form a country independent from USA. Accept 5.4m Israeli migrants. Palestine lands all returned back to Palestinians. China comes in rebuild infrastructure.

    World peace.,

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    Actually the only sensible big world leader is Xi but if he doesn’t step in to help the Palestinians then it is just talk with no action.

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  • PAP mandate strong:

    @ Actually the only sensible big world leader is Xi but if he doesn’t step in to help the Palestinians then it is just talk with no action.

    Ha ! Xi doesnt even want to help and solve China own property woes. 14号文件is prove of it. Majority if not all PRCs that bought 商品房 all negative assets 负资产. Not to mention millions of PRCs still servicing the loans.

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  • SingaporeRide:

    With Belt Road program, Xi has funded trillions in Africas and Middle East to win their support so that the world is not purely aligned to West nor US.

    Xi funded Iran and Iran funded Hamas and Hamas is using Huawei.

    Xi has ambitions to push China to be the leader of the world, so he is supporting regimes who are against US or West such as Russia.

    He is not as innocent as you think.

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  • XiBaBa:

    Tracey Ching:
    Yawn…zzz.. As if anyone give a damn about your perspectives on Middle East continent politics and wars. You should write only on what you know which is on Vietnam and lesbianism. You are not qualified nor sufficiently educated enough to comment on foreign policy issues.

    I totally agree with you.
    Tang Li knowledge on this matter is full of flaws and based on hearsays. He did not even make reasonable investigations or research on those claims.

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