Can You Say ‘Reductive’?

Gayle Leslie
6 min readJan 15, 2024

A thread I engaged on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

This is a thread I engaged on LinkedIn: at this point there is little of value for most of us who are not either conservative white men or those calling themselves ‘global’ businessmen on that platform, so posting there is perfunctory.

But, on occasion, LinkedIn provides an opportunity to articulate a counter argument to some of the most extreme narratives by people who are rarely checked. Those who live in bubbles where no other point-of-view is heard or considered legitimate. I won’t say that all these folks are men, but women rarely come to the conversation with the same acrimony, misogyny or, sometimes, viciousness. So I took this opportunity to say some of what’s on my mind: I have no expectation that it matters to these guys at all, but I tried.

But what you can count on, literally set your watch by, is that when a man with an extremist view is countered by a rational woman with a reasoned, well articulated argument, he will — in the end — dismiss her — “blah, blah, blah” — because he has no response. His logic, his ability to engage rationally and directly — especially with a woman — is exhausted and all he has left is condescension and rudeness.

And some of these guys are bots and trolls, we know that.

And I want to be crystal clear to those reflexive, knee-jerk outbursts from people who are consumed by emotional pain triggered by what they see: ‘We the People’ see it. We get it. We agree with you that financial support of Netanyahu’s assault on Palestinians in Gaza caught between the terrorist Hamas and the terroristic administration of Bibi Netanyahu needs to end.

But attacking our President, threatening not to support his re-election really turns us off your cause. Joe Biden is in a powerful position, but his power is not unlimited or omnipresent. He’s a single human being who has to balance U.S. interests in the region with, what I suspect, is his extreme distaste for Netanyahu and all the other concerns, particularly shipping lanes and other state sanctioned terrorism.

Many of us are also aware that previous Administrations contributed to conflicts that were not even any of our business to secure and sustain access to oil rights. We get it. But that’s not what’s happening right here right now. The situation is fluid and by definition, things change.

The way you gain support in this country is to create space in your argument for the fact that we have other concerns, you are not the only tragic narrative in the American playbook, including the criminal Donald Trump.

And I — for one — have far more confidence in Joe Biden than I do in the alternative so y’all reflexively trashing him is not in your self interests: it will damage your argument in the long haul.


“For those who thought Joe Biden was too cozy with Bibi: I told you the public face was not the real story. Biden knows Netanyahu is a f*ck and until and unless the US and other parties bring him to heel, nothing will change.

Hamas has only itself to blame for giving uber Zionists in Israel the excuse to do what they’ve always wanted to do: eradicate Palestine.”


“Genocide Joe gave $10 EXTEA BILLION dollars and tons more unapproved weapons to Zi*n@z!$$$.”


“None of that money was for ‘Zionists’, it was for the Jewish people of Israel. And why I absolutely understand why those aligned with the wretched treatment of the Palestinians, saying that the US is funding this mad behavior by the Netanyahu regime is a huge oversimplification. There are other interests in the region that make the defense of Israel writ large critical. Sadly, you give that guy money and he appropriates it to further besiege Gaza and I suspect that’s about to change.

But allies of Palestine don’t do themselves a service by making reductive arguments and digging in, no one can talk to those who see only one thing. We all see the thing, but the picture is bigger than you represent it.

Personally, I’d like Bibi gone now. But the only reason he’s gotten this far is that Israel only requires a plurality to elect him: but he’s only ever gotten 35% +/-. If they just change the law to require a majority the people of Israel would have a representative who they — at least — don’t loathe.”


“funny… no matter which party is in power in USA or Israel the Washington DC remains a district under Tel Aviv jurisdiction, funding its decades of occupation & ongoing genocide of Palestinian Muslims. Then wondering ‘Why do these Arabs hate us? Let’s send more American taxpayer money to the Zionists to do more of the same.’”


“Yes, I see you are digging a hole there, but when I hear the pro-Palestinian zealots threatening to ‘torpedo’ Biden’s re-election I want to caution and remind them that the alternative to Biden is a guy who will give Netanyahu a license to kill.

Yet there’s never any argument from you — or the others attacking the administration — that includes any other arguments for attempted diplomacy. And the problem is that Americans have too many other things to deal with now that, if you keep screaming in their faces your singular point of view, folks get tired of being yelled at and accused.

So if you are sticking with this: whether you think Joe Biden has more leverage with Netanyahu to place pressure or you don’t, he is the best option right now and sometimes you have to stick with the devil you know.

But y’all run ahead and re-elect Orange Bumble F*ck and see where that gets ya.”


“yawn. How ironic that 20,000 Palestinian civilians were bombed & killed with weapons plus extra $10 Billion from Genocide Joe not from Orange Clown Trump.”


“See, it’s pointless to make any other counter points bec you won’t see it any other way. There’s really nothing that can be said to you that will affect your limited cynicism and that’s why Americans just stop listening to the rhetoric.

Haters gonna hate no matter what.

But I will tell you that most Americans and most of the Jews I know are disgusted by what Netanyahu is doing. They won’t discuss it bec they don’t want to deal with screaming hate in their faces. And if you are saying Trump is better for Gaza… Well, I have a bridge for you.

And we have a totally crazy vicious governor doing very similar situation on the Southern Border and Trump would let Abbott shoot migrants, were he given the opportunity. You forgot that Palestinians are not the only people suffering at the behest of mad men.

I know that none of this will change, or even mitigate a little, you deeply held bias. But that just makes your argument ever more reductive and unproductive.”


“yes and genocide lovers gonna love bombing 20,000 Palestinian civilians to death while playing victim.”


“you see, when you call people ‘genocide lovers’ you lose the argument instantly. why would anyone except the most self loathing human beings in the world support someone — or engage — who talks to and about them that way? you’ve already lost empathy, sympathy and compassion for you and most people don’t have the bandwidth to separate you from Palestinians writ large. why would we try if nothing is ever enough for you anyway?”


“yet here you are, 😂 making excuses for the terrorist apartheid Zionist entity and Genocide Joe funding Netanyahu. 🙄 FUNNY for you to be talking about “empathy, sympathy and compassion” while defending genocidal extermination of 20,000+ Palestinian civilians. Hit up dictionary(dot)com to learn what empathy, sympathy, and compassion mean… oh, and look up irony too.”


“and thus you have made my case for the man who lives in a bubble and listens to nothing or no one: you would be more honest if you just said ‘death to America’. you will take our money and whatever resources you can skim off the top but you care about no one. and engaging is not a thing you do.

and fyi: I have followed this thread down as a means to make the opposing argument to your hate and disinformation. not bec I thought you might have a real discourse.

but i’d hoped you would prove me wrong. hope springs eternal.

live in peace.”

And so it goes.