The anti-Israeli rhetoric

In the recent month I spent way too much time of Facebook/Google+/Twitter mostly trying to fend-off anti-Israeli posts. In this recent Twitter exchange it was very clear how someone while saying intellectually sound sentences can quickly blame Israel.

Me: Do you actually care about the Palestinian children in Gaza? Here is something you can do to help them:

OP: I hope they're in the same trial as Israel's leaders. Unless Israel is not to blame to bombing and mass murdering Palestinian. :)

OP: I don't blame the victim. I blame the perpetrator.

I don't name "OP" as I don't think this is personal issue.

Let's see the first response of OP: He is using inflammatory words like "mass murdering" that plays on emotions and tries to hurt the feeling of about anyone reading it. Obviously including mine. But look at something else, first he calls for the trial of the Israeli leaders, but then, in the second sentence he already blames the whole country. The smiley at the end is strange though. Does it try to downplay his position, or is that a preparation for later to be able to say "Oh but I was joking."? Knowing the guy, I don't think he needs either of those. He has very strong opinions.

I don't know if he has planned this switching from "the leaders of Israel" to the whole country, or if came natural, but it will sink in his readers. They will be strengthened in their thoughts blaming Israel - the country with all its people. Whom, and I can just guess, they only associate with the Jewish citizens of the country disregarding the 17% Palestinian Arabs who are also citizens of Israel and therefore are also "mass murdering Palestinian".

Since that exchange I already saw some people "favoriting" his Tweet. Clearly his rhetoric works.

Then he goes on in his 2nd Tweet claiming the he does not blame the victim. The sentence in itself sounds very educated. Very intellectual. Putting it in the context of the previous Tweets gives the impression as if I was blaming the victims. As I was clearly blaming Hamas, does that mean he thinks Hamas - the organization - is the victim? And then Israel - the country - is the perpetrator? Does that mean people reading his comment will have another nudge in that direction of thinking?

I am not sure I should go on this Twitter exchange as I know the guy. I know he will want to "win this round" (as he said in an earlier Twitter exchange) and I don't see a point in such rhetorical games. Especially as your level of command of the (English) language has much more impact on the outcome of such discussion than anything else. Undoubtedly this post will anger him, but I think it is important to see the games such rhetoric play.

More importantly, it seems to me quite clear that for him it is much more important to blame Israel than to help the Palestinian children.

Published on 2014-08-17 by Gabor Szabo
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