Why Care about Palestinians?

A man who goes by the online moniker of @Travelingisraelinfo headlines his short video very curiously: Why do you care about Palestinians?

Even before listening to the video, the answer is so obvious. The Palestinians are humans aren’t they? Shouldn’t humans care for each other? Palestinians are being genocided. Genocide is a monstrous war crime. Caring humans should want to stop genocide.

Why would this dude ask such a question? I’ll call him dude because his name is not revealed, and being a dude is “cool.” His About page at his Youtube Traveling Israel Channel tells that he has a website that “is all about helping travelers to travel in Israel. You can find here info about planning your trip, sights in Israel and the Israeli society.” It seems he is an Israeli and that he has a business tied to encouraging travelers to Israel (i.e., historical Palestine). If people don’t want to travel to Israel anymore, then his business will presumably suffer.

He relates that there are so many demonstrations going on around the world in support of Palestinians, which leads him to pose a question: “Nobody is marching for the people of Yemen and Syria, and I’m asking you why?”

I want to ask this dude why he is deflecting attention away from genocide committed by Israelis?

He goes on to claim, “There are 800,000 dead in Syria and Yemen, and you are silent. Do you expect more from Israel than you expect from the Arabs? If so, that makes you a racist…. Another option is that you are a hypocrite. It is ‘cool’ to be pro-Palestinian, so although you know there are far greater atrocities happening in Muslim countries, you choose to ignore them. By the way, you don’t have to limit yourself, you can be both a hypocrite and a racist.”

If this dude wants to draw attention away from Israeli slaughtering Palestinians, then is he not a racist — or even worse, an accomplice to genocide?

Dude is so sure of himself that he invites viewers: “Have a better answer? Comment below and I will respond.”

A rebuttal hardly seems challenging.

Imagine that white people (I assume the dude’s remarks are primarily directed at westerners, who are preponderently white folk) who take the time and effort to oppose the genocide of brown people in Palestine are called racists! Why does he not vent his rage at Israelis who are genociding the Palestinians? This is going on in his backyard. He has, thereby, engaged in misdirection, otherwise known as the logical fallacy commonly referred to as a red herring.

The next logical fallacy that the dude is guilty of committing is the false dilemma. He says people people who do not oppose all grave crimes (notice that the dude does not deny the Israeli genocide or Israeli racism against Palestinians) must then be racists, hypocrites, or both. There are plenty of reasons that might well explain why there aren’t as many demos for Syrians and Yemenis as for Palestinians. For one, not everybody knows what is going on in the world. This is especially true if people are only relying on legacy media. Some people may only have found out about the genocide of Palestinians because they walked past a demo at the local university, became informed, and protested.

Presumably, the people who are protesting all the war crimes around the world are not racist or hypocrites; therefore, their criticism of Israeli war crimes is justified. However, is everybody protesting all wars and violence around the world? Is it possible? Ergo, by the dude’s illogic, no one should be protesting war and war crimes.

It is patently preposterous that one would be branded a racist/hypocrite for not being in attendance at demos against every cruelty meted out everywhere in the world.

Racism is defined as “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism by an individual, community, or institution against a person or people on the basis of their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.”

The demonstrations against the killing of Palestinians are not based on the race of either the killers or those who are being killed, so this is a false premise; i.e., another red herring. Another logical fallacy is that he is attempting to shift the meaning of “racism”; in this case, he is guilty of the logical fallacy known as moving the goalposts.

Another false premise is that war crimes and genocide are based on the numbers killed. War crimes are based on the commission of outrages against humans; and in the case of genocide, the intention to disappear all members of a group.

Furthermore, the dude has set up a false comparison. Palestinians have been subjected to Zionist genocidaires for many decades as well as having their land usurped, whereas the war crimes against Syrians and Yemenis is more recent. The Palestinians are rendered stateless, whereas, the Syrians and Yemenis are not stateless. So the comparison is false. Nonetheless, Syrians and Yemenis have been victims of warring, and humans everywhere should care about humans in Syria and Yemen. It is also important to note that Israel is involved in the violence against Syria and Yemen, which the dude is unaware of or neglects to mention.

The dude also commits the logical fallacy of ad hominem, and in doing so he comes across as a supporter of Zionism and the grotesque crimes carried out by Zionists. He is, in fact, in the process of clearing a path for genocide.

A false premise is an incorrect proposition that forms the basis of an argument. The dude may have sounded convincing, but since the premise is incorrect nothing can be deduced about the validity of the argument.

Be open-minded and skeptical. Analyze what is being claimed, and question everything. This will stand one in good stead to see through false arguments.

Kim Petersen is an independent writer. He can be emailed at: kimohp at gmail.com. Read other articles by Kim.