It seems we are entering the Age of the The Hoax. In the Middle East, we're being fed with a constant stream of hoaxes from the Pallywood studios like the mad doctor escapades, the UN school "investigation" (here's some recently released IDF vision taken from a schoolyard in Gaza on 8 January) and more while, at home, we've had the Quadrant hoax that brought the "Gotcha" revelations in our media this week.
The Age of the Hoax extended this week even into the letters section of the Age Newspaper. On Thursday, it published this piece from a Raya Rusho of Greensborough, an outlying suburb of Melbourne:
WHEN LACK OF 'BIAS' IS NO LONGER POSSIBLE
I HAVE been trying to remain unbiased for many years concerning the continued violence between the Palestinians and Israel, especially as I believe it is imperative to maintain an open mind on such heated issues.
However, I can no longer justify staying unbiased when I read and hear about unjust, inhumane and extremely unreasonable acts of violence against innocent victims who have now clearly a justified moral stance against their Israeli attackers.
I can no longer say "perhaps we should try to consider both sides of the argument". I cannot but abhor the actions of the Israeli Government.
We all now know the Palestinian plight. I only hope we can all begin to take the side of the most oppressed in this situation.
Raya Rusho, Greensborough
Unfortunately for Ms. Rusho and the Age, Vex News smelled a rat and carried out some research on the author of the letter and discovered that she was lying when she claimed to have been "unbiased" and had an "open mind" about the conflict.
A very brief Google search uncovered the fact that she is an Arab who has previously lived in Libya and Syria, an atheist architecture student at Melbourne University and, most probably, an unrepentent anti-Semite. Here's what Raya Rusho wrote on the BBC website in 2001:
"The Israelis have gained enough power and money to prey on those weaker than them. It's only a matter of time before the Jews lose that power and money and they are left to fend for themselves. With this they'll have a taste of their own medicine … "
Judge for yourself whether, nine years later when she penned her letter to the Age, she had an open mind about the conflict.
For its part, the Age which accepted the Rusho letter should now inform its readers that it was also the victim of a hoax perpetrated by someone who clearly lied about being an open minded observer of this tragic conflict.