The phrase "to turn a blind eye" applies when an undesirable truth exists but one opts to ignore it. Such ignorance can be covert -- by simply refusing to see it -- or overt, by means of a totally contrary declaration, hoping the listener gives it greater weight over what exists.
The phrase originated from the 1801 Battle of Copenhagen. British naval hero Adm. Horatio Nelson was under the fleet command of Adm. Hyde Parker. Engaging an opposing Danish fleet, an overly cautious Parker, using his ship's signal flags, sent subordinates authority to withdraw.
On his ship, Nelson raised a telescope to his right eye -- blinded in an earlier battle -- exclaiming he saw nothing. He continued to press the attack -- ultimately winning victory.
On Feb. 1, at a conference in Munich, Germany, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry -- pressing the Israelis hard to reach an agreement with the Palestinians -- made a declaration that ignores truth.
Warning increased terrorism lingered overhead for the Israelis if Palestinian talks failed, Kerry declared, "Last year, not one Israeli was killed by a Palestinian from the West Bank."
Israeli families of six victims killed would strongly disagree.
U.S. State Department personnel responsible for tracking terrorist acts in the West Bank fell asleep on the job. The Israelis, who have to deal with such attacks as a reality of everyday life and, thus, know the tally, tell a different story.
Israel's security agency, Shin Bet, issuing its annual terrorism report, indicated West Bank attacks more than doubled in 2013 -- 1,271 as opposed to 578 in 2012.
Kerry's suggestion terrorist violence was down also ignored 40 terrorist attacks foiled there by the Israelis.
Of the six Israelis killed in 2013, half were civilian. These deadly attacks all occurred during the last quarter of the year -- as peace talks were actually ongoing.
Therefore, not only did Kerry ignore the truth concerning increased 2013 terrorist attack death statistics, he also sought to suggest a failed agreement would increase attacks -- ignoring the fact such an increase was already occurring as Israel was attempting to negotiate.
It is believed the terrorist group Hamas, in control of the Gaza Strip, is responsible for inspiring almost half the terrorist attacks in the West Bank during 2013.
Israel has little optimism 2014 will be any better.
The violent last quarter of 2013 is tied to the Palestinian Authority's inability to control armed groups in the West Bank refugee camps. Things began spiraling out of control after the resignation of internationally respected diplomat Salam Fayyad as the PA's prime minister. With Fayyad's departure, the economy tumbled, negatively affecting security force payments to maintain stability.
But instability is also affecting Hamas in the Gaza Strip.