Israel’s Defenders Talk So Much About Feelings Because They Can’t Talk About Facts

Caitlin Johnstone
4 min readMay 4, 2024

Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley):

The Guardian has an article out titled “Israelis voice sadness and defiance over Gaza protests on US campuses”, subtitled “People in Jerusalem express little sympathy with anti-war demonstrators, with some accusing them of hatred for Israel”.

It’s exactly what it sounds like: an entire news report about the feelings that some Israelis are feeling in their feely bits about protests in another country on the other side of the world. The Guardian’s Jason Burke asked some random people about their feelings outside a theater in Jerusalem, and then presented this weird nothing thing as relevant news reporting.

“We didn’t know so many people hated Israel,” some random security guard is quoted as saying.

“Such feelings appear widespread among the Jewish majority in Israel, seven months after war was triggered by surprise attacks launched by Hamas into the south of the country in which about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed and 250 taken hostage,” writes Burke.

“Jewish Israelis interviewed by the Guardian this week blame outrage overseas on misinformation, ignorance, historical hostility from international institutions such as the UN, global ‘double standards’ and entrenched antisemitism,” Burke informs us.

If you’re just tuning in, it might seem odd to you that a major news outlet would publish a story about the emotions that some Israelis are feeling about foreign protests against an active genocide being committed by their country. After all, this is not a news story. A story about how some people’s feelings are feeling is not news, and is not journalism.

But that’s exactly what the last seven months have looked like in the imperial media: a nonstop fixation on feelings instead of facts. Israelis have upset feelings about anti-genocide protests. Western Jews have upset feelings at campus demonstrators. Biden has upset feelings at Netanyahu. Last October the imperial media suddenly got a lot less interested in reporting on the facts on the ground with Israel and Gaza, and a whole lot more interested in reporting on how some groups of people feel about it instead.

Western reporters, pundits, politicians and officials cannot stop talking about this. The feelings of Israelis and western Jews are not only given more importance than the feelings of Palestinians or any other group, they are given more importance than Palestinian lives. Some Zionist kid pretending to feel “threatened” on an Ivy League campus will get more coverage than the daily massacres that have been occurring in the densely-packed city of Rafah.

Watch Matt Orfalea’s latest video about the deluge of coddling, cooing media coverage that was given to a Zionist activist who falsely pretended to have been “stabbed in the eye” by a pro-Palestine activist for a good example of this behavior:

Israel is the only issue where the western political-media class treats people’s feelings as a matter of supreme importance.

If you’re a stressed-out single parent struggling to pay bills and keep a roof over your kids’ head, they don’t care about your feelings.

If you’re an American who’s been cast into destitution and homelessness by medical bills, they don’t care about your feelings.

If you’re a Palestinian whose apartment complex was bombed with your entire family inside, they definitely don’t care about your feelings.

But if you’re a western Zionist who doesn’t like the cognitive dissonance that comes with encountering anti-genocide protesters, or even if you’re an Israeli who’s upset about anti-genocide protests in whole other country on the other side of the planet, they’re very, very interested in your feelings.

This is of course because the west’s unconditional support for Israel cannot be defended through facts, so the narrative control needs to focus instead on one nonstop appeal to emotion fallacy. Their position is so gross and indefensible that all they have left is babbling about some select people having upset feelings and holding those feelings as more important than stopping an active genocide.

The propagandists and empire managers don’t have facts on their side and don’t have morality on their side, so they attempt to manipulate by pulling on the heart strings using sympathy and compassion. They appeal to some of the healthiest impulses within us in order to dupe us into supporting some of the most evil actions the world has ever seen.

Which is an absolutely disgusting thing to do, naturally. But, again, it’s all these freaks have left.


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