Series Archives: Language

Rhetoric – Abnormal Politics

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Language

I’ve been meaning for some time to write about the rhetoric used by the BDS “movement” (which reflects the rhetoric of anti-Israel political activity generally).  But before getting into the mechanics of this subject, it’s important to understand some of the psychological motivation behind why people make certain choices when engaging in political debate. More than […]

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Rhetoric – Outrage

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series Language

One of the most interesting things about the rhetoric used by the BDS “movement” and similar Israel-disliking organizations is that the BDSers’ life on the psychological extreme (discussed here) means that the rhetorical tactics they employ also tend towards the extreme. When one is dealing with a “normal” political situation, even one as heated as […]

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Rhetoric – Association

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Language

Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman’s surprise best-seller Thinking Fast and Slow describes the human mind as separated into a lazy but powerful slow half that processes information deliberately, and a much-more-frequently-used fast half that spends much of its time associating one thing with another. You can read more about his arguments here, but for purposes of this discussion […]

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Rhetoric – Avoidance

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Language

Usually, the type of analysis I’ve been doing for the last few postings is performed in order to determine how well someone has used logic, language and other devices to frame an argument designed to counter an opponent and/or persuade an audience.  But another thing that sets BDS rhetoric apart from “normal” political interaction is how […]

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Rhetoric – Solutions

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Language

Israel’s friends face a rhetorical challenge. For whether our opponents embrace BDS or some other tactic, anti-Israel forces deploy rhetorical strategies specifically designed to shut down rational debate. On the one hand, they use evocative images of war (hard soldiers, frightening weapons) and its consequence (the wounded and dead) to play off the emotions of […]

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Rhetoric – Follow Up

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Language

While I finished up what I had to say (for now) on the subject of anti-Israel rhetoric, I highly recommend you read this article that analyzes the rhetoric used to erase the Jewish identity of the region with regard to the users and enablers of such political language.

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